So I know i’ve been a grouch about Venice, but I was a total sucker for these sunsets. Can you blame me? After a long day of wandering around and getting lost all I wanted to do was put my feet up and relax. But because I kept getting lost, I ran out of puff long before getting back to the hotel. So we thought we would pretend to be rich and famous for half an hour and kick back at the Danieli.
This is the kind of place that you feel like you need a chanel handkerchief if you’re going to sneeze. Look at all that marble. Nothing like seeing how the other 1% live to make you feel entirely dissatisfied with the lack of luxury in your own life!
I had visions of settling into these comfy chairs and sipping on a tasteful and delicious cocktail. Until I saw the price list. And if you baulked at the prices at Harry’s Bar, you don’t even want to look here. Lucky for us though, the ambiance was free!
So we settled down for the only thing we could consider affording – a cup of coffee. Americano for him and a cappuccino for me. This was a huge concession because I don’t like coffee but I felt that I was trespassing on the goodwill of this place with my general scruffiness and didn’t want to give the poor man behind the bar a heart attack by ordering a cup of tea. Even though these two small cups cost us an arm and a leg (each), they came with this generous silver platter of biscuits. I won’t lie, I ate the lion’s share of these tasty treats. You know you wouldn’t have believed me if I said otherwise!
It was quite peaceful and the staff were lovely and never made us feel like we shouldn’t be there. But, after spying on the rich resting for a while, we decided we had had our fill of luxury and navigated our way through the multitude of marble columns and antique furniture to the outside world. One day…
Soooo what’s the most luxurious fancy pants place you’ve ever trespassed in? Tell me in the comments section!
This is just a quick post to acclaim the absolute amazingness of this lunch.
For six euros, this enormous gelato was a much more cost effective indulgence than Harry’s bellinis. The brioche bun was so big that my husband had to hold it for this photo on account of my ridiculously tiny hands. Even his hands are dwarfed by this delicious monstrosity. I had two outrageously large scoops of chocolate and creme catalan gelato and I kid you not, I ate every. last. speck. of this. Hubs didn’t even get a look in. And i’m not even sorry.
I honestly couldn’t direct you back to this place if I tried, considering how hopelessly lost I got in Venice. Just look for a big crowd among the twisty lane ways. You won’t be disappointed.
Actually, if you’re good at following maps (hint: i’m not) then follow the link below to their website.
I’m going to say something that I know most of you probably won’t like. I didn’t really rate Venice. I was pretty excited to visit but I hated the feeling of being in a tourist trap. I hated the way I couldn’t seem to escape the hot summer sun beating down on me as I got more and more lost in the twisting streets. I hated getting lost every. single. time.
I am also willing to concede that first impressions are often wrong. So i’ve picked out the few things I really enjoyed while staying in Venice and thought i’d save some space in my head and my heart for a second visit. First up is the necessary pilgrimage to Harry’s Bar to have a Bellini with the ghost of Hemingway. I know that I just complained about being in a tourist trap but this one the one overpriced experience that I was willing to be a part of.
The exterior was so unassuming that I wasn’t actually sure we were there. It did seem like the kind of hidden bar that someone like Hemingway would want to hide in. Trust the Venetians to have sweet security bars on their windows though.
Harry’s Bar was opened in 1931 by bartender Giuseppe Cipriani after he was lent some money by a wealthy American, Harry Pickering after whom the bar is named. The interior of the bar reminded me of a salty seafarers haunt with the dark wood and low ceilings. Despite being surrounded by tourists, I could imagine the ghosts of rough bearded men in worn, cable knits and canvas pants, their elbows heavy on the tables as they filled up before their next voyage. That’s probably not at all how it was, but it’s how it all played out in my mind!
The signature drink at Harry’s Bar is the Bellini, made of peach nectar and prosecco and is lovely and sweet and refreshing. Apparently Cipriani named it after a painting by Giovanni Bellini because he thought the colour reminded him of a toga worn by one of the subjects. One of these will set you back more euros than you want to spend but I had budgeted for this particular expense. Also, the olives that came as part of the apperitivo were huge and briney. Delicious! Unfortunately, they didn’t replenish the olives like they do in most bars. I think this is because
1. they’re a bit tight
2. it’s actually quite a small venue and they want to move people through quickly
So we came, we drank, we soaked in the atmosphere and we left with lighter wallets. I enjoyed the experience but I can see why many would baulk at the expense. If you’re a fan of Hemingway though, it’s probably worth a visit. (Wikipedia will tell you there were a host of other famous people who frequented Harry’s but Hemingway was the only one I was really interested in. Sorry!)