"There were hours at Harry's when it filled with the people that you knew, with the same rushing regularity as the tide coming in at Mont St. Michel. Except, the colonel thought, the hours for the tides change each day with the moon and the hours at Harry's are as the Greenwich Meridian, or the standard meter in Paris or the good opinion the French military hold of themselves"
Across the River and into the Trees - Ernest Hemingway
Famous bar in Venice, Italy famously frequented by expats and celebrities and immortalized by Ernest Hemingway both in a short story entitled In Harry's Bar in Venice and a full page in his novel Across the River and into the Trees . Cradle of the Bellini and Carpaccio.
Harry's Bar, as so many eating and drinking establishments that have become legendary, has been since it's inception the embodiment of one man's idea of what a bar should be. Giuseppe Cipriani was that man for Harry's Bar, but not its namesake. The legend goes that a young Bostonian expat by the name of Harry Pickering was a regular at the Hotel Europa bar that Giuseppe tended. When Harry stopped frequenting the bar Giuseppe asked him what was happening and Harry explained that his parents had cut him off for being a drunkard and a philanderer and he was in a word, broke. Even though it strains credulity, Giuseppe loaned Harry 10,000 lire (about US$5,000 at the time) to get himself back on his feet. Harry, of course, disappears. For two years nobody sees hide nor hair of him until finally one day he walks into the bar at the Hotel Europa and hands Giuseppe the 10,000 lire owed. Then he lays down an additional 40,000 lire and says to Giuseppe, "We'll use this to open a bar, we'll call it Harry's Bar", which they did in 1931. The bar is small, though it has added an upstairs dining room, but it does have an incredible view of the Grand Canal.
A bar whose founding is as good a bar story as any you will hear there, was bound to be popular with writers and other celebrities. Hemingway is the most celebrated regular (He had his own table just as he later had his own stool at El Floridita in Havana) but others have been as well: Orson Wells, Truman Capote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlie Chaplin, Peggy Guggenheim,Aristotle Onassis, Queen Elizabeth II, the Aga Khan Woody Allen, etc.
The bar, and now restaurant as well, is also famous for a number of Giuseppe's culinary inventions:
There are many Harry's Bars around the world, but they are not affiliated with the original in Venice. Arrigo Cipriani, Giuseppe's son born one year after the bar opened and named after the bar, now runs the family's businesses which include Harry Cipriani's on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Downtown Cipriani in SOHO and The Rainbow Room also in NY as well as Harry's Dolci in Venice and an inn, bar and restaurant called Locanda Cipriani on the island of Torcello.
To hear a rare recording of Hemingway reading In Harry's Bar in Venice go here http://archive.salon.com/audio/fiction/2001/02/23/hemingway/index.html
The Harry's Bar Cookbook http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1857825357/202-0962576-7640620, 9/4/2004
Harry's Bar of Venice -- a modern Italian landmark, http://www.cnn.com/2000/FOOD/news/10/13/harrys.bar/#1, 9/6/2004