Wednesday, May 8, 2024

SearchResearch Challenge (5/8/24): How much is a cappuccino at the cafe near here?

 This is me, somewhere in the world... 

If you've been here, it's easy to recognize where I'm standing--but if you haven't been in this slightly unusual spot, it'll take a bit of SRS magic to figure it out. 

In the next photo taken on the camera, I'm drinking a cappuccino with my daughter at the most famous cafe near where this image was taken. 

This fun memory from last year brings forth a couple of Challenges for you:  

1. Where am I standing in this photo?  

2. Can you tell me how much a cappuccino costs at that famous nearby cafe at the moment?  (Extra credit: Why is this particular cafe so famous?)  

3. Can you tell me how much a cappuccino would have cost at that cafe in 1955?  (For extra credit, can you determine why I'm asking about 1955?)  

I suspect there are new ways to find out the answers to these Challenges, which is why I'm posting them here.  Tune in next week for my solution to these questions. 

But when YOU find the answer, let us know how you did it!  

Keep searching.  


  1. I started assuming you were in Italy. Since you mentioned cappuccino and famous coffee shop.

    After trying with Google Lens, searched adding the horse that we can see on the photo.

    [Italy horse sculpture near famous coffee]

    Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius or Leonardo da Vinci's Horse. Now, I need confirmation.

    Trying with [Piazza del Campidoglio famous coffee]

    About Italy, yesterday a woman posted a photo of skeleton Statue in Venice. She didn't find anything. However, another person shared this link :

    1. My previous findings were wrong. After publishing, I tried search by image again on Yandex and Google. The results confirmed by Lens says you were standing with the replicas of the Horses of Saint Mark.

      Searched for the coffee shop and apparently it is Caffè Florian,%2C%20on%20December%2029%2C%201720.

    2. In 2024 the cost of cappuccino is 12 euros.

      Caffe Florian became famous, among other things, because it was the only coffee house that allowed women.

    3. Searched for data about 1955 in Italy, the world and Caffe Florian. Zero results that could give us the answer. However, tried [1955]

      Caffè Florian & (Katharine Hepburn) & (Rossano Brazzi) movie

    4. Searching for the price in 1955, went to IMDb and read the trivia section with some interesting facts

      The number of tourists travelling to Venice doubled after this movie's release.

      Jane paid ten thousand lire for the red goblet. That would have been about sixteen dollars in 1955

      When Katharine Hepburn filmed the scene where she falls into the canal, one of her eyes became infected. That infection stayed with her for the rest of her life.


    5. Today, May 15th, is Teacher's Day in Mexico. Therefore, I want to say thanks again to Dr Russell and wish him the best for sharing with me and us his knowledge and time.

      Also wishing the best for all the Teachers that comes here in Dr Russell's Blog, like Crossbow and many more

    6. With [how much did cappuccino cost in Caffe Florian "1955"]


      The worldwide diffusion of espresso machines begins. At the famous Moka Bar, opened by Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida


    8. Searched [Caffe Florian] on Bluesky. A few posts there. One with an image serving coffee to people in Gondolas. Another, mentioned that since 1915 there are laws there that day you. Can only be charged the maximum of a Federal limit. Maybe there's a sote with the limit for 1955?

    9. ¡Me hiciste el día! Muchas gracias por acordarte de mí.

    10. Con gusto Krossbow :) Ya son años de conocerte así como a Remmij, JonTU, Debra, Luis y muchos más. Y por supuesto al Dr. Russell. No sé mucho de cada uno de ustedes pero con cariño se recuerda lo que me han compartido y lo que Maestros como tú hacen por nuestra sociedad

      About coffee price:

      From 2020:

      Why Does Espresso Still Cost 1 Euro In Italy?

      Even in the more expensive regions of Italy, the average price of a single espresso is around €1

      In 1911, Italian authorities enforced a maximum price for certain “necessities”, which included coffee.

  2. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    I'm having no luck… maybe too much caffeine…
    Italian ponies:
    did Ray have 7¢ cappuccino?
    April 15, 1955 – The first franchised McDonald's restaurant is opened by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois
    "As transistor technology evolved in the 1950s, central processing units and user terminals came into use by 1955."
    "The Caffè Florian became famous for coffee but also for its delicious hot chocolate, called “the Indian broth”, and was also the only place to admit a female audience in derogation of the prohibitions imposed by the Serenissima Republic."


