Italian breakfast is complete without mentioning coffee

Discover Italy’s coffee culture in historic cafes from Rome to Venice, where every sip blends art, history, and modernity into a unique Italian experience.

The Ritual of Italian Coffee Drinking

In Italy, coffee is much more than just a drink, it is a cornerstone of the culture. Across the picturesque landscapes of Italy, from the bustling streets of Rome to the serene canals of Venice, coffee rituals are observed with almost religious reverence. In Italian cafes, every sip of coffee is a nod to a long-standing tradition that blends art with conversation, history with modernity. These establishments, often adorned with historic artwork and frequented by a mix of locals and tourists, offer more than just caffeine — they provide a unique glimpse into the Italian way of life.

Rome: The Eternal City’s Coffee Gems

Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè

  • Piazza di S. Eustachio, 82, 00186 Roma RM

In the heart of Rome, Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè stands as a beacon for coffee lovers. Known for its secret blend and brewing method, this cafe offers a coffee experience steeped in history and mystery.

Caffè Greco

  • Via dei Condotti, 86, 00187 Roma RM

Second only to its reputation for historical significance, Caffè Greco in Rome offers an artistic ambiance where many famed poets and artists have pondered over a cup of coffee. The age-old walls of this cafe whisper stories of the past, making it a must-visit for anyone wanting to sip history.

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Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria

  • Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 16, 00186 Roma RM

A modern twist to the traditional Roman coffee house, Roscioli offers a delectable range of pastries to complement their meticulously brewed coffees. It’s a perfect blend of sweet and robust flavours that mirrors the dynamic contrasts of Rome itself.

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Florence: Renaissance in a Cup

Caffè Gilli

  • Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI

Florence is not just about art and history, it’s also home to Caffè Gilli, where coffee drinking is considered a form of art. Established in the heart of Florence, this cafe serves up a Renaissance-inspired coffee experience that is both rich and unforgettable.

Caffè Paszkowski and Caffè Rivoire

  • Caffè Paszkowski: Piazza della Repubblica, 6, 50123 Firenze FI
  • Caffè Rivoire: della Signoria, 5/R, 50122 Firenze FI

Sharing the piazza with the historical Caffè Gilli are Caffè Paszkowski and Caffè Rivoire, each boasting unique blends and a rich history connected to the culture of Florence. These spots are ideal for those who seek to immerse themselves in the local flavour and artistic atmosphere.

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Venice: Sipping Through the Serene City

Caffè Florian (the oldest one)

  • San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia VE

Venice houses the oldest cafe in Italy, Caffè Florian. Since 1720, it has been serving coffee in an environment that captures the essence of Venetian art and culture, making it a timeless spot for coffee enthusiasts.

Gran Caffè Quadri

  • San Marco, 121, 30124 Venezia VE

Opposite Caffè Florian lies Gran Caffè Quadri. Another historic venue where sipping espresso means enjoying views over the bustling Piazza San Marco, accompanied by the sounds of classical music and the gentle buzz of Venetian life.

Torrefazione Cannaregio

  • Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2804, 30121 Venezia VE

For those who prefer a more local vibe, Torrefazione Cannaregio offers freshly roasted beans that can be enjoyed while watching gondolas glide by on the serene canals.

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Milan: The Fashion Capital’s Coffee Culture

Pasticceria Cova

  • Via Monte Napoleone, 8, 20121 Milano MI

Milan’s Pasticceria Cova, located near the luxurious fashion district, marries style with tradition, serving coffee and pastries that cater to the sophisticated palates of its fashionable clientele.

Marchesi 1824

  • Via Monte Napoleone, 9, 20121 Milano MI
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, 20121 Milano MI
  • Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11/a, 20123 Milano MI

Marchesi 1824 is another gem in Milan’s coffee crown, offering a taste of Milanese luxury with its refined decor and premium blends that reflect the city’s chic spirit.

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Turin: The Birthplace of Italian Coffee Culture

Caffè Al Bicerin

  •  Piazza della Consolata, 5, 10122 Torino TO

Turin is recognised as the birthplace of Italian coffee culture, primarily through the iconic Caffè Al Bicerin. Here, one can experience the famous Bicerin, a decadent concoction of coffee, chocolate, and cream.

Caffè Fiorio

  • Via Po, 8/C, 10124 Torino TO

Also in Turin, Caffè Fiorio invites visitors to step back in time and enjoy a coffee in a setting that has been favoured by intellectuals and politicians throughout history.

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Naples: The Soul of Italian Espresso

Gran Caffè Gambrinus

  • Via Chiaia, 1, 80132 Napoli NA

Naples is a city where coffee is the soul of the community, and Gran Caffè Gambrinus is a testament to this, offering rich, intense espresso in an art nouveau setting.

Gran Caffè Mexico

  • Umberto I, 30, 80138 Napoli NA

Caffè Mexico, with its vibrant atmosphere and strong espresso, captures the spirited essence of Naples, offering a coffee experience that is as lively as the city itself.

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Sicily: Coffee with a Dollop of Culture

Caffè Sicilia in Noto

In Sicily, coffee comes with a dollop of culture, especially at Caffè Sicilia in Noto, which combines traditional techniques with local flavours to create extraordinary coffee experiences.

Antico Caffè Spinnato in Palermo

  • Via Principe di Belmonte, 107, 90139 Palermo PA

Antico Caffè Spinnato, with its chic ambiance and rich selection of coffees, serves as a cultural hub in Palermo, blending the historic with the modern.

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Bologna: The Learned Coffee

Caffè Zanarini

  • Piazza Galvani, 1, 40124 Bologna BO

In the academic city of Bologna, Caffè Zanarini is popular among scholars and students alike, offering a sophisticated environment to discuss ideas over a cup of finely brewed coffee.

Caffè Terzi Bologna

  • Via Guglielmo Oberdan, 10d, 40126 Bologna BO

Lastly, Terzi Bologna is known for its artisanal approach to coffee, providing a palette of unique flavours and brewing techniques that cater to the discerning tastes of Bologna’s academic community.

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Each of these cafes represents a vital part of Italy’s coffee culture, offering a unique window into the Italian lifestyle and a taste of local history. Whether you are a coffee aficionado or a casual traveller, visiting these spots will provide a deeper understanding of why coffee in Italy is much more than just a beverage — it’s an experience.