Coffee

A guide to Italy’s much-loved beverage.

Artviva: The Original and Best Walking Tours
Average Rating:   4.9
out of 5 stars
   Based on 100 Ratings.

On 2017/09/10
Kim said:
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Best Tours Ever

It was our very first trip to Italy, so my husband and I decided to book tours with ArtViva based on Rick Steves' recommendation. We took the Accademia tour with Ingrid, the Uffizi tour with Klaus, and the Original Florence tour with Tatiana. Each guide was a joy to be with. They were all both extremely knowledgeable about their subjects and were enthusiastic about presenting it. I learned so much about the amazing Florentine art and architecture. It was worth every penny. I would highly recommend ArtViva's tours to everyone!

On 2017/08/31
E said:
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Fantastic walking tour with Hilde. I would recommend it to everyone visiting Florence.

On 2017/08/03
Stephanie said:
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Fantastic Experience!

We took four tours through Artviva, three from Florence and one from Venice--all excellent! We took this tour the next day from Florence, and it was the perfect half-day to get a glimpse of the Tuscan wine country without committing an entire day (we had Florence sightseeing in the morning, wine country in the afternoon). Vito was our tour guide and driver, and he was so much fun. With the group, we got a chance to chat with folks from all over the world, and the collegiality was equally as enjoyable as the estate, wine, and olive oils we tasted when we arrived at the estate. We tried the fares, learned about the history of the estate and wine in Tuscany in general, and then took a tour of the property. Both the wine-making facilities and the private home of the Lord and Lady were open for us to tour. It was incredible! And there was even a rare piece of World War I history too (you'll have to visit to find out)! Truly, a terrific experience.

On 2017/08/03
Stephanie said:
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Fantastic Experience

We took four tours through Artviva, three from Florence and one from Venice. They were each outstanding. Your Own Cinque Terre (private tour): on our last day in Florence, we took a one day private trip to three of the five villages in Cinque Terre. Elenora was our tour guide all day, and our driver was Massimo. Both were fantastic! Elenora especially made our tour truly an experience we will never forget. She's brilliant, easy going, and full of interesting information about the cities and their histories. She even gave us an overview of the towns we traveled through on the drive to the coast. She escorted us through the train system, around the cute and winding cobblestone streets, and even to a fantastic family-owned restaurant for some seafood pasta and wine from the region. It was like having an old friend show you around her hometown. I cannot recommend this tour enough. The sights (!!), the food, the tour guide (seriously, ask for Elenora!)... all were lovely.

On 2017/08/03
Stephanie said:
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Fantastic Experience!

We took four tours through Artviva, three from Florence and one from Venice. They were each outstanding. Smart, friendly, adept tour guides led us around. And, friendly, helpful office staff helped us navigate the booking process (even before we arrived, they helped me process the booking and coordinate with meet-up locations all via email in advance). Original Florence Walk & David Tour (private tour): Corrina was our tour guide, and she was a real joy. She met us in our hotel lobby (super convenient!) and gave us a terrific tour of Florence, emphasizing its architecture, culture, history, and the daily lives of Florentines throughout the centuries. It was capped off by a visit to the David, and arriving with a tour meant that we were able to skip that incredibly LONG LINE. It was the perfect way to become acquainted with the city, and I highly recommend making this your first tour in Florence. Be

On 2017/07/18
Kathy said:
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We were touring with our 17-year-old grandson. The "Off the Beaten Path" tour with Shannon was the best we had I Italy and his favorite too. To see things that are not crowded with other tourists and so unique was a nice change from the "usual." Other tours with Artiva were excellent as well with very knowledgeable guides who seemed to be able to answer every question, even from a teenager who was anxious to know "everything." Thank you, Shannon and Artiva

On 2017/07/14
Joe Fisher said:
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Thank You, Elisabetta!

We enjoyed our wonderful day with you in Firenze. Thank you for your knowledge, humor, guidance, and keeping us in the shade! Your love of Firenze is obvious. The five Elizabeths, and the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed this unique experience and would recommend it to anyone!

On 2017/07/08
Jennifer said:
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Made Florence and Venice come alive!

