The Italian way of eating is about the enjoyment of both the quality of the food and the company at your table. It is also about eating and drinking in a progression that will aid in proper digestion. Take time to slow down, savor your food, and enjoy the experience.
Unlike most Italian cities, Venice is renowned for its seafood rather than the traditional pizza and pasta. Local favorites to indulge in are Vermicelli al nero di sepia (pasta with black squid ink), scampi alla veneziana (boiled shrimp with olive oil and lemon juice), Caparossoi a scota deo (Clams with lemon and pepper), or Bacalà mantecato (salted cream cod). A few of the top seafood restaurants in Venice are Vecia Cavana, Osteria Trefanti Venezia or Al Covo.
To get the full Venetian experience, prior to dinner, seek out cicchetti bars. These small plates which are similar to Spain’s tapa are enjoyed over a glass of wine among friends in the late afternoon or early evening. Served at bàcari, small, local bars hidden all over Venice, the plates are affordable, ranging from about 1€ to 3€. You are able to try a variety of fried offerings or fresh fish, meats, cheeses and can even make a whole meal out of it by ordering several plates. Find these bars scattered around the city, including the favorites of Cà D’Oro alla Vedova, La Cantina, All’Arco, Cantina Do Mori, Cantine del Vino già Schiavi.
Of course Italy is known for its espresso and wine, but the most famous cocktail? The Spritz. It is a combination of Prosecco or a sparkling white wine and either Aperol for a sweeter taste or Campari for a bitter taste. The Spritz is s classified as an aperitif or apertivo, a light alcoholic beverage enjoyed before lunch or dinner to get the digestive system flowing. Head to a café bar from 4-7pm for the Italian happy hour called aperitivi, often with complimentary small bites to go along with your drink.
Gelato – it’s everywhere, and oh so delectable! Some of the best shops include Gelataria Alaska, Green Apple, and Gelataria Grom. You will want to try a scoop of each flavor.