Harry's Bar: The Life & Times of the Legendary Venice Landmark

Arrigo Cipriani, Author Arcade Publishing $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-55970-259-1
At the height of its fame, before and just after WWII, Harry's Bar in Venice was one of the most popular watering places in Europe. There was a mystique about it--compounded of excellent food and drink, a comfortable atmosphere and the warmth of its host, Giuseppe Cipriani--that attracted a clientele of international celebrities. His son, Arrigo, who took over from his father and is also a novelist (Heloise and Bellinis), chats about its history, the specialties of the house and some of its more eccentric or famous clientele. Hemingway, Capote, Orson Welles, Barbara Hutton, Valentina, the Aga Khan and various European royals make brief and not memorable appearances here, as do other regulars. But much of this memoir focuses on the financial deals and problems of other less famous Cipriani hostelries in Giudecca, Torcello and New York City. The author is at his best when he ruminates about the preferred shape of a table, the difference between snobbery and genuine luxury and the fad for ""light"" cuisine. But, though often entertaining, this will burden no one with its depth or style or revelations, and it suffers by comparison with more notably literary innkeepers' memoirs. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 188 pages - 978-1-61145-320-1
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