Al Todaro was born as an individual company of Giovanni Barbalich, starting to work the 8th of may 1948. It opened mainly as an ice cream shop located at Saint Mark’s square 3, at the southern angle of Marciana Library and right beside St. Theodore’s column (called Todaro in Venetian). St.Theodore, from which the place toke the name, was the first patron of the city.The first renovation works were conducted by architect Gellner.
Some news spaces were added to the shop a little after, expanding the company size. The interiors of the shop were organised again in 1979 (as much as the narrow space allowed) thanks to the work of the architect brothers Vernier, as well as embelished by a precious glass ceiling, made my Murano’s Master Glassmaker, Barovier.
The Plateau also got bigger at this point and the number of tables increased. Al Todaro expanded its initial “mostly ice cream” business towards sandwiches. It also developed and increased the activity of bar by selling a variety of drinks, including super alcoholic shots. One of the most important remarks of this ice cream shop has always been the constant innovation and care about the presentation of the products. For instance, at Al Todaro, the consumer had the opportunity to get in front of an ice cream showcase for the first time (mostly), from which he could actually choose the flavours.
The great novelty was introduced a just little before by the Tortorelli company from Siena.This new technique would eventually be spread everywhere replacing the old ice cream boxes, the only available until then. Al Todaro has become very successful, thanks to its prestigious location, with a view over St. Marks basin, as well as the founder’s and his heirs great capacity of adaptation to all commercial demands and city’s regulations.
Il todaro has always had Venetian, Italian and international clients.The products and service are known for its quality even abroad, with several clients who are looking forward to return. Over the years, Al Todaro has been included in the “to visit caffes” list, along with Florian and Quadri.
Todaro has welcomed famous clients in the recent past, such as politicians and prominent personalities from the world of cinema and art. One of Todaro’s most affectionate memories was that of Cardinal Roncalli, then Pope John XXIII, who usually had his morning coffee at Todaro while the Patriarch of Venice.