Celebrated for cocktails, carpaccio and American clientele, Harry’s Bar is famous throughout Venice and the . Founded in 1931 by the late Giuseppe Cipriani, it was financed by a Bostonian called Harry who thought Venice had a lack of decent bars. They chose a storeroom at theGrand Canal end of the Calle Valleresso as their location, conveniently close to the Piazza San Marco.
Since then, the bar has seen a steady stream of American visitors, among them Ernest Hemingway, who used to come here after shooting in the lagoon. The bar became the most popular venue in Venice, patronized by royalty, film stars and heads of state.
These days there are far more American tourists than famous figures, often there to sample the Bellini cocktail that Cipriani invented. Aesthetically, the place is unremarkable, and there is no terrace for meals alfresco.
Sitting with a drink in the Piazza San Marco is as much a part of the Venetian experience as visiting the Basilica or going down the Grand Canal. Café life has been an essential part of the city since the 18th century and remains so today, whether you’re sitting at a table in the sunshine, or relaxing in the warmth of one of the charming rooms in winter.
Caffè Florian, the most famous Venetian café, s
The outside tables are the main attraction, but do walk inside, through the richly-decorated 18th century rooms where Casanova, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens and Woody Allen have all paid too much for a drink.
Founded as early as 1638, not long after the introduction in Venice, the coffee house known as Il Remedio was purchased in 1775 by Giorgio Quadri, who quickly established it as a popular meeting place that attracted society figures and politicians alike.
It was the first Venetian café to serve the super-concentrated caffe all turca, the forerunner of today’s espresso.
During the Austrian occupation it was a favorite with officers from the occupying army. The then owners, the Vivarini brothers, sought to win back a Venetian clientele with the opening of the upstairs restaurant rooms and the fashionable redecoration of the café itself.
he décor remains light, bright, and elegant, with clear colors and charming stucco and fresco decoration. Outside tables give superb views over the Piazza, the perfect place to view the square while listening to the orchestra and enjoying a drink.
Celebrities have frequented Quadri over the years. Today’s visitors range from Pierce Brosnan, Claudia Schiffer and Brad Pitt
, to heavyweight Italian political players such as Silvio Berlusconi and Giulio Andreotti.
Bar al Teatro
Venice’s favorite hangout for theatr-goers is situated next door to La Fenice. It comes alive before and after the opera. Campo San in San Marco.
Less glossy than its neighbors on Piazza San Marco, this 250 year-old institution has nonetheless been the favorite of Richard Wagner, Gabriele D’Anunzio and generations of Venetians.
hic surroundings and expertly poured cocktails appeal to a well-heeled younger crowd. Calle Sant’Antonio in San Marco.
One of Venice’s most popular hangouts keeps the campo animated well into the wee hours. Campo Santa Margherita in Dorsoduro.
The dart board and London ‘phone box are a hit with English speakers, but this cozy pub is most popular with locals who linger over beers and games of chess.
Guinness is, of course, on tap and taken seriously at this Irish outpost, as are the soccer matches shown on the large screen. Corte dei Pali gia Testori in Cannaregio.