  4. (1) I started by feeding the image to Lens, which immediately identified the location as Venice, and the tower in the background as being Campanile di San Marco. Opening Maps on the location and switching to Streetview suggested you are on the steps/balcony of St. Marks, with the horses in the background.
    (2) The famous cafe nearby [from Maps businesses tagged] is Caffe Florian, where the menus (at their website, says a cappuccino is €6,00 at the bar and €12,00 if you want to sit. They are famous for being the oldest coffeehouse in continuous operation in Italy (and for being expensive). ( andè_Florian )
    (3) I don't have the 1955 price yet (working on it, though), but I believe you are asking about 1955 because you were born that year - one result from searching for ["Dan Russell" 1955 Palo Alto] is

    1. Well, no luck on the 1955 prices - I wrote to the Caffe Florian, and received the following reply:
      Dear Mr. Briggs,

      thank you for your email.
      We are sorry, but we cannot support you in your reasearch about the 50s.
      We can tell you that in 1974 a coffee costed 600 Italian lira and a cappuccino 700 Italian lira.

      Hoping being helpful.

      Thanks and best regards,

      Cristiana Rivolta
      Sales & Marketing

      S.A.C.R.A. s.r.l. - Caffè Florian -
      Castello 5453, 30122 Venezia – Italy
      P.I. – CF n° Iscr.Reg.Impr. di Venezia: 00164400277
      Capitale Sociale: € 100.000,00 i.v.
      Ph. +39 041 5220727 Fax +39 041 5206782

    2. Bravo, Nick, for taking the most direct action to find the answer! Bravissimo!

  5. Summertime, 1955, Kate, aka - Jane Hudson:

    1. St Mark's Campanil
      "Now sequestered in the Museo Marciano, after being removed from the loggia and restored between 1974-1981, the horses are not shown to best advantage. Copies take their place above the central arch on the façade."
      Gavin thinks they look better here: (a collab with Jeff Koons)

      see 1:55
      what happens when one is charged ~$13 (12 € ) for a cappuccino that cost less than a dollar in 1955…
      Italian Lira - 467,289.72
      a comparable - Cost of Coffee in 1955: $0.31

    3. variable:
      "In the 1930s and 1940s, a nickel a cup didn't seem enough to many restaurateurs who raised their prices to 10 cents. Those that did not had reason to regret it in 1944 when the war caused the federal government to order that restaurants not charge more for coffee that they had in October 1942."

  6. Reverse Image Search. Google gave me photos from the same angle on the loggia of St. Mark's Museum. Confirmed on Google Maps with Street View and 3D.
    Closest café is Bar Americano. I have the feeling that you could be talking about a different café (never heard of this one) but I try a Google searh for [ americano piazza san marco venezia 1955 ]. I was lucky on Edge: first result was he Wikipedia article on the 1955 movie Summertime, with Katharine Hepburn. Café where a remarkable scene was shot not specified on the article, so I tried IMDB. Bingo: it's the Caffè Chioggia. Not the closest one to the photo location but close enough.
    For the capuccino price: back to Google Maps, I searched for menu photos. Easy: 10€ in January, per I guess it's still the same price now. But now I realize you want the 1955 price.
    IMDB quotes do not mention this. I searched for the screenplay, but all I get is the subtitles, and I can't see any cappuccino in there.
    So I ask GPT-4: "Do you know the 1955 movie Summertime, with Katharine Hepburn as Jane Hudson? There's a scene in a café in Piazza San Marco, which I suppose is the Caffè Chioggia. Do you know if, in that scene, she orders a capuccino? And, if so, do you know, how much she pays for it?"
    Short answer: "In the movie, there is a notable scene where Jane Hudson visits a café in Venice. However, she does not order a cappuccino in this scene. Instead, she orders a vino rosso."
    I quit.
    This took me some 10 to 15 minutes in total.

  7. while sipping a caffeinated beverage in the plaza with Jane Hudson…
    "The couple attend the moonlit concert in the piazza, where an orchestra plays the overture to La gazza ladra. When a flower seller approaches them, Renato is surprised when Jane chooses a simple gardenia instead of an orchid. Later, as the couple wander through Venice, Jane drops her gardenia into a canal; despite much effort, Renato is unable to retrieve it for her. As they return to the pensione, Renato kisses Jane, and she responds passionately and murmurs, "I love you", before rushing off to her room."

