Friday, November 22, 2019

Venice: Port of coffee in history

In 1585 the ambassador in Constantinople Gianfrancesco Morosini was the first to mention the coffee, in his report to the senate of Venice.

In 1570 the first coffee is introduced to Europe when a shipment from the Yemen port of Mocha arrives in Venice. Traders and voyagers had long been bringing news of this popular beverage of Arabia back to their European homelands.

This busy port city serviced the traders of the world where they exchanged their unique treasures. At first, this rare exotic find is made available only to the very wealthy, and was sometimes sold at premier lemonade stands for medicinal purposes.

The beans, which were loaded at the port of Mocha in the Arabian Peninsula, were unloaded at Venice and originally sold through pharmacies for medicinal purposes. Soon however, the Venetians learned how to roast coffee beans and began drinking coffee both at home and at the botteghe del caffè (coffee shop).

In 1645, seventy-five years after the beverage was first introduced in Venice, the first coffee house opens under the porticoes of St. Mark’s Square, catering to the travelers and trade between the Venetians and the Ottomans. One century later, there were over 200 of them in the city. One of early coffee-house keeper was Floriano Francesconi, who opened his shop in St.Mark's Square in 1720. This coffee-house was to evolve into the famous Caffe Florian, which played host to such famous customers as Jean Jacques Rousseau.

The famous Venetian coffee-houses surround St.Mark's Square resemble Parisian cafes more than English coffee-houses; they served food and alcohol, and were frequented by men and women.

Coffee shops appeared in Rome, Turin, Genoa, Milan, Venice, Padua, Naples, Florence and Trieste, and became famous meeting-places for the educated, including writers, politicians and students over the centuries ahead.
Venice: Port of coffee in history

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