Category: Venice

Ten favourite Bacari in Venice for chewing the lardo

Cichètti, or Chewing the Lardo   There’s something democratic about this city without cars. No-one can hide behind the anonymity of a windscreen, so the chances are you will know your fellow passengers on the vaporetto by sight, at the very least. Lawyers and professors share the same transport system as plumbers and market traders. […]

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Four favourite Venetian restaurants revisited

  A four night stay in November was prompted by the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Jacopo Tintoretto’s birth. This in turn triggered the question “where to have dinner?” Instead of seeking out new restaurants, we decided to revisit four that we have tried before. For the first evening we wanted somewhere lively and […]

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Tintoretto’s 500th anniversary, and Venice today

Feasting on Tintoretto Venice is currently celebrating the 500th anniversary of the painter’s birth, in 1518 or 1519. Almost all his major works remain in his home city, spread among 29 locations. I imagined that the exhibition The Young Tintoretto at the Accademia was going to be a rerun of the one at the Musée du […]

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“We don’t make coffee here, we are very serious…. We have grappa!”

Walking to dinner at Alle Testiere, a sign in an archway caught my eye – “I Rusteghi”. I recognised the name from Russell Norman’s directory of bars, in his book Venice, Four Seasons of Home Cooking.         Through the arch in a tiny courtyard was a well, covered with empty champagne bottles. […]

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“Every time someone does this, a Venetian dies”

  On the evening of our arrival in Venice in late November, we were asked for directions three times by other visitors. After all this time, we must be beginning to blend in. From the Vaporetto No 1, I was struck by the swathes of residential properties in darkness on the Grand Canal, apparently unoccupied. […]

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Nervous of a Soggy Pickle

Giardiniera, or Garden Pickle.   Giardiniera is a typical Italian pickle. On holiday, I sometimes buy a commercial version from the supermarket, to eat with a picnic. It consists of little chunks of crunchy vegetables in a sharp, vinegary brine; something like piccalilli without the mustard.   At Trattoria Anzolo Raffaele in Venice, Luigi makes […]

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Postcard from Edinburgh

My parents met, married and lived in Edinburgh until moving to London in 1946. Although I’ve never lived there, I’ve always felt a connection with the city. If you ignore the shopfronts, the yellow lines and the traffic, look up and you’ll see how little has changed in much of the city since my parents’ […]

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A snapshot from the Giudecca

I remember the look of incredulity, bordering on horror, on the face of a Venetian when I explained I was holidaying on the Giudecca.  “Why?”, she asked. Here are a few good reasons:     The quayside (fondamenta) of the Giudecca Canal has an incomparable view across St Mark’s basin to the city of Venice. […]

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Perfect simplicity in Dorsoduro (Trattoria Anzolo Raffaele)

Simple pleasures: good bread, good wine, sublime ham, and some perfectly pickled vegetables. Pane Vino e San Daniele                          (Trattoria Anzolo Raffaele)  Most of the restaurants on Giudecca were closed for their winter break, so we decided to revisit an old favourite on Dorsoduro […]

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Venice in December

Going to Venice in December can be risky. The days can be misty and short, and on an earlier visit the nights were cold, damp and foggy, with flurries of sleety snow. But December last year the weather was glorious, with clear blue skies and sharp winter light. There was little traffic on the canals, the […]

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