Drink a Bellini at Harrys Bar in Venice, Italy

I do not have many regrets about my travels to the charming city of Venice in Northern Italy. Even missing out on a gondola ride through the canal didn’t leave me feeling all empty inside. What did leave a vacant spot in my soul was related to a famous bar and its even more famous cocktail. The bellini at Harrys Bar in Venice.

My biggest regret after leaving Venice was that I did not drink a bellini at Harry’s Bar.

We took the Valporetto, my pseudo gondola ride, to the birthplace of the bellini, Harry’s Bar in Venice. The boat ported practically at the front door, which I took as a subliminal message. Besides, my hands were slightly frozen and surely a libation would warm them up.
Doors at Harrys Bar in VeniceWindow at Harrys Bar in Venice

We entered a room full of bellini laced tables. That should have been a sign.

But, I was being my frugal self that day and at 16 euros ($22) each, it wasn’t the bargain beverage I was looking for. I did briefly question my euro-to-dollar conversion, because even when dining at the pricey Ritz Carlton drinks were cheaper than Harrys Bar in Venice. The calcuation was spot-on, unfortunately.
Interior at Harrys Bar in Venice

Instead, I ordered an eleven dollar glass of prosecco, one of the cheapest drinks on the menu, next to sparkling water.

As I waited for my drink to arrive, I nibbled on an olive antipasto and was forced to watch as the bartender lined up the bellini glasses for all the patrons who were not as economical as me. A mild form of torture.
Making Bellinis at Harrys Bar in Venice

My Italian champagne beverage was very good, but tainted by the desire for the assembly-line made drink of the house. Certainly, I could have forgone a half dozen espresso drinks to spring for a memorable experience of a lifetime.

What is your biggest travel regret? Have you had a bellini at Harry’s Bar in Venice?


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2018-12-21T17:18:59+00:00March 2nd, 2012|Categories: Europe, FOOD, Italy, TRAVEL|Tags: , , |

44 Comments

  1. John March 2, 2012 at 7:36 am - Reply

    I went to Harrys, but as a college kid on an extreme budget at the time, I didn't get anything to drink, just poked my head in. I'd love to go back one day though.

    • Annette White March 2, 2012 at 7:40 am - Reply

      I definitely want to go back for the Bellini and because I loved Venice 🙂

  2. Lauren March 2, 2012 at 7:53 am - Reply

    My only travel regret would be not buying anything at the Caesar's Palace Forum Shops in Vegas. I spent all my money before we went there 🙁

    • Annette White March 2, 2012 at 8:43 am - Reply

      I didn’t buy anything when I was there either, probably lost my money gambling 😉
      Hope you are able to go back and change that!

  3. Roy Marvelous March 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Bah. now I regret not having one as well. Hadn't even heard of Harry's Bar…

    • Annette White March 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Next time. Next time…

  4. Ayngelina March 4, 2012 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I didn't know about this place when I was in Venice a couple months ago – that is my regret!

    • Annette White March 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Just one more reason to go back 😉

  5. Poppy March 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    I hate travel regrets, I always wonder if I will ever have the chance to go back and put things right. I have a couple of friends that collect things from everywhere they go, for example one friend collects sand from beaches that they visit and keeps it in bottles, another collects hard rock cafe pins and one has a photo pose take every time he goes to  new place. I have nothing. I dont have one travel regret but given all the places I have been I wish I had a "thing" I could do or had collected from all of them!

    • Annette White March 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      I usually collect “photos”, but it would be nice to be passionate about collecting one thing from every travel location. As long as it wasn’t a knick knack that I’d have to dust!

  6. Jo March 5, 2012 at 2:58 am - Reply

    I immediately recognised Harry's Bar from the Bellini production line. I did spring the €16 and was deeply disappointed. A cocktail should be poured with care and attention – I've seen more passion go into a coffee at Starbucks and for me the experience took the edge off the taste. Fortunately, the Bloody Mary at the sister Harry's Bar in Paris redeemed the brand and I'd say your money is much better spent there!

    • Annette White March 5, 2012 at 7:42 am - Reply

      Thanks for the bloody Mary tip! Looks like I’ll be doing lots of drinking next time I’m in Venice 🙂

  7. Christy @ Technosyncratic March 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    16 euros for a drink?!  Wow, that *would* be hard to justify.  Most of our travel regrets have come from stupid mistakes rather than things we wished we had done.  =P

    • Annette White March 6, 2012 at 7:19 am - Reply

      It is a very expensive drink & I could only justify it in my mind by saying “it will be an experience to remember”…hopefully 😉

  8. jade March 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Oh, no! Now I have a regret about Venice! I never had a drink there either! We often think about what type of food we could eat or restaurants we could try if money was no object. Some experiences would be great, but I love my street food too. Moderation I guess, save a lot most days and spend more on only a few days?!

