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Our Guide to Venice

The reason for our trip to Venice, was purely to explore the world of cicchetti - which is what most of our days were filled with. As well as our own research, we took lots of recommendations from our host and a friend who lives here, so this list is compiled with a mixture of the places we knew about and some extra recommendations from locals.


A couple of things we learnt when we were here; explore and find the smaller, more local bars - they're full of character and it won't cost you more than 4 euros for a spritz or 3 euros for a glass of wine. Don't think you're getting to a dead end when you turn down a tiny alley, it will most likely take you somewhere unexpected. Other than a few choice places like Schiavi, don't be tempted to always eat and drink on the waterfront; a lot of the best bars/osteria's we found, were tucked away.


I've categorized our recommendations into regions. We stayed in Rialto so a lot of the focus is there, however our next favourite region was Dorsoduro. It's just over the bridge (Ponte dell' Accademia) from San Marco and yet it felt more calm and relaxed. You'll find Schiavi here, which is probably one of the most talked about places for wine and cicchetti but (as is the case with All' Arco) for good reason. Grab a wine in (served in a plastic cup) and try the tuna with cocoa and the ricotta, butternut squash & parmesan and sit on the wall outside.


A quick note on getting to the centre of Venice: From the airport, take the ATVo bus to Venice Piazzale Roma. At Piazzale Roma, take the water bus line 1, which is the main route that takes you through the centre of Venice and the Grand Canal, ending up in Lido.

 


[All' Arco, Rialto San Polo]



Rialto, San Polo

In the heart of Venice, Rialto is well known for buzzing daily markets, and it is the home of Venice's oldest Bridge.

Top things to do while you're here...


Mercato di Rialto

A morning visit is something you have to do while you're in Venice. Right on the waterfront, the setting of this market couldn't get much better.

Fresh produce market; 7:30am 'til 1pm, Mon to Sat

Pescheria (fish) market; 7:30am 'til 1pm, Tue to Sat



I Compari Pulperia a Venezia

Seafood restaurant, popular for it's boiled octopus.

Open everyday except Sun until 4pm



All' Arco

A famous yet quaint bar, offering light meat & seafood bites; featured in Stanley Tucci's Netflix special (and most other documentaries on Venice, but you can understand why). Our favourite was the salmon and the truffle and mushroom.

Open everyday except Wed until 2pm

As this place can often be found very busy, you can head to Do Mori, just a second away, for a glass of wine while you wait for the queue to abate. That being said, don't take this place for granted, it's said to be one of the oldest wine bars in Venice and you'll find it's ceiling lined with old brass pans and excellent wine to match. Grab a slice of salami and a chunk of formaggio if your stomach can't wait.


Al Merca

A hole in the wall local bar that serves great aubergine polpette and well-priced drinks.

Closes early, around 7.30pm, so don't get there late.

Rosticceria Gislon

Eat-in or takeaway. I'd recommend ordering and eating from the counter; surround yourself with the bustle of it all. Try for the Mozzarella in Carrozza and Baccala with Polenta.

Open everyday until 9pm


Sepa:

The best chicchetti we had while we were here. Stumbled across by accident, it had all the hallmarks of an ancient Venician bar, but with modern elements and chicchetti combinations we didn't find anywhere else. Go for the polpette carne with polenta and the potato muffin with gorgonzola and butternut squash.

Open everyday, from 11:30am - 10pm



 

Cannaregio

The northernmost of the six historic districts of Venice. A place riddled with heritage and full of character.

Top things to do while you're here...


Fondamenta della Misericordia and Fondamenta degli Ormesini

A street lined with a vast choice of cosy bars to settle into.



Trattoria da Pontini

A compact, traditional Venetian bar. Serves the most delicious tiramisu as well as spaghetti with clams.



Vino Vero

An intimate canal-front wine bar, specialising in natural vintage wines. A good place to go if you want to sit by the water.



 


Castello

A vibrant area, buzzing with cafes, bars & eateries.

Top things to do while you're here...


Garibaldi

Take a walk down via Garibaldi where you'll find a delightful boat market at the end.


Nevodi

A brick-lined restaurant with a cosy atmosphere, offering pizza, pasta & seafood.


Osterio da Pampo

A traditional, family-run tavern which serves meals from the Veneto & Liguria regions, with local wines.


CoVino Venezia

A tiny, intimate dining space championing slow food, run by a young chef. Creative European cooking with a set-menu.



 


This list is by no means definitive. As mentioned, our favourite cicchetti bar was stumbled upon by accident so set out on foot and you're bound to find your own favourite spots to add to the list.


Buon viaggio e buon appetito!









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