Harry's Bar, Venice
Ernest Hemingway is one of my favourite American authors, but sometimes I think I'm even more fascinated with the man than I am with his books. Perhaps it's part of the reason why I had a mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio and a daiquiri at La Floridita in Havana. It's also why I stopped by Hemingway's favourite cafes in Paris and his favourite cerveceria in Madrid, and of course I was looking forward to having a bellini at Harry's Bar, Papa Hemingway's favourite watering hole in Venice - I doubt very much prices were the same back in his days, though! We walked into the dark little bar, and it seemed quite cosy and charming, but it didn't look quite the same after looking at the menu: the home of the bellini charges a whopping 15 Euros for its trademark drink! I just didn't think it was worth it so we smiled to the barman, said "grazie mille", and made a quick exit!
Fun Alternatives: We ended up having a Bellini on the nearby Campo Santo Stefano. The atmosphere was great and we only paid 5 Euros for our drink, which is made of prosecco (sparkling white wine) and peach puree. Of course, I can't compare it with the "real deal" at Harry's Bar, but I liked my cocktail very much and can't think how paying an extra 10 Euros could have made it better :op
Harry's Bar is probably the most famous named bar in the world - the one in Venice especially due to its association with Ernest Hemingway.
This place is ok, but nothing to write home about. Expensive drinks in what could be described as another American bar overseas (so said my friends from Detroit). Personally, it would be better to find a local bar where the locals go.
Unique Suggestions: If you do go here you have to try the Bellini (cocktail) as that's what every other tourist does and don't get upset if a waiter shouts at you - it's nothing personal or so I am assured.
Fun Alternatives: Cantina do Mori is a basic easy going place that is at the opposite end of the scale from Harry's but full of locals and very friendly hosts.
My father-in-law insisted that my husband and I must visit Harry's Bar while we were in Venice. Having heard the name I knew (sorta) what he was talking about but when he made such a fuss about it, I figured he must know something that we didn't and so we decided that we must see it for ourselves. We found the bar very easily and went inside. There were only a few other people inside so we figured it was because it was only early evening. We looked at the menu and ordered a belini and a hot chocolate. We sat back and relaxed. We did notice 4 other couples coming in during our stay, but they would only stay a few minutes before they got up and left (without ordering anything). We didn't put 2 and 2 together until we got our bill. My small belini and my hubbys hot chocolate cost us 26 euros! We thought it was a joke as we hadn't really looked at the prices on the menu, just the drinks. Boy, were we shocked! So just be aware that Harry's charges a premium just because it is Harry's and can.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go to Harry's just be prepared for the bill. If you just want to say you have been there, stand outside and get your picture by the door. If you want to go inside and have a driink, remember you can stay as long as you like. There are no picture windows to look out, though, so you don't even have the luxury of people watching while sipping your expensive drinks. Just be warned.
Yes, we had a bellini at Harry's, sometimes I guess I am just a sucker to be able to say say, " I have done that". I wouldn't do it again and wish that I had not the first time. Paying 14 euros for 3-4 0z. of champagne and peach juice is ridiculous. The bellini itself is tasty but there is nothing else special about Harry's.
Fun Alternatives: Go to another restaurant anf get one much cheaper or better still by a bottle at most groceries or liquor stores and go to Lido beach for a nude swim after 10: 00 p.m. and have a bottle of bellini's. After that you can say you did something very enjoyable and is much more memorable than Harry's bar. "I've done that".
I can get a much better Peach Bellini in countless places in the US.
I admit, I had a gut feeling that this would be a silly, overrated activity but I wanted to do it anyhoo.
Take my advice, don't bother.
Unique Suggestions: If you must, go during off hours so you don't have to wait for a table and order a cheap drink. Nurse it for 15 minutes and call it a day. :)
Fun Alternatives: Grab yourself a bottle of wine and some cheese and go have a picnic in one of the piazza instead. MUCH better.
Harry's Bar...what a joke. First, if you must go, don't wear shorts (men). You'll be asked to leave. Second, if you've been told you must have a Bellini, be prepared for approx. $11.00 USD each for about a 6 oz drink and you'll be elbow to elbow with a bunch of other tourists. The building has no view and no atmosphere. Skip it!
Harrys Bar, It where Hemmingway used to hang out and listed in one of those college aged guide books so we thought it would be cool, Much to our suprise it was chock full of what apeared to be upper crust Brittish elders, we turned around immediatly. This picture is of Hemmingway recouperating in Milan.
Having been a customer of Harry's Bar for over 40 years, I have to agree with the decline in the experience at Harry's. I first visited Harry's in 1968 as a young officer in the army with my new wife. The whole experience was fantastic. The philosophy of G. Cippriani was good service, good value, good experience. Greed has overtaken the third generation and is shows. This is just a reflection of the times. Have a drink to link yourself with its history and Hemmingway. Find your own experience and memories somewhere else. How Sad!
Unique Suggestions: See, drink, and leave, with a smile on your face.
Avoid Harry's Bar. Go here only if you are homesick for other Americans. Always crowded. You can order the peach concoction at home.
To get there: From St Mark's Square for Accademia and take 1st left down Calle Valleressa. Harry's Bar is last on the left.
Unique Suggestions: Go early. It can get extremely crowded.
Fun Alternatives: Have a drink atop Hotel Daneli.
Harry's Bar -- You might think that you absolutely need to go to Harry's to have a bellini. Hemmingway or no Hemmingway, it isn't worth it! You pay 12.75 Euro for about six ounces of watered down peach juice and some fizzy liquid (supposedly champagne). Put your money back into your wallet and just walk away.
Unique Suggestions: Go into it knowing that it is expensive and that the service is marginal. Some people have to go to all the most famous places, and Harry's is certainly famous.
Fun Alternatives: You can buy a bottle of this stuff just about anywhere for 6-7 Euro. If you have to have some, take a bottle back to your hotel room ... at least you'll have a drain to pour the rest down.
Harry's Bar is supposedly the most popular bar in Venice. Don't ask me why!
Overr the years it has been the favorite drinking spot for the likes of Hemingway and other celebrities. Their famous Bellini is delicious, but they ask a prohibitive price for it and don't even offer one single peanut, I had to ask! While other Italian bars are well known for their aperitives and a great choice of hors-d'oeuvres. The place has no ambiance, nothing! I guess it is easily recognized that I was very disappointed!
Obviously this is my very own opinion.
As a Venetian , really, I tell you Not to go inside Harry's Bar unless you understand before what this place means : Harry's Bar is part of the City's history , the place has an incredible Charme and atmosphere , Mr Claudio Ponzio the Chief Barman is one of Italy's best , the Food is quintessentially venetian and made with products from the area ( lagoon ) ,try “castraure” in springtime ,if you're are lucky to visit in the right time the bar , before the dinner time , you'll see a perfect orchestra of waiters preparing the room under the attentive eye of Mr.Cipriani , and in some periods of the year , Cinema Festival ,Biennale's Art Events , you'll will rub your shoulders with the World's JetSet .The prices are absolutely fair considering the quality , the service and the history of the place , of course a fast food is a cheaper and a greasier option . This is my first review on Virtual Tourist and I think it's right to clarify many misunderstandings about this Jewel . Kindly yours Giuseppe Boscaro
Unique Suggestions: Sit , Drink & Enjoy
Fun Alternatives: Fixed Menu places with nice pictures of the food hanging outside , Fast Food chains