All the red façade says is ‘Caffe’ in big white letters, but this joint is lovingly known as ‘Il Rosso’ by the locals who pack it out. Tucked into the surrounding walls of the Campo Santa Margherita, one of Venice’s largest piazzas, it’s all warm looking windows and inviting charm.
A great big brass vacuum coffee brewer (which must be about one hundred years old), sits on the simple bar, pretty much reaching the low ceiling, but it churns out some hard-core espresso, so it’s no bad thing. With arty posters on the wall, this is the haunt of students, Bohemians and foreigners, who scrum around the bar, unshaven and scruffy, talking loudly over 50s and 60s classics.
Spritz is the drink of choice; the barman fills round after round of glasses with bright orange Aperol, eagerly watched by the waiting bar goers. We rocked up when it was frosty and cold outside, and we’re pretty sure that Spritz kept us alive. Despite the wintery temperatures, everyone huddled together outside. This is Venice’s most popular square, and Caffe Rosso is the most popular bar. Joining in comes highly recommended.