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What Not to Do in Venice

by Lee Marshall

Don't…
Eat at Harry's Bar

Opened in 1931 as a cocktail bar catering to the tastes of rich Americans, Harry's Bar has expanded over the years to become a full-on global brand. There's no denying that the mother ship, in a snug but viewless Grand Canal palazzo not far from St. Mark's, has a certain dolce vita charm. But these days, it's more restaurant than bar, and it is impossible to eat here for less than $100 a head—expect mediocre versions of standard Italian classics like spaghetti al pesto. If you must go, confine yourself to the bar, where a small Bellini—invented here, and admittedly very pleasant—will set you back $20, plus a 15-percent service charge (a rip-off in a country where a 5 percent tip is considered generous).

Instead…
Go where the Venetians go

The Taverna del Campiello Remer (pictured), a charming drinking hole with exposed brick walls in a little square right on the Grand Canal, is the province of locals and very determined visitors (Campiello del Remer, Cannaregio; 39-41-522-8789). During happy hour (5:30 to 7:30 pm), all drinks are just under $6. At mealtimes, it serves a reasonably priced, mostly Venetian menu of pasta and fish dishes. As for how to get there…well, we don't want to ruin the place by revealing GPS coordinates, but if you walk toward the train station from Campo San Bartolomeo (the square on the northern side of the Rialto Bridge) and take a left down a narrow alley toward the Grand Canal after two minutes, you should hit the spot.

Picture courtesy of Fausto Maroder

Next: See through the glass scam >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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