Harry's Bar

Historic Building in Venice

Harry’s Bar Canal Grande Venezia
CC BY-SA 2.5 / Wolfgang Moroder

On May 13, 1931, Giuseppe Cipriani Senior opened Harry’s Bar in Venice. Over the years, Harry’s Bar became the place where writers, painters, artists, aristocrats, kings and queens would meet.

Harry’s Bar has long been frequented by famous people, and it was a favourite of Ernest Hemingway.[1] Other notable customers have included Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini, inventor Guglielmo Marconi, Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Richard Burton, Truman Capote, Orson Welles, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Princess Aspasia of Greece, Aristotle Onassis, Barbara Hutton, Peggy Guggenheim, Tareq Salahi, George Clooney, the Mundys, Iryna Petrenko, Olga Ivanchuk, Paul Ohlhaut, and Woody Allen.

The Beginning of Harry’s Bar

It was the year 1928, the Veronese Giuseppe Cipriani was employed as a barman in Venice, at the Hotel Europa and Britannia. Among his most loyal customers, Harry Pickering, scion of a wealthy Boston family: he was spending some time in Venice with his aunt. It was probably a dispute with her that deprived him of all the money, including that needed to pay the hotel and return home.
Mr. Giuseppe, understanding the difficult situation of the boy, decided to help by lending him 10.000 lire (then about $500 US [$7,839 in 2015 dollars]). He showed most unusual confidence, since at the time this was a considerable amount of money, especially for the finances of a barman. His trust was repaid a couple of years later, when Harry returned and gave him back the entire sum, adding to it 30.000 lire out of gratitude. Blessed money, used by Mr.Cipriani to realize his dream.


The Harry's Bar appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Venice!

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Visiting Harry's Bar

Address: Harry's Bar Cipriani, Calle Vallaresso, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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