Love Prosecco? So do we. It’s the tipple of choice for any celebration here at Citalia HQ, and is usually the first drink we treat ourselves to when we touch down in Italy. We’re not alone, either – Prosecco has now overtaken champagne as the UK’s favourite fizz. It has quite a history, having been enjoyed as far back as Roman times, when it was said to have been a favourite among dignitaries. Then called Pucino, the first mention of its more familiar name is recorded in the mid-18th century. Production techniques have been improved and refined over time, leading to the high-quality fizz we know today.
Proper Prosecco is produced in the vineyards of Veneto, up in the north-east of Italy – so we’ve rounded up our favourite bars in the region’s capital, Venice, to have a glass or two in. Can’t make it to Venice just yet? Don’t worry – we’ve also popped a couple of our favourite Prosecco-based cocktail recipes below to enjoy at home.
Best bars in Venice to drink Prosecco in
Harry’s Bar, Calle Vallaresso 1323, San Marco
Harry’s Bar is one of the most famous watering holes in the world, having played host to everyone from Truman Capote to Ernest Hemingway. Its founder, Giuseppe Cipriani, created a delicious white peach and Prosecco cocktail here back in the Thirties – a decade later, he gave it a name: the Bellini.
Enoteca Al Prosecco, Campo S. Giacomo dell’Orio 1503
Biodynamic wines, traditional cicchetti (Venetian-style tapas) and lots of extra-dry Prosecco are on the menu at this cosy wine bar in the San Polo neighbourhood.
Skyline Bar, Hilton Molino Stucky, Giudecca 810
You’ll get some of the best views in Venice from this contemporary-cool rooftop bar. It’s over on Giudecca island, so the vistas look back across the Giudecca canal to St. Mark’s Square and its illuminated campanile.
Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, Campo Santa Sofia 4198/99
Spy terracotta rooftops and bell towers from the rooftop bar of the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel. After you’ve sunk your Prosecco, move to the hotel’s fantastic L’Alcova restaurant, with its Grand Canal-view terrace.
Caffé Centrale, Piscina Frezzaria 1659/B, San Marco
Caffé Centrale might be set in a 16th-century palazzo, but inside it’s as modern as they come – lots of sleek furniture and atmospheric coloured lighting. There’s a chic bar/lounge area, plus tables if you fancy dinner – book in advance if you want to nab one on the teeny canal-side terrace.
Hotel Danieli, Castello 4196
The Prosecco doesn’t come cheap, but the views are some of the best you’ll find in Venice. Watch gondolas glide back and forth as the sun sets over the lagoon from the terrace bar of this legendary hotel.
Caffé Florian, St. Mark’s Square
For old-school Venice glamour, you can’t beat Caffé Florian. Born in 1720, it’s the oldest café in Venice, with a prime position on St. Mark’s Square. Enjoy your drink outside for people-watching and live music (there’s an extra charge for al fresco drinking), or indoors to marvel at the lavish neo-Baroque decoration.
Recipes to try
The Hugo (serves 2)
Sprig of organic mint leaves
1-2 tsp elderflower syrup
Juice of 2 limes
150ml sparkling water
Crush or muddle a few mint leaves in a glass. Add your elderflower syrup, then the lime juice, Prosecco and sparkling water. Stir well, then add a few more mint leaves. Add ice and a few slices of lime if you like.
Sgroppino (serves 2)
50ml citrus vodka
4 tbsp lemon sorbet
Chopped fresh mint
Pour the Prosecco into a champagne flute. Place the citrus vodka, lemon sorbet and a handful of ice into a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into your champagne flute and garnish with the chopped mint.