Caffè Florian, Piazza San Marco, Venice
Coffee and pastry at Caffè del Doge, San Polo, Venice, Italy

Did you know that Venice was the first western city to market coffee, over 400 years ago?  Imported in 1615 from Constantinople, it soon became one of La Serenissima’s most fashionable and popular beverages; by the 18th century Venice is known to have boasted over 200 coffee shops, with 35 in St Mark’s Square alone.  Here are some of the cosiest cafes in town to get your caffeine fix this January:

Caffè Florian, Piazza San Marco 57: Nestled under the Procuratie Nuove in St Mark’s Square, Venice’s most iconic coffee shop first opened its doors on 29th December 1720.  Over the years it has welcomed innumerable famous guests, from Wagner to Goethe, Lord Byron and Casanova, and today it continues to attract coffee connoisseurs from all over the world.  Decorated in a neo-baroque style, its elegant gilded salons ooze historic charm and are the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon of seasonal indulgence. 

Caffè del Doge, San Polo 609: Founded in the 1950s by Ermenegildo Rizzardini, bustling Caffè del Doge is regarded by many Venetians as the best coffee bar in town, serving an extensive menu of speciality imported coffees from Guatemala to Ethiopia, all roasted via a traditional process known as the “Classico Veneziano” method.  Located close to the Rialto, it’s a great place for a mid-morning pick-me-up – and their packaged coffee in attractive tins and bags make ideal presents too.

AMO: Situated on the ground-floor of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, glamorous AMO is the fruit of a recent collaboration between the Michelin starred-Alajmo brothers and internationally-renowned designer Philippe Starck.  Featuring a wide range of varieties of 100% Arabica beans selected by legendary Veronese coffee specialist Gianni Frasi, it’s a must visit destination for all true Italian coffee lovers.  And while you’re there, don’t forget to try one of their signature sweet treats – such as a croissant filled with turmeric cream, or a chocolate hazelnut muffin made with extra virgin olive oil.