My journal of foood musings and eating memoirs
The Venetian Caffe Florian being the oldest in existence is what I happened to hear. This whet my appetite to do some reading about it and was it grand. Now I need to talk about it.Here goes.
I really don’t know if it is the oldest café but being in existence since 1720 sounds pretty old to me.However, it is Italy’s first coffee house. Floriano Francesconi, its owner, opened the café “Alla VeneziaTrionfante”, or “Triumphant Venice” which soon came to be known as Florian’s. It is found in a perfect setting at the Piazza San Marco / St. Mark’s square also known to be “the most beautiful drawing room in Europe” as Napoleon called it.In the 1700’s it was a place where the wealthy came to drink hot chocolate, a mark of a rich man.Consisting initially of two simply furnished rooms it was extended in the 1800’s. It’s been told that there were protests by clients against refurbishing the place as the cost was “enough to build a palace on the Grand Canal”. But the owners stuck to the plan and enter magnificent rooms that you see today. The Florian is as much about the art as it is about the food. It houses five exquisitely styled rooms, the Oriental room decorated with paintings of oriental style, the room of Seasons or Mirrors, the Room of the Illustrious men, after prominent Venetian figures found in the paintings that adorned it, the Senate room with its walls featuring scenes from the worlds of arts and science and the Liberty room, decorated with original hand painted mirrors from the 1900’s! History, art, large mirrors with golden frames, velvet sofas and chandeliers make the Florian. Moreover there is an orchestra outside the cafe under a canopy which performs opera, classical and contemporary music. And guess what, each person is charged a “music charge” of 6 Euro for this. The magnificence goes on. Its food is served on a silver platter. How fitting! All at a mighty price though. I am not complaining, reading about it sounded like being in a picture perfect postcard. They serve everything from breakfasts, to snacks to “Light Lunch & Dinner”, “Pasticceria Cakes”, “English Afternoon Tea”, “Parfaits”, “Gelati Ice creams”, “Teas & Herbal Teas”, spirits and wine and off course coffees. Its breakfast menu has the likes of these.
“The Doge’s Breakfast at € 35,00
Coffee or cappuccino or caffelatte or tea,fresh orange juice or fruit juice, croissant,toasted white bread, butter, jam or honey, yogurt,typical venetian sausages and cheese
Casanova Breakfast at € 35,00
Coffee or cappuccino or caffelatte or tea,fresh orange juice or fruit juice, fresh fruit salad, croissant,toasted white bread, butter, jam or honey,dark chocolate cake, yogurt
Selection of Breakfast pastries
Traditional croissant, croissant with apricot jam, cream puff pastry, apple turnover, almond kipferl, rice pastry – Al pezzo ( piece) € 4,50”
The menu is pretty long and sounds impeccable. Sigh! One more little detail. This place was frequented by the likes of Lord Bryon, Casanova, Goethe and Charles Dickens. I’m sure there is so much more to it. If you are visiting, don’t forget to carry a load of money with you. This overwhelming gorgeousness, the Caffe Florian is moved to my stuff of dreams list.