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Venice's Historic Coffee Houses Featured

Piazza San Marco, the drawing room of Europe and it's wonderful historic coffee houses.

by Cat Bauer


Since the ninth century, Piazza San Marco has been the centre of Venetian society, politics and culture. After Napoleon invaded, he knocked down a church, built an imperial palace, and dubbed it ‘the drawing room of Europe.’ Titans have strode across its stones and changed the course of history, cocooned by its long marble loggias. It is a magnet for visitors, a gathering place for residents during monumental events, and a great place to sit and watch the citizens of the world pass by. The orchestras of three historic coffee houses battle it out in the square on sunny days, but when the weather turns from ice cream to hot chocolate, the intimate interiors beckon travellers to come inside.

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Caffé Florian

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Casanova’s go-to café for hot chocolate seductions, the neo-Baroque setting spiced with contemporary art makes Italy’s oldest coffeehouse an iconic crossroad for civilized minds.

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Caffé Lavena

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Richard Wagner preferred to sit alone by the window in the upstairs gallery, the bustle of the square in the background, sipping tea or cognac. The perfect place to find your muse.

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Grancaffé Quadri and ABC Quadri


Part of the Alajmo fiefdom, Max’s famous morsels are served from breakfast through late-night snacking in the Pongo room, segueing from coffeehouse to casual restaurant and bar.

For more ideas on how to Do, Dine and Spend in Venice and beyond, visit our Destinations page.