Whether you’re in search of a cup of coffee, a snack or an aperitivo, Venice offers an incredible variety of bars and pastry shops, where you can stop after a long day’s sightseeing. Where® offers you a pick of the best places to take a relaxing break, from the most modern venues to more historic locations boasting a retro atmosphere for a real trip back in time
A map of these venues follows
01. Caffè Florian
One of Venice’s most famous cafés with its glittering neo-Baroque décor and attractive 19th-century wall panels, Caffè Florian is located in the heart of St. Mark’s Square. The oldest café in Italy, Florian is steeped in history. Opened on 29 December 1720 by Floriano Francesconi, under the name of ‘Alla Venezia Trionfante’, it was simply re-christened Florian by its regulars, who included celebrities such as Casanova, Goldoni, Canaletto and Guardi.
02. Caffè Lavena
Since 1750, Caffè Lavena, situated in a corner at the foot of the Clock Tower in front of the Basilica, has been one of the most renowned coffee shops in Venice. Known by the Venetians of those days as the ‘Caffè dei Foresti’ (The Foreigners’ cafè), it was mainly frequented by an international clientele.
03. Dal Mas
Located just a few minutes from the railway station, this pastry shop offers a triumph of traditional sweet treats for breakfast (in addition to croissants, try their ‘zaleti’, ‘pan dei Dogi’ and ‘sbreghettine’). Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted to know that Dal Mas is also a chocolate shop where you can find single servings of mousse, mini Sacher torte, ‘cannoli’ and brightly coloured macarons.
04. Gran Caffè Quadri
Nestling in St. Mark’s Square, with its ornate stucco mouldings, 18th-century murals, huge mirrors and polished wooden furniture, Quadri is every inch the historical café. People, including habitués like Stendhal, Wagner, Proust and Woody Allen, have been drinking at this historic venue since 1638.
05. Harry's Bar
Founded in the 1930s, this legendary bar is renowned for its Bellini cocktails and for being the favourite haunt, since it first opened, of almost every famous name to visit Venice. Today, it is still a must-visit stopover for anyone visiting Venice, a perfect opportunity to step back in time and savour its slightly retro and incredibly fascinating atmosphere. An ideal venue at any time of day, either for lunch or dinner, but also for a truly trademark aperitivo!
06. Harry's Dolci
Harry’s Dolci, a bar and restaurant, offers a peaceful view of the Canal with outdoor tables facing the Giudecca Canal. The people at the famed Harry’s Dolci have established their latest enclave on this rarely visited island, far from the madding crowds of Piazza San Marco. From the quayside windows of this chic place, you can watch seagoing vessels, from yachts to lagoon barges.
07. Pasticceria Italo Didovich
Should you find yourself in the vicinity of Campo Santa Marina (just a little off the beaten tourist track), make a beeline for this excellent pastry shop, which has stood here for the past 40 years. In addition to ‘frolle’ and rice and almond pastries, it also offers several tantalizing delicacies.
08. Pasticceria Rosa Salva
This institution has three separate shops in Venice. The first is in San Marco-Calle Fiubera: its historic headquarters, permeated by the aromas of its nearby pastry kitchen. The next is in San Marco-Mercerie: aperitivi and quick snacks that can be enjoyed in between browsing the shops lining le Mercerie, the shopping street that connects the Rialto to St. Mark’s Square. The last is in Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo.
Phone (Calle Fiubera): +39 041 5210544
Phone (Mercerie): +39 041 5227934
Phone (Campo San Giovanni e Paolo): +39 041 5227949
Address 1: San Marco (Calle Fiubera)
Address 2: San Marco (Mercerie)
Address 3: Castello (Campo San Giovnni e Paolo)
Water boat: Vaporetto line 1 or 2 (Rialto stop)
GPS address 1: 45.43515, 12.33784
GPS address 2: 45.43563, 12.33846
GPS address 3: 45.43921, 12.34127
Since 1742, the traditional sweet treats sold at this pastry shop have tempted the palates of Venetian locals and visitors alike, thanks to the high quality of its products, its atmosphere and eye-catching window displays. Must-try’s include its biscuits and, at Carnival, its utterly delectable ‘fritole’ , small fried doughnuts.