La Dolce Vita
There are lots of ways for anyone to enjoy themselves in Venice: you can sip an aperitif in one of the elegant coffee shops in Piazza San Marco, or you can listen to an opera at the Gran Teatro La Fenice, or discover the traditions tied to the Venetian bacari.
For lovers of more sophisticated things, there is nothing better than to go for a pleasant break between museums to an aristocratic and historical place such as the Caffè Florian or the Quadri in Piazza San Marco or at Harrys Bar or Harrys Dolci della Giudecca. The Caffè Florian is situated under the portico of the new Procuratie and is considered to be one of the symbols of Venice. Since it was opened in 1720, the Caffè Florian has hosted many famous guests such as Goldoni, Lord Byron, Foscolo, Goethe, Dickens, Proust, DAnnunzio and Eleonora Duse, Rousseau, Stravinsky, Modiglioni. The inner rooms are sumptuous: The Lounge of Mirrors, the Oriental Lounge, the Senate Lounge and the Liberty Lounge are nineteenth century treasures that can be admired while sipping some good coffee and tasting some dainty cakes. During the good season you can also relax sitting outside, in the center of Piazza San Marco, listening to the music played by the Caffès private orchestra.
Another historical bar is Harrys Bar, which was opened by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1931 in a small warehouse near San Marco that soon became one of the most famous restaurants in the world. Many artists and writers such as Hemingway and politicians and monarchs have appreciated Ciprianis cooking, all of whom then contributed to the bars legend. Arrigo Cipriani, the inventor of the Bellini (a cocktail made from white wine and peach juice) made Harrys famous across the ocean too, and reached New York.
Lovers of the opera and ballet can go to shows at the Gran Teatro la Fenice, that was recently rebuilt as it was and where it was after a dreadful fire.
If you want a simpler kind of entertainment in a more informal location, we recommend you go on a tour of the baccari: these typical Venetian pubs with wooden tables and benches are full of cicchetti. Two of the most characteristic are Do Spade and il Volto where you can drink a famous ombra of wine, and drink in the truly authentic atmosphere.
If you want a place that is full of life, we advise you to go to the Campo Santa Margherita area that is the university and artists area, and also the Ghetto, especially the nearby Fondamenta della Misericordia where there are ethnic restaurants, bars and historical night clubs such as Paradiso Perduto.
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