    • Annette White March 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      I agree that a street food experience could be just as memorable as a restaurant experience…all in moderation 🙂

  9. Wrabbit007 March 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I have yet to go to Venice, but it IS on my bucket list.  And now I will make sure I go to Harry's and drink a Bellini, just for you!  I am a sucker for a good Bellini anyway! 😉  Thanks for the great article! 
    (P.S. My biggest regret is going to Rome, twice, and still yet not visiting the Baths… but someday I will!)

    • Annette White March 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm - Reply

      I appreciate your willingness to drink a bellini for me 🙂

  10. Annette White March 9, 2012 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Venice was my favorite too!
    Heading over to your blog right now 🙂

  11. Kristin @ Preschool Universe March 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Hey stopping by from the Alexa blog hop.   I love your blog layout and pictures.  Sooo jealous you went to Venice.  It looks beautiful.

    • Annette White March 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Heading over to your blog right now 🙂

  12. Nancie March 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I was 19 or 20 the last time I was in Venice, and I had no idea Harry's Bar existed. When I get back to Italy I will be sure to visit. 
    I try not to have regrets when traveling. If I miss something, I put it on the list for next time 🙂

    • Annette White March 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      That’s the perfect solution…just add it to the list for next time 🙂

  13. Annette White March 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    If you do, let me know how delicious it is 🙂

  14. Dennis | Globe Tales March 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    My wife loves bellinis. She makes them at home all the time. I don't think she'd be willing to part with $22 for one though. Ouch!

    • Annette White March 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      I know…that’s really pricey! Especially when you can make one at home for a couple bucks 😉

  15. 101 Things Before You Die March 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    That's why I always make a rule that when traveling, not to abide by my usual frugal rules. I have all my life to cut coupons – how many times do you get to be in Venice! Oh well. Just means you have to go back!

    • Annette White March 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Love that rule. I am now super frugal when not traveling so I can splurge when I am 🙂

  16. dane March 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    what?  i've been to venice twice and i didn't know this was something i had to do!  now i must.  especially since i'm a bit of a lush!  way to enable annette haha

    • Annette White March 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      If nothing else, I am an enabler 😉

  17. Victor March 16, 2012 at 2:06 am - Reply

    Damned, we have taken two gondola rides, but have not visited this bar 🙁 We'll correct this next time.

    • Annette White March 16, 2012 at 7:37 am - Reply

      I’m going to take a gondola ride next time, right after my Bellini 🙂

  18. Claire March 16, 2012 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Never been to Venice, but my biggest travel regret is from my yacht trip around the Whitsundays in Australia. It was about 7 years ago and my regret is that I didn't take enough pictures… 

    • Annette White March 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Good excuse to do it again?

  19. Amanda March 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Just discovered your blog via link on someone else's (isn't that how it goes?) and since Google Reader pulls the last 10 posts I saw this one and had to pipe up! I was just thinking about some of my travel regrets the other day. Aside from the biggest being just simply not traveling ENOUGH, my biggest regret is that I lived in Paris for 6 months and never made it to Giverny to see Monet's gardens. I tell myself it's just a sign that I have to return 🙂

    • Annette White March 23, 2012 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Now that is the perfect reason to return to Paris (along with a thousand others). Not backpacking through Europe after college is probably one of my biggest regrets. I can still do that in my 40s…right?

  20. Nicholas Marks May 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    It's always those small things you miss out on when your trying to be save money while travelling that you miss. For me it's souvenirs, I am like no I shouldn't spend my money on that and then I regret it later, when I am looking for a gift to give someone. 

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      So true. I typically just take pictures of the souvenirs that I should have bought 😉

  21. Agness (@Agnesstramp) October 15, 2012 at 2:41 am - Reply

    Not to worry. You just need to put it on your bucket list, come back to Italy and have a few drinks there 🙂 or I can do it for you and send you photos 😛

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey October 15, 2012 at 7:04 am - Reply

      I can’t imagine never going back to Venice, but you can send me photos too 🙂

  22. Agnes Exenschläger February 18, 2018 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Well, it is already long time ago , maybe in the meantime you had your Bellini in Harry’s Bar, just to find out, you did not miss so much the first time. Even at home, why not mixing Prosecco with peachmark — and you got your Bellini…..
    .

    • Annette White February 21, 2018 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      I still haven’t had a bellini at Harry’s, but I love your suggestion!

  23. Frank Giannone June 5, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    I have been to Venice and I went to Harry’s Bar and paid for a Belini cocktail. It didn’t matter how much it cost, but I will tell you It was delicious. I’ve read the stories about Hemingway drinking a Belini and I can see why he did. I loves the whole experience.

    • Annette White June 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      I agree and still regret not drinking a bellini at Harry’s! Definitely need to go back!

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