Refreshing and drinkable, the Spritz - or as we call it in Veneto "the spriss" is now considered the King of cocktails in Northern Italy and beyond: with its delicate taste and moderate alcohol content it is suitable at any time, during a meal, after a long day of work and also on festive evenings with friends.
But where does this sparkling aperitif originate from?
The first theory traces the merits back to the Venetian workers, more precisely to the workers of the Venice Arsenal. We are in 1500, Venice, called the Serenissima, was a very large and powerful state at the time. Its dominions extended over several islands and coastal strips and its economy was more prosperous than ever. In response to the threatening expansion of Milan, Venice decides to begin expansion inland. During that period, much of the local economy was supported by the shipping industry. The shipyard complex of the Arsenal of Venice was therefore held in particular consideration. The workers who worked there could boast preferential treatment from the Serenissima, which recognized their full value. One of these "concessions" they could enjoy consisted of a somewhat special "snack": biscuits and a glass of wine diluted with fresh well water. Here was born the primordial example of spritz. It is nice to imagine how Andrea Palladio, sitting in the shade of a construction site he designed, enjoyed a well-deserved break sipping a good glass of spritz to regenerate his strength and refresh his mind.
However, there is another version about the birth of the Spritz. A second version, probably more credible, also given the origin of the name itself. We are still in Venice, but at the beginning of the 19th century, when the Serenissima was in slow decline and ended up surrendering to the Habsburg invaders. Austrian soldiers used to enjoy a good glass of wine in their taverns. When they arrived in Veneto, they wanted to continue their traditions, but they clashed with the particularly strong white wines of the area. Since the alcohol content was too high for their palates, they asked the innkeepers to sprinkle the glass of wine with a little sparkling water. In Austrian “Spritzen” means “to spray”.
In the early 1900s, the habit of the "sprissetto" took root more and more and siphons for Seltz water began to spread, which also made spritzes made from still white wines fizzy. A winning move, which makes men and women appreciate the drink even more, who appreciate its light and even more drinkable character.
Come and discover the version you like best with a special aperitif included in our tours (see the "what's included" section)