Skip to content

Bolognese brothers Mario and Vittorio Pilla founded Fratelli Pilla & C., a firm specializing in
liqueur production. The young brothers chose Sestiere of Castello, in the heart of the Venetian Republic (“La Serenissima”), for the company headquarters.

On May 29, 1920 the aperitif Select was born and the trademark was registered.

A name from poetry and history

From the memoirs of Maria Damerini, a famous noblewoman of that period, we learn that Vittorio Pilla obtained the name Select from the famous poet Gabriele D’Annunzio during a prestigious dinner on the Giudecca Canal for the Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer).
On that occasion, the famous Vate wanted to praise the product and coined the name Select on the spot, a short form of the Latin word Selectus meaning selected, chosen, to emphasise that it was his favourite choice.

A gateway to the future

In 1933 the automobile stretch of the Ponte della Libertà, which connects Venice to the mainland, is inaugurated. And the factory moved to the new Venetian industrial
area: Porto Marghera.

Select and the new Venice

The factory in Porto Marghera was bombed and the company was forced to transfer a safer location: the island of Murano.

The move to Bologna

The difficult conditions resulting from World War II, push the Pillas to search for outside investors. In 1957 the company moves to Castel Maggiore, in the province of Bologna, where
a major overhaul of the Select brand begins.

The centenary

100 Author’s glasses to celebrate 100 years of history. To celebrate its centenary, Select Aperitivo has collaborated with historic Murano glass factory, Salviati, to create a bespoke and limited edition collection to reinterpret authentic Venetian glassmaking in a contemporary style.


One of the last historic gondolas of shipwright Giuseppe Giuponi, Selecta, is given a new life thanks to a restoration project that involves some of the oldest and most influential workers in the city. A tribute to Venice and its nautical tradition, to which we owe the arrival to the West of some of the 30 botanicals that make the Select recipe unique.

Unique since its creation, original just like its recipe

Part of the production moves back to where everything began, in the heart of the lagoon city: Ca’ Select opens in the Cannaregio district, Venice, the home of the original venetian spritz.