My Zicasso travel agent booked tours through ArtViva for myself and my husband. We were so pleased she did! In Venice Leticia took us on the water by gondola and speed boat; this is the way to see Venice! Then Tatiana took us through St. Mark's and Doge's Palace, helping us understand the symbolism, art, and history of these places. In Florence, Rodrigo led us to better understand the David and spent time going into our questions with thoughtfulness. A 3 hour walking tour with Kate opened our eyes to what was in plain sight! We would not have understood Florence without her! Finally, the piece de resistance was Klaas and the tour of the Ufizzi Gallery. His storytelling and excitement was effervescent! We adding his tour because of the pleasure we had on the other booked tours, and I'm so glad that Klaas was our last ArtViva tour - what a beautiful ending to being in Florence! Thank you, ArtViva, for making these two cities come alive. I was so pleased with your guides, professional office staff, and joy!

On 2017/07/03
Stan Capper said:
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Great Tour

What a great tour! We were lucky to have Catherine (Cate) as our tour guide. She has such passion for the art and has such a breadth of knowledge that she expertly and clearly imparts from start to finish. I heard her and another guide remarking to each other about never having seen the museum so crowded, but she would not let the crowds keep her from putting us right in front of all the works she wanted to show us. The information she provided illuminated each piece to a stunning degree. It was perhaps the best tour of an art museum we've ever experienced. I highly recommend this tour, especially if you're lucky enough to have Catherine as your guide. I felt bad for her because the heat and crowds put us behind at the start, but she kept her poise and remained calm and got us through a remarkable tour.

On 2017/06/08
Eddie Wong said:
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Ishmael is Excellent

Ishmael led us on a fascinating food tour in and around the famed Mercado in Florence. After sampling tasty pizza dough poppers and lattes, we ventured into the indoor central market (mercado) and met several family owned businesses that sold olive oil, cheese, and other goodies. I'm not a huge foodie but enjoyed the food and learning about the process of aging olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We also had a full lunch at a local restaurant with delicious pasta and oxtail. I can't say enough superlatives about Ishmael. He is knowledgeable, personable and attentive. I would love to invite him over for dinner in San Francisco so that we can continue our conversations about food, music and art. There's so much more than food on a tour with Ishmael. Peace and blessing on to you. Ciao, Florence. We will return.

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That coffee is an integral part of Italian culture is certainly no secret.

It is believed that coffee first come to Italy in the 1500s via the Venetian ports through trades with Middle Eastern and African countries. From Venice, coffee then made its way throughout the rest of Europe.

After Pope Clement VIII declared in 1600 that consuming coffee was a very Christian activity, it immediately became popular throughout the peninsular. Still, it took some 45 years for the first coffee house to appear, opening up in Rome in 1645.

Exactly 300 years later, the first espresso machine was developed in Milan, Italy.

Both espresso and cappuccino have since become popular coffee beverages globally.

With regards to coffee consumption in Italy, around 14 billion espressos are consumed annually, making up around 60% of coffee sold in Italy. Less than 15% of coffee drunk in Italy is as cappuccino and only slightly less again as “caffè corretto” (an espresso with a shot of grappa or other liqueur). 1 in 10 coffees are espresso with a dash of milk (“macchiato”).

Cappuccinos and other milky coffees (such as caffè latte – milk with coffee) are typically only served as a breakfast coffee, with Italians considering the heavy and nutrient-rich milk too much for a post-meal beverage. Thus, throughout the day Italians will have an espresso or other lighter coffee.

In homes, Italians typically make their coffee in a stove-top moka.

At breakfast time, Italians may be seen eating pastries and even cereal in a large milky coffee to start their day. Away from home, at a local coffee shop (in Italian, called a “bar”) it is common to have a “brioche” (pastry) with a cappuccino or caffè latte.

After  lunch, an espresso will be served, considered as a closure to the meal. Some prefer to have a dash of milk or a spoonful of sugar. They may even have another after dinner.

Having a coffee in Italy is truly a cultural experience not to be missed. Do be aware though that if ordering a coffee at a coffee shop, you will likely be charged table service if you drink it sitting down. Hence why you will likely see Italians standing at the bar to drink their coffees.

In the picture: Eduardo De Filippo in a scene from his "Questi Fantasmi"

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