Caffè Florian opened up in 1720 as Venezia Trionfante (Triumphant Venice) but was soon renamed after its founder, Floriano Francesconi. The café started as a fashionable spot for a hot chocolate, but during the Austrian domination of Venice it became the favorite meeting place of Italian patriots and intellectuals who boycotted the rival Caffè Quadri across the piazza because of its Austrian military clientele. Stucco, mirrors, wooden carvings, and intimate booths date back to 1859, but the historical atmosphere comes at a price: though an espresso at the bar costs €2, sitting doubles that price, and live music will double it again. Afternoon tea can end up costing as much as a meal. Unlike most cafés, they do take credit cards.
Piazza San Marco 56, Procuratie Nuove, Venice, Veneto, 30121, Italy