One of the handful of coffee houses whose tables and chairs are a permanent feature of the landscape in St Mark’s is Caffè Florian. Established in 1720, it can claim to be the oldest in Europe to have been in continuous operation.
On my previous visit to the city I argued with my then wife over paying for coffee here in an environment thronged with passers-by and pigeons. (I won the battle but lost the war it might be said) Perhaps if she had suggested that we to enter one of the individual rooms beneath the portico that make up Florian’s premises I could have been persuaded, for each of the six salons is opulently decorated and features art works of the highest order.
This time there was no question of stopping as we dashed to escape rain and crowds, a fact that became apparent when I reviewed the image I’d shot of the iconic name above the door. Blurred through camera shake it rightly belongs in the recycling bin. I share it to show my fallibility, but also because I wanted to tell the story! Do me a favour – visit their website and see it properly.