After a month of exile from my beloved Flore, I was rewarded with a visit to the equally historic, just as spectacular Caffè Florian on the Piazza St Marco in Venice, where I quickly discovered that the most important accessory was a partner. Everyone seemed to be a couple, strolling hand in hand, or side by side….
The Florian has been serving caffè to locals since 1720, serving such famous people as Casanova, Lord Byron, Proust and Balzac. With a seductively ornate interior and a sprawling terrace outside, it is the perfect place to stop for a Bellini after a long afternoon spent sight seeing.
At least, it would be the perfect place if you happened to be there during peach season. A true Bellini is Prosecco (Italy’s version of champagne) with crushed peach purée. Most places will be happy to serve you a glass of bubbly with industrial peach nectar. The Florian is NOT most places and refuse to serve Bellini is the peaches are not fully ripe and sweet.
To console disappointed tourists, they offer the Tiepolo, a crushed strawberries version of the Bellini. Less famous, it is infinitely more delicious and I savoured mine appreciatively as Mr French and I watched the world go by.
And some more sedate folk, as well….