Coffee culture is different in Italy than what the rest of the western world knows. Baristas in Italy aren't just teens or artsy adults skating their way past a suit-and-tie job; it is a lifelong and highly respected profession. This dedication to brewing the perfect cup of coffee or espresso is best seen in the cup. Visitors to Italy will quickly re-learn everything their palates thought they knew about the brew, but not only do they brew it well; cafes sure know how to treat their visitors to the most picturesque locations while doing it.
Rosati in Rome
When it comes to Rome, they like their coffee hot and strong, not unlike their men and women. With a taste for strong coffee, they love their espressos so when in Rome, visitors won't have a difficult time finding a cafe. For some perfect espresso with a view, Rosati has been serving it up on their spot in the Piazza del Popolo since 1922. Through their passionate baristas and the careful selection of raw materials, Rosati has been hailed as one of the best cafes in the city. Visitors can sip their wide array of classic and seasonal blends that utilize special ingredients like almonds and hazelnut to create unique flavours, but they are also lauded for their fantastic arrays of pastries. What makes Rosati a particularly great place for a coffee is the view. The front of the shop features good people watching views of the Piazza del Popolo while the patio provides the best views in town over the Pincio Gardens nestled below.
Caffe del Doge in Venice
Generally, it is best to avoid cafes and restaurants in Venice due the increased prices from the unique modes of transportation and to take advantage of tourists. The one exception is the Caffe del Doge that serves as an oasis of fantastic coffee and treats on an island of tourist traps. While more expensive than cafes outside of Venice, it is still one of the cheapest and highest quality places in town. Part of their key to keeping the costs down is that they roast the beans in-house on their own. This not only makes the coffee more potent and flavourful from their special techniques, but it fills the air surrounding the cafe with the most intoxicating coffee smell. For those looking for the Caffe del Doge, they will smell it long before they see it. The cafe sits right next to the water (like most buildings in Venice) and shows off beautiful views of the Rialto Bridge. Guests can sit inside or on the patio and watch as people come and go over the bridge on foot or past them on the canal.
Il Vero Bar del Professore in Naples
Visitors to Naples may definitely need that extra shot of espresso to brave what is considered to be Italy's most dangerous city, but maybe that is why they are also renowned for having the best espresso. Il Vero Bar del Professore serves as one of the best representations of the espresso making prowess that Naples has. They roast their own beans in house using the old world wood furnaces instead of the modern gas-fired models adding an extra depth of flavour to the beans that become imbued with smoky richness. Another key to the quality of coffee in Naples is not something that just one cafe has, it's literally in the water. Their unique water that is also the key to making really good pizza dough also makes for an awesome cup of Joe. Using this special water and Il Vero Bar del Professore's unique techniques, they are able to create unique flavours of espresso like the il caffè alla nocciola in cialda that combines espresso with hazelnut cream in a chocolate-lined wafer.
Caffe Greco in Rome
"Rome-PlaceEspagne" by Jean-Christophe BENOIST - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rome-PlaceEspagne.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Rome-PlaceEspagne.jpg
Caffe Greco sits as Rome's oldest and most famous cafe. It has served coffee and espresso to some of Europe's most prominent historical figures and today remains a haven for intellectuals and politicians alike. The interior of Cafe Greco reflects its age in the most magnificent way, its light and airy, filled with the perfect amalgamation of classical decor and modern coffee and espresso making machinery. Outside on the patio, visitors can enjoy the views of one of Rome's most prestigious luxury shopping streets and the Piazza di Spagna. Caffe Greco's own fame and its prime location assures that it is always pretty packed, but for those that can get a seat on the open patio or near one of its massive windows, it provides an unparalleled perch for people watching.
Il Caffe Gilli in Florence
Florence itself, surrounded by vineyards, alleys of cypress trees and Tuscan villas, is just a beautiful place to be in and of itself. The cafes in the city are primly located to showcase the natural and historic beauty of the city. While other cities are lauded for having the best coffee and espresso, Florence enjoys their reputation as being one of the most beautiful places to drink it. Il Caffe Gilli is an institution in Florence and has been since it was founded in 1733. Throughout its history and still today it has attracted rock stars, writers and movie stars to relax in the sleek modern interior that hosts a number of classical touches to remind visitors of its history. While the interior is lavish, the cafe also enjoys a prime spot in the busiest square in Florence, the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele that became the center of literary cafes in the city. This center also attracted a number of artists who helped shape it into one of the most beautiful spots in an already beautiful city.