Sunday, 20 July 2008

The Caffe Florian

I've finally found the settings for commenting.
As of July 20, NO registration is required to comment.

I shall attempt to make up for my lack of updates with a mega-post which I've been withholding ever since this blog began.

Piazza San Marco boasts three Coffee Houses: The Quadri, The Lavena, and The Florian. The Quadri is in fact the oldest of the three, followed by the Florian, then the Lavena. The Quadri boasts grand rooms and chandeliers but in my opinion, the artwork plastered around the Florian has a higher uniqueness factor.

The animated series of ARIA used the Caffe Florian several times during its run, most prominently in the Origination Episode 03. Only God knows how much the ARIA crew actually paid them.

We start with the exterior. I took my picture just as a storm was coming in thus the lighting.
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This is what Hahi-chan would be facing as she comes in through the entrance.
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The interior of the Caffe is just as depicted in ARIA except it looks older and more like a royal family place because of the laminated wood which is rather hard to draw in anime (thus ARIA used an ordinary shade of brown). Look in the corner and you'll see the statue, as depicted in ARIA. Absolutely stunning artwork on all corners of the walls...
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...and even the ceiling. Yes, this is the ceiling!
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The archways linking the different rooms. I did not realise my lens cap had got into the way until I was a long way away from Venice. :/
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The Alfresco dining experience is an option (with surcharge) but I've always preferred indoor dining and with artwork like the Florian it was a no-brainer.
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Something to avoid. The orchestra comes in the afternoon and you will get an automatic surcharge of €10 when they're around. That is no good when you could just sit nearby to listen to them for free which is what I exactly did in the midst of a thunderstorm! Besides, the Violin was so grossly out of tune that evening which is totally unacceptable for such a posh place. Definately the worst rendition of Andrea Bocelli's "Con Te Partiro'" I'll hear in a very long time! The other 2 Caffes also have their own bands.

The indoor rooms are equipped with Bose speakers playing Italian music at a low volume. I had my food while listening to the likes of Vivaldi which was simply great.
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Time to bust an ARIA myth. No, the alfresco dining areas do not follow the shadow of the Campanile. With 3 Caffes competing, the Florian does not have the God-given right to occupy the whole Piazza San Marco!
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Enough babbling, and it's time to actually see the food!
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The coffee counter and the outrageously priced Tiramisu cake.
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Easily the most expensive breakfast and coffee I'll have in my life. A cup of Caffe Latte costs around €10 by itself which is extremely steep. My mum decided to work out value-for-money and decided to go for the breakfast which costs €31 and includes a Coffee of your choice, which I of course picked the Latte!

The food was simply fantastic, and it is an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience. I had felt Venice was rather dull but this food made me see the light, seriously! The coffee had a deep aftertaste which you don't experience at all in the sugar-filled places which we call Starbucks. The whole experience is in a completely different league.
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My mood was the same as Hahi-chan. I was very uneasy and nervous!
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The bill.
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With such a memorable experience, I surely needed souvenirs! I therefore took the courtesy of taking away the 3 bottles of jam which came unopened with the breakfast, 2x paper napkins and sugar satchets with the crest of the Florian. I also sneakily took away my cloth napkin! Some are on show here and there's a blog spoiler in this shot as well.
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What a post, and it took me 2 hours to put this together!

8 comments:

Iznogoud said...

Great !

My sister also went there, and she did say the prices were outrageous.

It seems it was worth it.

But she did not bring anything back ;-)

WiLL said...

I hope, now that no registration is needed, there will be more who comments, not just me... *feels bad*

Hmm... I really didn't expect that you would go to the Florian. I mean, I knew the prices there, and that place is too much luxury. But it's really beautiful! More beautiful than it was showed in Aria!

Huh, so the myth is busted. ... Well after seeing a picture of the square, I really doubt that is true. (I actually don't remember what was it like, when I was there).

Bill.... OMG! 37 Eus?? *calculate* OMG!! It's... expensive! It as like a whole month of food what we eat!

Great work! This was really a great post!

Runningkid said...

I, too, found cafe florian when
I visited but indeed it was a bit too pricy for me xD. I did take a photo of the menu though, haha.

Keep up the good work!

Inthernet said...

Thanks for the comments.

It certainly was bloody expensive but I found it was worth it. Of the 4 days in Venice, we ate "out" once a day and got away with sandwiches made from cheap ingredients from the local shops for the rest.

I'm actually rather tight, believe it or not!

ただつけ said...

But 37 Euros! Still...I would consider it an opportunity to visit a museum, given the art inside ^^

madeintaiwan said...

Aww I already registered earlier, so I could leave comments on your earlier posts (it wasn't just you Will!).

Was it worth it though? Seeing as you said the coffee is definitely better. It seems more like a once-in-a-lifetime experience to me, and would definitely try it if I have a chance to.

PsychoGuitarMan said...

Nice blog you have here


~PsychoGuitarMan AT Animesuki forums.

Inthernet said...

@ただつけ
I tend to value food higher than art!

@madeintaiwan
For me it was worth every cent. I was feeling rather dull thus far and the meal changed it. Not only the coffee but the food, jam and fruit juices are of really high quality. They meticulously pay attention to detail.

@PsychoGuitarMan
Thanks! Hope you come back to the blog!