Italian Streetside Cafe Style

Walking around Venice, Rome, and Bologna last week, we saw our fair share of streetside cafes. There’s a simplicity and elegance to these outdoor dining spots that’s inspired us to think about creating a similar look at home…

  • Keep it simple. Most of the restaurants we passed had nothing more than a small dining table with a couple of wooden cafe chairs. No fancy dishes, no elaborate canopies. Most tables didn’t even have room for a floral arrangement. We loved the casual, thrown-together look.
  • Mix textures. We saw a lot of metal tables with wooden chairs in different styles. Our favorite chairs were the limed wood versions shown above, spotted at a streetside cafe in Bologna. Covered in scratches and spots, they looked beautiful against the crispness of a white tablecloth.
  • Try layering tablecloths. The best example we found of this look was the cafe shown in the third photo above. A black tablecloth under a white covering looked tailored and chic.

1 Cafe in Bologna
2 Cafe in Bologna
3 Cafe in Bologna
4 Cafe in Venice
5 Cafe in Rome

For more Italian cafe style, see Maxwell’s post on Decor in Siena and Pienza, Italy.

Photos: Sarah Coffey