    (Stanley Kubrick used the overture for the early scenes of his movie A Clockwork Orange. )
    fwiw - @ N.Briggs - nice detective work on Martin & 1955
    …if only the movie was shot in Venice, CA & DMR was a baby extra in the plaza with Kate, crushing her gardenia… & the gang of "droogs" were there… oh wait, that would be 2024…

  8. 1. Recognized the horse statue copies and the campanile.
    2. Price depends on a table or the bar (currently a cappuccino at the bar is half the cost of sitting at a table). I think in most places in the larger cities of this country, items are more expensive if you want a table vs. standing.
    2 E.C. I would categorize this now as being famous for being famous. How did it get to its' current fame and glory? Asked Gemini why is this cafe famous? Oldest still in operation, many famous people have hung out there, location and atmosphere.
    3. Still working on this.
    3. E.C. Finished watching a show on a streaming service just before walking the dogs this evening. The city and cafe are in the final episode. As this challenge was in my head, the answer for the extra credit came to me. Hey Siri! When was Blank Blank Blank Blank book first published?

      a multitude – can't beat a good backdrop…

  9. Here's my journey to get there...
    1. Where am I standing in this photo?
    I searched for 'brick tower in Italy'. Google instantly found an image for San Marco Square in Venice
    Used Google Street view to find the angle you were from the building in the background.
    I saw the horse statues on the mid level of the Basicila di San Marco.

    2. Can you tell me how much a cappuccino costs at that famous nearby cafe at the moment? (Extra credit: Why is this particular cafe so famous?)

    Searched for
    famous cappuccino near Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
    Found Caffe Florian in the results.
    Their published menu, on dropbox,
    Page 28: Cappuccino..........€12,00

    extra credit Why so famous?:,Charles%20Dickens%20were%20frequent%20visitors.

    Oldest caffe in Venice, first to admit women, its been in movies.

    3. Can you tell me how much a cappuccino would have cost at that cafe in 1955?

    Nope. I tried doing reverse inflation costs, but none of those would be conclusive, especially considering conversions from euros to lire and the cost of coffee post WWII. But good reading on the way.

    (For extra credit, can you determine why I'm asking about 1955?)

    Selected this link as a promising one...
    KB: In which movies and series did the Caffè appear in?

    Caffè Florian is quite a location, often chosen as a set for films commercials, as well.
    Summertime 1955

  10. you do get around -

    1. "This is me, somewhere in(out) the world... "
      lunar DMR
      yeah, but was it able to make a cappuccino?
      maybe Venice was a better pick…
      $12,995 per gram

    2. while I was doing an image search this turned up on the 7th page… Where's Dando?

  11. I am rethinking parts of my previous answer.
    1. Remains the same.
    2. 10 euros. Was thinking Caffe Florian until I glanced at Luis Miguel Viterbo's comment. Changed to focus on Caffe Chioggia. It doesn't appear to be as famous as Caffe Florian. For my previous comment I had focused on Caffe Florian because we had just finished watching Ripley on Netflix (much better than Summertime.) The book "The Talented Mr. Ripley" by Patricia Highsmith was published in 1955
    3. Still cannot find the answer.
    I had already watched Summertime (1955) twice over the weekend after checking it out from Kanopy. Prices listed in the film were Gondola - 1000 lire, Water bus - 20 lire and the drink Jane Hudson (Hepburn) drank at Caffe Chioggia 400 lire (see remmij's image taken just before the waiter says the price). The drink was not a cappuccino.

    Here is a partial list of what I've tried and not come up with 1955 cappuccino price at either Caffe Florian or Caffe Chioggia. It might inspire someone for a search that finds it.
    Google Maps
    Menu archives - multiple
    Library of Congress
    Venice Historical Society
    Google Arts and Culture
    Travel guides for the years around 1955 (Google Books)
    History of cappuccino (not as popular as today but could have been available.)
    Flickr Commons
    Searched for scripts for Summertime and The Time of the Cuckoo.
    Searched for inside the book "The Talented Mr. Ripley"

    I have not watched or rewatched any of the other 7 portrayals of Tom Ripley - Alain Delon, Dennis Hopper, Jonathan Kent, Matt Damon, John Malkovich, Barry Pepper, Ian Hart. (Andrew Scott is the 8th and most recent.)


  13. side tracked -
    why snakes?
    "Later, the rod was entwined by two snakes with their heads meeting at the top. Legend states that Hermes discovered two snakes fighting and thrust his rod between them. The snakes stopped fighting and wound themselves around the rod. Thus, this combination became the sign of settlement of quarrels."

  14. IV mathlady: say what? while dreaming of Venice…