I have just one week left here in Italy, and as much as I have loved my stay here, a month is just not enough. Over the past thirteen years, we have spent six months every year in Italy at our farmhouse here in Umbria. Unfortunately, due to the restraints of Covid, we weren’t able to return to Italy for almost two years, so getting back here this fall has been incredible.
Having just a month in Italy this year after our long absence, I wanted to do everything, see everything, and eat everything, lol. Venice is one of our favorite cities to visit, and we always visit at least once a year. I booked two nights at Hotel Flora, a lovely, small hotel not far from Piazza San Marco. They also are very gracious about dogs staying in their hotel. We usually travel with our six-year-old well-behaved Yorkie, but this year we also have a ten-month-old Yorkie mix who is very much still a puppy. It was Zachary’s first stay in a hotel, and we were nervous about it, but he did amazingly well thank goodness!
I was curious to see if Venice was as crowded as previous years before Covid. It was reasonably busy, but October is an excellent month to travel in Italy in general. It tends to be less crowded than the summer months. Most of the tourists we saw in Venice this trip were European tourists, with a few Americans thrown into the mix. It was lovely to get back to Venice, gorge on seafood, and simply walk around the city exploring.
Our favorite way to experience Venice is to have a light breakfast at the hotel and then head off to explore. For lunch, we visit a couple of Bacari (wine bars), for cicchetti (small bites) along with a glass of wine. We usually visit two or three bacari and order a couple of cicchetti at each, which is plenty for lunch. We visited a new area for our cicchetti lunch recommended to us by the hotel on this trip. The first bacari, Enoteca Schiavi, had no seats inside but had a long line out the door of locals, which lets you know that it is worth the trip. We ordered our seafood snacks and a glass of wine and stood along the canal along with many others doing the same thing. We then nibbled our treats and watched the local boats cruise up and down the canal taking care of their daily delivery chores. The next bacari, Osteria Al Squero, was just down the block, and it too was very crowded. We ordered a couple more cicchetti along with glasses of wine, and lunch was completed. For dinner our first night, we tried out a new restaurant in the Castello area called Nevodi. It was a small, family-run place and our meal was excellent. There were very few seats indoors, so it was lucky that it was still warm enough to dine outdoors.
We first discovered the bacari in Venice many years ago and we were told that these establishments were created for the locals who stopped by on their way home from work for an aperitivo and cicchetti. Ladies out shopping will also stop off at their local bacaro to grab a quick glass of wine, and a tasty treat before they head home. Back in the 1990’s when we first discovered Venice’s bacari, there were a handful that we found, many in the Rialto market area. Often these wine bars were small, dark places, packed full of locals, and hidden away on tiny streets and alleyways. Today, we can find a bacaro on just about every street in certain districts, and in fact many restaurants have started to include a cicchetti menu due to the growing popularity of this wonderful Venetian experience. Bacari have become quite trendy in Venice now, and offer a unique dining experience for tourists and locals alike.
On our second day, we headed over to the Venice market behind the Rialto Bridge. We admired all the amazing seafood and local produce. We usually bring home a cooler full of seafood with us back to Umbria, but that didn’t work out this year. We also followed the same eating plan as the first day, visiting a couple of old favorite bacari such as Cantina do Mori. For dinner, we dined at a restaurant we visited on almost every trip called Corte Sconta. Of course, we ate only seafood for lunch and dinner as the seafood in Venice is extraordinarily fresh and delicious.
Although short, our trip to Venice filled us up with warm memories, along with fantastic seafood. I am pleased to say our puppy did exceedingly well on his first trip staying in a hotel, and no one even blinked when we brought the dogs into restaurants. I am sharing some of the places we love to visit in Venice and the new ones we tried to give you some ideas for planning your next trip to Venice.
Cicchetti at local Bacari in Venice.
S. Marco, 2283/A, 30124 Venezia VE
Phone: 041 520 5844
Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Venezia VE
Osteria Al Squero
Dorsoduro, 943, 30123 Venezia VE
Cantina Do Mori
Calle Do Mori, 429, 30125 Venezia VE
Legendary local hangout dating from 1462, with a lively atmosphere, no tables & a menu of cicchetti. A 3 minute walk from the Rialto Bridge.
Cannaregio, 3689, 30121 Venezia VE
Check out Monica Ceserato for a complete Chicchetti Tour!
Tel. 1-213-550-5452 U.S.A.
Tell Monica I Sent You!
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1788/89, 30122 Venezia VE
Tel: +39 041 241 1136
Calle del Pestrin
Tel: +39 041 522 7024
Closed Sunday & Monday
Deborah Mele October 2021