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Caffè Florian in Venice

Holidays and celebrations make you stray from good judgment in the spirit of the season.  So it was on a recent birthday trip to Venice that I went in search of romance and history at the oldest caffè in Italy.  Alone in a foreign city, I always indulge in travel luxuries, especially on festive days and this was no exception.

Caffè Florian has been part of the Venice scene since 1720; that’s nearly 300 years.  It sits like the grand dame that it is, in the middle of Piazza San Marco.  I wonder how long unsuspecting tourists have been suckered into Caffe Florian chocolate lava cakethis place by its history and local lore.  Strains of a quartet, playing Italian standards, fill the piazza, entertaining passersby for free.  However, sit down at the caffè and you are forced to pay for your listening pleasure.

I ordered my birthday cake, a chocolate lava torte and a mineral water…..who could afford anything more?  My total tea-time check came to €28 (approx. $37) without a tip, mamma mia!  Che pazzo!

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