This tourist trap has been ripping-off willing visitors since 1720 like many St Mark’s Square cafes. I came to somewhere similar in 1994 and got fleeced then, but it’s what you do in Venice, innit?
So we were greeted by obsequious waiters who showed us to a table in one corner. We were flanked by some posey Italians in puffer jackets (obv) that had forgotten to take off their shades (obv again), Chinese tourists (obv No.3) and a few random brown-skinned women from somewhere godforsaken.
We ordered just a coffee from the begloved, white-suited waiter. Annoying Muzak played (presumably to get rid of the punters ASAP) as we took in the fresco-style decor. Everything was ornate including the ceilings and the furniture looked authentic (and fairly uncomfortable) but some of the wooden tables looked like they have been chucked out of an East End pub.
Like the prices, the stairs were steep and there was no accessible toilets. The disabled toilet was upstairs! The waiters, pretending to be genuinely concerned, apologised to an American lady with mobility issues. I’m not sure how people with wheelchairs get up the stairs unless they have some rope and pulley system or Superman is passing by and willing to help out?
We supped our mediocre pocket-emptying coffee and chatted to a couple of Brits. I posed them this question: Would you rather work on a Strawberry farm unpaid for a month or visit Caffe Florian again? I think I know the answer.
Verdict: 2.5 / 5
Good: Interesting interior. Service.
Bad: Rip-off. Shabby. Poor coffee. Accessibility.