Tag Archives: Venice

Venetian Frittelle for Carnival

Venetian Frittelle - Life Love Food


 For the first time this year, nonna decided not to whip up the traditional Carnival fry up. The daughters and sons, nieces and nephews and the whole extended family were left without her signature frittelle, favette and crostoli. Empty handed, they were all forced to buy them from the bakery instead.

The news popped up on my phone screen like breaking news. Outrage! How could this ever happen? I was told that, at the young age of 95, she was feeling too tired to roll doughs and stand in front of the frying pan for long hours. To make up for the loss, Aunt, who lives with her, picked up on the duty of making a small batch of fried tortelli stuffed with pumpkin and amaretti – another classic concoction in my family – in the attempt to still celebrate Carnival. This, of course, not without nonna’s vigilant surveillance. It was reported that she did very well indeed.

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My Venice Food Guide (New Edition)

Venice October 2015

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Venice is one of those cities that will never cease to amaze. Its beauty – so elusive, always on the verge of fading away – moves crowds. Its charm never comes amiss, and yet so much of it is invisible to those who don’t dare to explore a little further. For them, Venice will always just be a just handful of gorgeous landmarks that are, alas, often too crowded to be truly enjoyable. But for those who take the time to adventure beyond the beaten track reward awaits, in the form of suggestive alleys, stunning palettes, picturesque canal views, and glimpses of daily life in this charming city.


In this sense, one could think of Venice as a city with many faces. It has a shiny facade made of glittering palazzi and luxury hotels, fancy cafés and chic restaurants. On the other side of the spectrum is a backdrop of crass vendors selling cheap merchandise. In the middle is its true soul – its most enjoyable side, made of residents, students, workers, normal people. This is the side of Venice I encourage people to go and find, far beyond the crowds. That’s the side of Venice I wished everybody would see.


Venice’s food scene reflects this multifaceted soul. On the one hand, you’ll find the finest dining catered to the global elite. On the other, dodgy eateries dispatching rubbery pizza by the slice or microwaved lasagna. But once again, the truth is in the middle, which means that Venice’s truest, most exciting cuisine is to be found in neither places, but rather in a handful of osterie, restaurants and wine bars (especially the wine bars! no one does wine bars better than Venice) where history and atmosphere meet an active engagement in preserving an aspect of the Venetian food culture (being this a ritual, a recipe, or some rare local ingredient) and a continuous commitment to serve good, honest food. This is where I like eating; where I like taking friends; and where I like showing visitors for a deeply Venetian experience.


With this in mind, I gathered a few of my favourite places to eat and drink in Venice and put them together into this Venice Food Guide. The premise is, I don’t believe there’s still such a thing as Venice’s best-kept secret. When it comes to good spots to eat in Venice, rest assured that every restaurant, every hole in the wall in the city has been written about, reviewed, critiqued, rated, found. You’ll find tourists, few or many, wise or clueless, pretty much wherever you go. And yet neither is this a bad sign nor does it lessen a place’s worth. I’m all for sharing the experience with whoever is interested in discovering part of Venice’s culture through its food. This, after all, is the ultimate scope of this guide, which I hope you’ll find useful, reliable and, most of all, enjoyable.

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An Intro to Venice’s Street Food

To enjoy Venice’s street food is to embrace the erratic nature of a ritual that in the local dialect is called andar par bacàri (bacaro being a sort of wine bar/osteria typical of Venice). It consists of hopping from one place to the next whilst grabbing a drink and a bite at each stop. The bites are called cicchetti (from ciccus, in latin, which means small), while the drinks are generally called ombre (shadows).

Typical cicchetti consist of rissoles, sarde in saor (fried sardines topped with sweet and sour white onions), hard boiled eggs with anchovy, boiled baby octopus, and crostini will all sorts of toppings. As for drinks, a very very classic choice would be spritz – a drink that was indeed invented in Venice. However, most bacàri also have a good choice of local wines by the glass, and if one of them is prosecco còlfondo, I’d urge you to try it.

There’s no rule of thumb when it comes to choose a good bacaro. My suggestion would be to have a look at the patrons (are they locals? do they seem to know their food?) and see if what they are eating looks good. Then, check that it’s reasonably priced: a cicchetto shouldn’t be much more than 2 euro. Finally, keep an eye on the touristy areas; but rest assured that some of the best bacari are actually located in the heart of the city.

Do you want to know more? Click here to read my Venice Food Guide.

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