Venice’s Castello district, one of the most untouched parts of the city, is home to a great variety of authentic bars that invite visitors to mingle with locals and experience true Venetian culture first-hand. Scroll on to read our guide to the district’s most outstanding bars.
Alla Rampa, located on the lively Via Garibaldi, Venice’s widest street, was originally a trattoria that is, however, most popular with locals as a traditional bacaro. A Venetian bacaro, which translates into ‘house of Bacchus‘, the Roman God of wine, is a wine bar that often serves a variety of small dishes and snacks. Traditionally, there are no seats in a bacaro, however, Alla Rampa does have a number of seats to offer if the bar is not too packed. Located on the ground floor of a beautiful 17th century palazzo, Alla Rampa is prone to flooding during the city’s regular Acqua Alta. This doesn’t deter locals though, who just enjoy their spritz wearing wellies.
Vincent Bar leads you away from the main hustle and bustle of the touristy parts of Venice. It makes you step away from the busy everyday life of the city and invites visitors into the peace and quiet of an intimate and hidden bar. Due to its secretive location, Vincent Bar is mostly frequented by locals, who appreciate the bar’s first-class spritz, cold beers and beautiful outdoor terrace. This bar, right on the seafront, is a great place to relax in the sun after a busy day of sightseeing.
La Mascareta is a traditional tavern and enoteca in Venice’s Castello district. Enoteca, which literally means wine repository, are traditional wine bars that serve locally produced wines. La Mascareta is no exception at that. The bar serves an outstanding selection of hundreds of wines, which are all served with tasty Italian delicacies, such as cheese platters, seafood snacks, cold meats and crostini. Owner Mauro Lorenzon personally handpicks all his wines, including a number of rare vintages, and stores them in his own wine cellar. La Mascareta is the perfect place for wine connoisseurs from all over the world.
L’Olandese Volante, literally translated into ‘the flying Dutchman’, is a welcoming bar in the Castello district. The bar is full of a diverse range of people from all walks of life and has a hint of a British pub, with its friendly environment with a great selection of draft beers. L’Olandese Volante also has a charming outdoor terrace that invites its guests to enjoy a relaxing drink, day or night.
Serra Dei Giardini is a bar in a restored greenhouse in the Giardini of Venice. During the day, the greenhouse hosts yoga classes and workshops in a meditative space. However, at night time, the venue invites guests to enjoy a selection of high-quality wines and cheese from all over the world. There are also special music events in this extraordinary venue that impresses visitors with a minimally decorated interior and great views through the big glass windows.
The IniShark Irish Pub, located right in the heart of Venice, invites its guests to step into a completely different world. Nowhere else in Venice will you find the authentic feel of a typically Irish pub that has not yet succumbed to adapting to the local bar landscape. IniShark is a great place to get together with friends and enjoy a pint of high-quality Guinness or keep up-to-date with the latest sporting events from all over the world. IniShark also features fantastic live music events on a regular basis.
Strani, located on Via Garibaldi, is a favorite among Venice’s locals and busy at all hours of the day and night. Strani has a large indoor seating area with a fantastic bar and some charming outdoor seating, which allows you to observe the typical everyday life of Venetians on Via Garibaldi. The staff at Strani are always fun and friendly, no matter whether you are a local or tourist, and guests are guaranteed first-class service. Strani also features outstanding special events, such as jazz evenings or an evening dedicated to French music.
Osteria A La Scuela, on Salizada De Le Gate, is an intimate neighborhood osteria (an Italian place serving simple foods and wine), where visitors are invited into an authentic and comfortable atmosphere. It is one of the last places in Venice where guests can still enjoy a glass of the house wine for one Euro, which is outstanding in the city’s culinary landscape today. There is an interesting mix of locals, who are mostly regulars from the surrounding neighborhoods, and tourists, who happen to stumble across this hidden gem. Osteria A La Scuela also invites guests to enjoy great live music on Saturday evenings.
Caffee Florian is a traditional coffeehouse that was established in the early 18th century and has now been turned into a modern place for coffee, cocktails and snacks. Caffee Florian has built an impeccable reputation over the years and is popular with locals. Stop by anytime, whether it is for a snack in the afternoon or a casual drink in the evening to relax in a friendly atmosphere.
Bacaro Risorto, just a footbridge from San Marco at the beginning of the Castello district, is a fantastic small bar hidden in one of the district’s side streets. Space in the bar is limited and it is always busy, however, there is almost always enough room to squeeze in one or two more customers. Bacaro Risorto offers high-quality Italian and other European wines that come side-by-side with culinary delights, such as crostini heaped with sardines or melon with prosciutto.