Most Popular Articles
- The Best of Florence Nightlife
- Best Restaurants in Florence
- Italian Wine Regions
- Dolce Vita: Tips for Living the Good Life
Florence Cafes: Cream, Culture, and Outdoor Seating
Apr 18 , 2011
When visiting Florence, you'll want to take part in the unique coffee culture which has been central to Italian life for about 400 years and remains a central aspect of daily life. Even the Italian version of Survivor provides contestants with coffee making supplies.
You'll enjoy the quality of Italian coffee, the fantastic pastries, and observing Florentines go wild over this drink. There are many coffee houses throughout the city and every one serves up a good brew. Take time to find your favorite Florence cafe; or try one of these great options.
The Basics of Cafe Culture
When visiting Florence cafe;s, there are few things you should know. First, any time after breakfast, Italians do not drink milky coffees such as lattes, cappuccinos and caffe; macchiatos (espresso with a dash of milk). Milky coffee drinks are served with breakfast in Florence cafes and are not for any other time. If you must have a milky drink in the afternoon, apologize to the barman to acknowledge that you actually know the rules of Florence cafe; culture.
Second, Italians don't drink flavored coffees. Occasionally, you might see chocolate or hazelnut coffees, but all other flavors are a rarity. Don't order as though you're at Starbucks; save the double coconut, mint soy latte with honey until you're home. Many Florence cafes serve at the bar. It's up to four times cheaper to drink coffee at the bar than a table. Also, don't get coffee to go; you'll look silly.
Of the famous Florence cafes, Caffe Riviore at the Piazza della Signoria is probably the most famous. Though it tends to be a bit touristy, the Caffe Riviore has superb coffee and fresh pastries. Many locals visit Riviore for its hot chocolate which is held by many as the best hot chocolate in the world. If you'd like to save money, stand at the bar but if you don't mind saving money, sit at a table outside and observe the Piazza.
For a phenomenal Florence cafe; which looks over the city, try Rinascente which looks onto the Duomo and the city skyline. The prices tend to be a bit higher at Rinascente because the view is so fantastic. On a nice summer day though, the view is definitely worth the higher price.
Giacosa in Via Tournabuoni doesn't have beautiful views, but it easily rivals any Florence cafe;. Many locals prefer Giacosa because it feels more particularly authentic. On good weather, sit outside and watch the busy Florentines strut by.
For a warm coffee house atmosphere, visit La Cite, a good sit-down coffee shop with art exhibitions, tons of books and comfy sofas. You'll enjoy relaxing and the funky culture of the Borgo San Frediano surrounding the cafe. Bring a good book and set aside some time to relax at this warm Florence cafe;.
If you want more than pastries or you don't drink coffee, visit Chiaroscuro which serves everything. The coffee is fantastic but non-coffee lovers will enjoy the selection or 40 teas. Chiaroscuro serves tea and coffee varieties from all over the world and great mixed drinks before dinnertime. The selection of pastries and cakes at Chiaroscuro is also fantastic. Our favorites are the rich chocolate cake and the moist carrot cake.
Florence cafes have great coffee and warm atmospheres. Set aside time to relax, sip a cup of coffee and observe Florentine life. If you want to live like a true Florentine, a cup of coffee is the place to start.
Find a Florence hotel near the cafe that sounds like our cup of...well, whatever you want!