FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Evening In Venice

Sep 1, 2015
2015 / August 2015

Venice marches to its own beat, so it’s hardly surprising it has its own after-work habits. In the early evening, Venetians are likely to stroll between tiny bacari, traditional old wine bars, nibbling snacks called cicchetti over glasses of wine. For house wine, ask for un’ombra. For history and authentic cicchetti, find 15th-century Antico Dolo on the far side of Rialto Bridge.

Rustic Italian cicchetti toasties

Rustic Italian cicchetti toasties © Zkruger | Dreamstime.com

The classic cafés around Piazza San Marco are good choices to meet clients and finish up the day’s discussions over a glass of wine. Caffè Florian, Italy’s oldest, charms with its opulent Neo-Baroque gold interior, silver-tray service and postcard setting with the late sun glittering off St. Mark’s gold mosaics. For a quieter atmosphere without the view, choose the posh bar at the back. Only slightly newer are Caffè Quadri, whose second-floor restaurant has a Michelin star, and Caffè Lavena, both founded in the 1700s. Please local guests by choosing a wine from the Veneto — an amarone from the Valpolicella (Bertani is a good choice) or a sparkling Prosecco from Conegliano-Valdobbiadene.

Each of these cafés claims an impressive clientele, from Casanova (he liked Florian because it admitted women) to Charles Dickens, but none is better-known than Harry’s Bar. This landmark is famous for its signature cocktail, the Bellini, and for its very, very dry martinis.

For the most authentic Venetian cuisine, look beyond the main routes. Osteria ae Botti, at the Palanca vaporetto stop, has well-spaced tables in brick-vaulted dining rooms and authentic cicchetti at the bar. Close to Rialto in a beautifully preserved building with frescoes, La Porta d’Acqua serves more traditional Italian dishes and excellent local seafood. Also near Rialto, Taverna del Campiello Remer presents seafood beautifully.

Impress guests with a table overlooking the Grand Canal in a 15th-century palazzo that’s a national monument. L’Alcova, in the magnificent Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, offers an innovative menu firmly based in Venetian ingredients. Don’t miss scampi flambéed in brandy.

Venice is not known for nightlife. Venice Jazz Club’s quartet plays jazz classics 9–11 p.m. most nights, except in January and August, at Piazza San Barnaba. The nearby nightclub Piccolo Mondo has attracted visiting celebs for half a century. Venice is known as a gay-friendly city, but there’s no standout neighborhood.

To see inside one of Europe’s most famous opera houses, book ahead or ask your concierge if there’s a performance at La Fenice, or attend a Baroque concert at one of the city’s former churches. If your business day doesn’t leave time for sightseeing, stretch it a little and have St. Mark’s Basilica almost to yourself on an after-hours tour with Walks of Italy. End your day riding vaporetto Line 1 the length of the Grand Canal to see Venice’s palaces aglow and reflecting on the water.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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