A couple of days in Venice were the tonic we needed in November. Venice is relatively quiet at this time of year, a great time to visit.
When the weather is colder it’s easy to justify squeezing in to the tiny little bars and bakeries in the alleyways around the city. Windows on the pavement open into tiny kitchens where you can buy little snacks, cichetti, enjoy a glass of prosecco standing alongside the locals, or a slice of pizza to keep you going until dinner. And as you will do so much walking there is no excuse not to enjoy some treats.
Cichetti available through the window of this kitchen to take away and sustain you while you explore the city.
Tiny bakeries sell delicious sweet treats like these pistachio and almond biscuits, crystallised fruits and fritella (sweet fried dough buns flavoured with zabaglione cream and totally delicious).
A great recommendation was the Cantine del Vino gia Schiavi on the Fondamenta Nani in Dorsodoro. Stand alongside the locals in this little wine shop and enjoy some freshly made Cichetti and a glass of prosecco.
The walls are lined with local wines for sale and you can perch your plate and glass alongside the bottles whilst listening the chatter of locals. It was incredibly busy but we squeezed in to find a space. Handily located between the Scuola di San Rocco and the Peggy Guggenheim museum.
The Bistro de Venise in Calle dei Fabbri is a glorious restaurant featuring some historic dishes and excellent wine pairings. There is a very wide range of wines available by the glass and we were given excellent advice as to the best wines to suit the dishes we chose. The food was exceptional. This is almond crusted sturgeon with a black grape sauce and yellow garlic and almond paste, a stunning dish.
L’osteria di Santa Marina run by the charming Danielo and Agostino is also worth trying in Campo di Santa Marina. Great food. The ravioli with chestnut, marscapone and shrimp was delicious. As was the seabass with spinach, funghi and crispy potato. The tiramisu was exceptionally light and delicious.
The Rialto market is a must visit. There has been a fish market on this site since the 14th century. Visit early in the morning to experience the buzz of business as it has happened for centuries, watch the locals shop for fresh fish and vegetables and listen to the banter in Italian between traders and customers.
And at the end of the day enjoy a Puccini – prosecco and cranberry juice.
A good read before you visit is Giancarlo Caldesi’s book ‘Venice – Off the beaten canal’.
Don’t forget to fit in a little shopping before you leave!
Arrivederci Venezia! Alla prossima volta.