What is Select?
Select is the essential ingredient for those who want a taste of the authentic Venetian Spritz. It is a drink that, since 1920, thanks to the talent of the Pia brothers from the Castello sestiere, colours the streets of Venice in ruby red during happy hour – or better, aperitivo.
But where does its iconic name come from?
Legend has it the name Select was invented by poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, here in Venice, during the Festa del Redentore. At the aperitivo, D’Annunzio was served Select, and he enjoyed it to the point of praising its selected ingredients, heartily defining the drink “select”, from the Latin word “selectus”. Select is in fact made of 30 different herbs, macerated and boiled: the rhubarb root and juniper berries especially will captivate both your nose and mouth.
Ca’ Select: the new Venetian hub
From May the Venetian bitter par excellence will have a new home called Ca’ Select. It is a space recounting more than a century of history by also celebrating the contemporary spirit of Select and of its city.
Since its origins, Select had never forgotten its Venetian roots: on the contrary, it is now decisively reaffirming its identity. The hub is housed in a historical blacksmith workshop in the Cannaregio sestiere. Ca’ Select is a unique place, an architectural and interior design project curated by the atelier Mercante-Testa, and it seeps into Venice by spacing out in various directions. Inside, you can find different areas: a bar-mixology zone, an event dedicated space, an actual spot where part of the Select production takes place, and finally an exhibition corner where you can enjoy the brand’s history.
It is a worthy home for this kind of Venetian excellence, and not only when talking about bitter: Ca’ Select is also the right space to showcase local talents and cultures. For the realisation of the project only materials coming from historical Venetian traditions were used: mosaics from the Orsoni furnace, lamps from Mariano Fortuny, Venetian floors, lights in the bar zone made with Murano glass-fusing techniques by Wonderglass and BTM, upholstery fabrics by Rubelli, and much more.
Among the various cultural initiatives, Select has also brought in its hub a site specific artwork by Ukrainian artist Koshevoy Bogdan, winner of the artistic project Ca’ Select Arte 2022. This initiative is suited for artists and visual designers under 35 that wish to reinterpret Venetian tradition through the languages of art. In this way, Select gives Venice a new open space, dedicated to culture and sociality: a sort of theatre for new encounters, a place that welcomes dialogue in its community, where many events will take place.
Select Spritz Week
A series of micro-events that, through cultural activities and initiatives, will help you experience a new way to enjoy the most authentic side of Venice.
From the 25th to the 28th of last May, Select celebrated Venice in its totality, through a rich program of artistic and cultural events involving many local businesses, the fil rouge being good drinks with the iconic Venetian Spritz, enforcing the bond between Select and the city.
Among the events: the literary aperitivo in the Acqua Alta bookshop, the guided visit to the historical Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello in Palazzo Pisani, the masterclass to discover Select’s nuances with the master perfumer of The Merchant of Venice, the guided visit to the historical furnaces of Venetian mosaics Orsoni, the exhibition Thus Waves come in pairs in the San lorenzo church.
We also wish to highlight Select’s commitment into bringing awareness on the importance of protecting the seas and the oceans, starting from Venice’s lagoon. This happens through the collaboration with Ocean Space, an important project by Thyssen Bornemisza, who promotes, through art, the protection and safety of aquatic ecosystems.
Collaborating with Select has been a marvellous experience and we were extremely happy to have participated in Ca’ Select’s opening and its first Spritz week. Talking about such exciting and innovative projects that embrace the most authentic side of Venice is exactly in line with the very mission of Inside Venice.