It’s safe to say, Italians love their coffee. Whether it’s a foamy sip of that first cappuccino in the morning or a quick espresso between meetings at work, coffee is a serious part of daily life. First imported from the Middle East to Venice, creating a culture of elite coffee houses for the wealthy, in the subsequent centuries the coffee culture soon spread to Italy’s surrounding regions.
In order to help our guests staying at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort get their caffeine fix while visiting Florence, we compiled this list of four favorite spots to visit while exploring this Renaissance town.
Thanks to award-winning Italian barista Francesco Sanapo, the city of Florence now has two excellent coffee shops, one near piazza della signoria, the other in the heart of the Oltrarno, serving up his lovely speciality brews. The perfect spot to grab otherwise hard-to-get drinks such as aeropress filters, cold brews (try it with coconut milk) and flat whites, Francesco roasts his beans in the province of Arezzo and takes great pride in shaking up the current coffee culture in the city. Free WIFi and food is also available at both locations.
Location one: Via dei Neri, 32/R,
Location two. via dello sprone, 5/r
Nestled close to one of the most important shopping streets in Florence, the intersection of via della spada and via tornabuoni, is a little coffee shop which is always filled with well-heeled locals grabbing a quick coffee during any time of the day.
Location: Via della Spada, 10/r
Old world charm exudes from this historic cafe just off the main road leading from piazza del duomo to piazza della signoria. Robiglio himself opened his first pastry shop in the 1920’s, and the tradition has carried on to this lovely corner spot which also has wonderful sweets and a tearoom. Also this is the spot to get a traditional Florentine hot chocolate.
Location: Via dei Tosinghi, 11 r.
One of the newer spot in Florence is a little bit on the outskirts on via gioberti. Once located on viale europa, this new location is looking to spruce up their coffee options since the original pioneer of Piansa paved his success through personally roasting his own raw beans. In addition to excellent espresso, you can also find interesting filters here.
Location: Via Vincenzo Gioberti, 51/red.
The concept of “historic coffee bar in Florence” is not a simple bar but a place that exudes the art, atmosphere and charm of past eras.
The appearance of the first cafes in the city occurred in the 1730s, they were all located in Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria.
Subsequently, Via Tornabuoni also began to have its first coffee bar.
The first real coffee bar in Florence was precisely the one in via Tornabuoni, the Gran Caffè Doney which was closed in 1886.
The café was born in via Cavour and was a meeting point for young artists who attended the Academy in Piazza San Marco, the name of this historic café is Caffè Michelangiolo, still open but it only hosts private events.
It is located within the complex that houses the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of the Niccolai family. The artistic movement of the Macchiaioli developed within its rooms.
Each historic café in Florence offers you the opportunity to relive the atmosphere of literary circles.
Starting from the most beautiful: the Rivoire in Piazza Signoria, a place built in 1872.
It is located right in front of Palazzo Vecchio, a very lively area full of art and history. The birth of the Rivoire was not conceived as a café but it was a “Steam Chocolate Factory”.
It soon became a much sought-after gathering place and still is. In fact, Italian and foreign tourists use it as a meeting point for its wonderful view.
Even the Florentines love it because they can dive into the past of their beautiful city simply by sipping a coffee.
As we have seen, in addition to the Rivoire, there are four other important historic cafés in Florence.
In Piazza della Repubblica we find the Giubbe Rosse cafeteria, a real institution.
It is the literary café of Florence par excellence, it takes its name from the color of the waiters’ jacket.
It was built in 1896 and became famous when it was the seat of the Futurists. Inside, traces of the passage of famous writers and artists remain indelible, in fact it was frequented by artists of the caliber of Montale and Pratolini.
A must for all lovers of literature and art.
Caffe Gilli in Piazza della Repubblica is an austere and very beautiful place. Founded in 1733, it has undergone various transfers up to its current location. In particular, its marvelous wooden counter full of decorations and the Art Nouveau style of the furnishings are striking.
Caffe Paszkowski is located in Piazza della Repubblica, it has one difference compared to the others: it is a café-concert. Founded in 1846, it has hosted important personalities such as Prezzolini and D’Annunzio.
In 1991 it was declared a National Monument, after having dealt with the damage caused by the flood of ’66.
Inside you can admire a wonderful piano that still plays perfectly as it once did.
Last but not least, we find Caffe Giacosa. The venue occupied by the Premiata Ditta Giacosa belongs to the historic Bottega Casodi, the undisputed home of the Negroni cocktail.
This café remained a symbol of worldly Florence until it closed in 2001. But his story didn’t end there because the brand was taken over by the Florentine designer Roberto Cavalli who reopened the bar next to his boutique.
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