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Posted by
1056 posts

Hazel, my hubby and I were in Venice last fall and stopped at Harry's to have a Bellini just for the sake of the experience. It's hugely overpriced, and the Bellini came in a bottle, not mixed up fresh. We saw the same bottled Bellinis in other stores for much less. That said, it is fun to sit at an umbrella table outside and watch the tourists while sipping the drink, which is what the whole experience is fun for.

Posted by
143 posts

I thought the article was interesting. As to whether or not Harry's Bar is worth it or not... well, that's a matter of taste. It defintely falls into the category of "expensive and touristy things to do in Venice that are unique to Venice" - things like a gondola ride or drink at one of the cafes on Piazza San Marco where you have to remember that you are really paying for the ambience and experience. For some people, a trip to Venice just isn't the same without a 15 euro bellini at Harry's. In my case, my splurge was an expensive cappuchino while listening to the orchestra at Cafe Florian. I wouldn't exactly call any of those things a tourist trap, but just be aware that they are pricey to decide whether or not the ambience and uniqueness of the experience is worth the cost.

Posted by
705 posts

I was in Venice last year and went to Harrys for a Bellini. For me it was something I had wanted to do due to the history associated with it. It was ridiculously expensive, pre mixed from a bottle and the noise from the packed bar kind of took the magic away. However I'm glad I did it. I also had a glass of wine at sunset at Cafe Florian listening to the 4 piece band and that's an experience I would recommend. Just wonderful. Also expensive and you pay a cover charge for the band but worth it. Both these experiences are part of the charm and romance of Venice for me and I'm glad I did them.

Posted by
64 posts

Hazel,
I was in Venice in Sept/Oct 2006. Yes the Bellini was expensive, but I loved the experience (mine was not pre-mixed). My husband had a Martini. Just be aware that they have a dress code. Absolutely no shorts. We saw several groups of Americans turned away because the men were in shorts.

Posted by
261 posts

I heard on NPR today the due to the euro/dollar exchange rates, Harry's bar would give Americans a 20% discount if you show your American Passport.

Posted by
3313 posts

Hemingway, on another topic, wrote, "You have to have it, the afiocion."

If Hemingway's life is meaningful to you than a stop at Harry's Bar is something of a pilgrimage. Dress appropriately, by the way, slacks and a collared shirt at a minimum.

They will not serve Bellinis from a bottle, by the way.

Posted by
32264 posts

I was also in Venice in Sept./Oct. 2006 and decided to stop at Harry's Bar to try a Bellini (it was pouring rain, so it seemed like a good time). I quite liked the drink (had to try two, just to be sure!).

I sat at the end of the Bar and "chatted" with the girl at the Cash register, and enjoyed just "people watching". There was quite a variety in the Bar that afternoon!

Regarding preparation of the Bellini, I believe I asked about that. Each one that I had was mixed "fresh", although the "base ingredients" are apparently prepared as a "mix" each morning.

While the drinks were a bit pricey, I felt that having a Bellini at Harry's Bar was one thing I definitely wanted to experience in Venice, so tolerated the cost.

However, I refused to pay Eu$7.00 for a cup of Coffee at Cafe Florian! That experience didn't carry the same weight for me as having a Bellini.

Cheers!

Posted by
239 posts

Regarding Margaret's comment: they said it's not necessary to show a passport; they can tell who we are! :)

Posted by
23 posts

My husband and I went to Harry's appox. 7 years ago and had a Coke in the little bottles ($7 or so). Yes expensive, but a small price to pay for the memories that we gained. We went in the afternoon when there were few people and the waiter was kind enough to take a picture of us with the Bar in the background, very colorful. I now have it as my screen saver on my computer. My daughter and I are going in June and will be repeating the experience.

Posted by
59 posts

My husband took a picture of the receipt when we finished our Bellini's at Harry's Bar in Venice last year! He was more stunned by the price of Jack Daniels! It is expensive- for 2 bellinis it was about 35 euro... but it's definitely worth the experience.

BTW- they are NOT in bottles! And it was the best bellini I had on our trip. :)

Posted by
632 posts

I vote with isailtheseas...looks like those of us in the Bay area are already accustomed to paying dearly for drinks...by all means go to Harry's I took the family there for drinks after dinner....the girls had Bellinis, the boys had Martinis....all in all it was very enjoyable (and very expensive...8 drinks about $150)...speaking of high priced drinks, I finally made it to Herb Caen's favority bar in London (at Dukes Hotel) where I paid $45 back in 2006 for a very fine Martini. The best part of Dukes bar is the clientel...you'll meet some very interesting people there.

Posted by
15 posts

We looked at the prices at Harry's Bar when we were in Venice last week. 15 euro for a Bellini. 8 euro for a Coke or water.