Venice to Valtellina

BY Katie Kelly Bell | June 14, 2018 | Feature Features National

Here is your must-see and drink itinerary through these two Italian towns.
Grapes at Nino Negri are harvested by helicopter because of the precipitously steep location.


Venice is legendary for its canals, but it also deserves credit as the birthplace of one of the world’s treasured cocktails: the Bellini. We asked Francesca Nonino, the third generation of Italy’s artisanal award-winning Grappa Nonino (which is produced outside of Venice), to share her top spots for the perfect Venetian mix of cocktail tradition and innovation.

STOP 1 The Gritti Palace hotel bar delivers the ultimate Venetian drinking experience with its muraled ceilings, marble floors, gold-leaf accents, recessed booths and white-clad waiters. “If you have time for only one cocktail, have it here,” Nonino says. She loves the grappa-inspired Friuli Bellini, a deluxe concoction of Nonino Chardonnay Barriques Grappa and fresh white peach puree.

STOP 2 Any mention of cocktails in Venice would be remiss without including the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, which was founded by the inventor of the Bellini, Giuseppe Cipriani. The Cipri-Ami Martini may be its second-best claim to fame, with gin, mashed lime, wild fennel, fresh pear, star anise, Peychaud’s and cane sugar.

STOP 3 At Hotel Londra Palace’s Londrabar, head bartender Marino Lucchetti “is well-known for serving amazing traditional or with-a-twist cocktails from exclusively seasonal ingredients,” Nonino says. The Bellini Londrabar, with white peaches, is only prepared May to September, but he serves two riffs on the cocktail: the Rossini with strawberries or the Romantic Passion with passion fruit.

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