Entwined with Venice’s history, the Spritz has become a staple of Venetian life. The Spritz is comprised of white wine or Prosecco, a liqueur such as Campari or Aperol and sparkling mineral water over ice, commonly completed with a large green olive. Originating in Venice whilst it was under the Austrian Empire, this distinctive orange drink is now an unmistakable part of Venice’s bar culture.
So where is the best place to soak up the atmosphere whilst sipping on this Venetian classic? After lectures the Venetian students of Ca’ Foscari head to Campo San Margherita, which by 5 o’clock is buzzing. On the south corner of the square you can find Margeret Duchamp, a small and friendly bar serving other cocktails along with the classic Spritz. Other bars are dotted about the square, in between restaurants and shops selling student books.
Head closer to San Marco and you will find you are fighting for space at the bar with tourists, rather than local students and Venetians. However, the draw of the luxurious watering holes of Venice can be too much to resist. If making a visit to the famous Harry’s Bar you really should treat yourself to a Bellini, a snip at fifteen euros. However, this is still a pretty special place to sample a Spritz.
If you don’t want to pay a premium for your cocktail check out a couple of bars in Canneregio; the live music and friendly staff at Al Parlamento often draws a great crowd. Bar Sarpi, a tiny bar along Strada Nova, is another great place to pick up a Spritz. Closer to San Marco you can admire the quirky ceiling decoration of Bacaro Jazz whilst sipping on a Spritz.
Why not combine this Venetian classic with a spot of reading at one of Venice’s most beautiful libraries? The Querini Stampalia is home to an interesting collection of literature, a small gift shop and museum, as well as a little, but perfectly formed cafe and restaurant. The only library in Venice to open at weekends, pick up a Spritz one Saturday afternoon.
A visit to Venice isn’t complete unless you’ve tried this Venetian staple, so get yourself down to a local bar and try it for yourself!