Venice is a unique and incredible city, a must for luxury tours in Italy. After strolling through the Venetian streets, taking a gondola ride, visiting the many bridges and museums, what’s better than having a good cocktail, or aperitif in Venice?
When you decide to have an aperitif in Venice, the star of the evening will certainly be the Spritz. When you say Spritz though, you say it all, and at the same time nothing, because the details make all the difference: should it be made with Prosecco or Campari? With wine or Aperol? Legend has it that the true Venetian Spritz is the “Spritz con Select” which was born in Murano in 1920 and is served in a short glass, or in a chalice with an orange slice as the finishing touch. A bacaro in Venice will know how to satisfy you.
The bacari are typical aperitivo venues in Venice that are frequented by both the young and old before lunch and before dinner to have a drink with friends (a meeting place for cichetar and ciacolar at the bar, or seat yourself comfortably at a table).
But there are also more chic and exclusive watering holes for a happy hour with views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The culture of the aperitivo is so important and so interesting in Venice that before going on a tour of the Italian lagoon it is good to know the habits of the Venetians and where to find the best cocktail.
Let’s find out together where to go to have a quality aperitivo in Venice:
Cantinone del Vino già Schiavi- Family Atmosphere
Opened in 1944, the carefully prepared cicheti (typically Venetian bar snacks), the wide selection of wines, the exceptional walnut sauce with ricotta and red currants make this Bacaro one of the best in Venice. The location is ideal, easily accessible and not too touristy. There is no seating. The environment is rustic, traditional and simple, typical of an inn. The products are fresh and genuine with a wide selection of cold cuts. The value for money is unbeatable.
All’Arco- The delicious sardines in soar
Not far from the famous Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), there is another famous bacaro: All’Arco. Its variety of cicheti make it one of Venice’s most visited cafés, both by tourists and by locals. Thanks to its proximity to the Rialto Market, the highlight is the seafood cicheti, especially the marinated anchovies. The creamed stockfish and sardines in saor are also a must try. Cozy place and excellent wines and spritz. Given its location, it is not among the cheapest bacari, but the quality will not disappoint you.
Harry’s Bar, a true institution in Venice
There aren’t many places for a happy hour with a view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world more chic and exclusive than Harry’s Bar
Do you feel like drinking a Bellini? Harry’s Bar is the perfect place to sip an excellent one! Since the 1930s, Harry’s has overlooked the Grand Canal and has always been a place renowned for its VIP clientele. It was even declared a place of national heritage in 2001 by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
In the early 1950s Ernest Hemingway was a regular customer of the café, so much so that he became friends with the owner and founder Cipriani. In his novel “Across the River and into the Trees” the café is mentioned several times.
“The Colonel looked up at the play of the light on the ceiling. It was reflected, in part, from the Canal. It made strange but steady movements, changing, as the current of a trout stream changes, but remaining, still changing as the sun moved.”
Another unusual place dedicated to the aperitivo is l’Altana. Typically Venetian, the altane, are wooden terraces positioned above the city’s rooftops that characterize Venetian architecture.
They were created to make up for the absence of gardens and to obtain more space.
During the centuries of the Republic, the altane were places used by women to hang out their laundry to dry, and on sunny days they wore the solana, a hat that had a large hole where the girls could pull their hair through and expose it so that the sun could lighten it and they would become blonder.
Today, the roof terrace is the ideal place to dine out during the summer evenings, to enjoy the lagoon from above, to relax drinking a good glass of wine, to have an aperitivo in the company of friends.
The roof terraces have always attracted the attention of tourists for their quirkiness and their centuries-old history, so much so that many inhabitants of the city decided to open their doors to tourists and allow them to enjoy the pleasure of an aperitivo at sunset on one of the many Venetian altane.
“Oh caro sto sol! Co lo godo! Sia benedeta st’altana! Almanco se respira un puoco. Mi, che no so de quele che vaga fora de casa, se no gh’avessi sto liogo, morirave de malinconia”
Now you are ready to dive into in a tour of the cafés of Venice to discover the spritz and enjoy all the local variations of the aperitivo throughout the city.