With the upcoming Carnevale you might get the idea to go to Venice for a day or two to enjoy the famous Carnevale in Venice. Be aware that Venice around the Carnevale time is a total different experience – beside the fact that it’s crowded and ridiculously expensive, the hunt for costumes and pictures might distract you from the beauty and magic of the city. If you really want to go, better pick the weekend before (17.2.-19.2.17) when the historic costume parade takes place at San Marco, the costume gondolas sail to Rialto and the Foodie market opens along the Canale Grande. It still will be crowded, but not as crowded as the Carnevale weekend and if you love to take pictures, be at San Marco latest at 9 am – between 8 and 9 the costumes arrive and get in position for the historic costume parade.
A Foodie in Venice
When you get to Venice, Carnevale or not, and pass all the bars and cafes full of tourists, you’re gonna ask yourself: where are the places locals go for the famous n’ombra de vin, snack with wine?
You won’t find them in these pricy, so called “historic” places which are recommended in well known tourist guides! The Veneziani prefer these small, smelly places where only a light above the entrance indicates that there might be something. You won´t find opening hours, Tripadvisor or credit card signs, no outdoor sitting area with fancy umbrellas, just a dark guest room – this kind of place is called Bacari.
You could say, here the “happy hour” was invented: you come here after work on your way home and have a snack and a glass of wine. The snacks are called ciccetti and made of white bread or polenta, topped with baccala, alici, grilled vegetables, salumi or cheese, you pay 1 or 1,50 euro each and it’s common to have half a dozen for lunch or before dinner.
Cicchetti could be translated with tiny glass, so the name of the snacks is related to the accompanying drink, not to the food itself – no Veniziani would ever consider to have a cicchetti without a glass of wine! Don’t expect a wide choice of wines, usually there are 2-3 bottles or carafe on the counter from which you can choose. In the end the n’ombra de vin is neither meant to get full nor drunk – for Foodies in Venice it’s the perfect way to have plenty of food experiences!
Have a look at My Foodie Map Venice to find the best Cicchetti places!