Last week I’ve been to Venice for the Biennale. I am not romantic at all but the city has a surreal touch which is enchanting and fascinating at the same time. And if you manage to avoid being out on the streets between 9 in the morning and 9 in the evening you really start liking this Italian maze.
Hopping into Harry’s Bar was kind of a positive disappointment, since it’s so different from all the Cipriani places you find across the globe (did I mention that I am a big fan of Cipriani and that don’t miss out visiting their places when in a city that has one?). The one in Venice so is special: it’s the first, the original version, unfiltered, classic, old school. One expects more but when you let yourself indulge in that journey to the past you’ll start to love it. If you try the classics you will see the difference in the ingredients used, you will notice the charm and professionalism of the staff (and their elegant way of sorting the tourist visitors out that happen to enter without knowing what they are visiting (“we heard American accents so we dropped by to see what this saloon is all about”). However, Venice didn’t turn out to be the culinary heaven I expected, mainly because even the ‘secret tips’. The Louis Vuitton guide content, the concierge’s recommendations, all happen to be run by Venetians and they adapt to the fact that the average visitor stays two nights and has not the highest expectations nor a knowledge of local food (even got soft-cooked penne in one of the top Italian restaurants, and when I sent them back mentioning they’re not al dente, received the response: yes, because they’re ‘home made’. So much for Venice.