The complete history of the legendary Venice landmark where Hemingway, Welles, and others were regulars.
A meeting place for writers, artists, models, and the stars of stage, screen, and corporate boardrooms, a luxurious restaurant whose fabulous concoctions and timeless decor have often been imitated but never matched, Harry’s Bar in Venice has remained one of the world’s most renowned watering holes for more than 60 years. Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Sinclair Lewis, and other luminaries have tasted its famous cocktails and enjoyed the bar’s original inventions, such as the "carpaccio" appetizer and the now-ubiquitous bellini. Filled with engaging wit and lighthearted charm, Arrigo Cipriani’s history of Harry’s Bar is a delightful listen - and the next best thing to a table at Harry’s Bar itself.
Harry’s Bar’s is a landmark in Venice, Italy, an establishment that’s been patronized by Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, and Woody Allen and the world-famous birthplace of the Bellini cocktail. Arrigio Cipriani’s, the bar’s current proprietor, tells its long, colorful history.
The book includes recollections from Cipriani’s father, Giuseppe, the bar’s original owner. Among the many colorful stories in this audiobook is one about Harry Pickering, an American student with a drinking problem, who leant Giuseppe 30,000 lira to start the bar and gave the places its name.
Bryan Bendle relates this story of a landmark with a tone that smartly balances reverence with wit.
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Lack of depth and engagement
I kept feeling like there was a good story here, but it kept being overshadowed by the lackluster relating of events and people.
I wanted to engage in the story, but I just couldn't. There was a lack of depth and engagement in the telling of these anecdotes about the people in the bar. I also would have totally cut the last section involving opening the new locations and dealing with annoying business people.
This wasn't a horrible book by any means, but it wasn't to my tastes at all. I like my memoirs full of wit, sarcasm, and depth. I can see this book being enjoyable to a certain section of people, but I wasn't one of them. I recommend reading reviews from Goodreads or Amazon and taking a sample listen here before grabbing it.