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 this 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!