When I visit, it is often raining or at least shrouded in mist. I avoid the crowds that summer attracts, preferring late fall or early spring, when the winding walkways along the storied canals are often deserted. Sunny days send golden leaves skittering across campos and into the murky water that pass for streets. Foggy days muffle footsteps and give the city a ghostly, otherworldly feel.
Venice is a city both enigmatic and sedate. There is inexplicable magic in its sometimes-malodorous canals, artful decay in its ancient architecture, and an illogical beauty in its baffling geography. Knowing the tenuous grasp it has on existence as the sea slowly but inexorably works to reclaim it makes Venice all the more precious to those who love it.
In my world, there is no better or more romantic place to share a cocktail than in this exquisitely idiosyncratic city. When visiting Venice, during the day you can wander endlessly, stopping at galleries, museums, antique stores, or simply taking in all that the city sets before you. At least one time you should make the pilgrimage to Harry’s Bar and order a Bellini, almost a requirement given its iconic status among cocktails. Fresh peach puree, a good Italian Prosecco and a hint of magic combine to create this divine elixir.
You don’t have to go to Harry’s to savor a Bellini in Venice. Virtually any bar or trattoria in the city will happily make you their own version. Each one slightly different. Each one magnificent.
And if a trip to Venice isn’t in your future, you can fix yourself a Bellini – or two or three – and watch one of these classic movies that feature Venice as a star player: Don’t Look Now, Death in Venice, The Wings of the Dove, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Dangerous Beauty, or A Little Romance.