Venice in summer (or any time of year, really) is touristy, crowded, and overpriced. But why let that stop you? It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, with gorgeous views, wonderful art galleries, local handicrafts and churches to hold your attention. I've been lucky enough to visit Venice twice now, and hope to return many more times.
View from a Vaporetto
Piazza San Marco
For a food lover, however, Venice might prove to be a challenge. For food lovers on a budget, (like Clarice and I – poor students, you see) Venice is a big challenge. Luckily, it’s not an unconquerable one. If you manage to wander even a little bit off the tourist track, you should be able to find friendly, reasonably priced, family run bars and trattorie. And if all else fails, just eat gelato for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Here are some culinary highlights of our time in Venice...
This is a bread thing filled with green olives and cheese, bought at a paninoteco near the main railway station. The counter was filled with enormous loaves of the stuff; it's sliced to order and sold by weight. It was cheap, tasty and filling, but a bit greasy. So be careful if you're carrying it in the same bag as anything you want to keep clean, such as a pair of red suede Zara high-heeled shoes.
Cappucino! 2 or 3 coffees a day in Italy makes Sarah a happy bunny.
Now, here's one of those "family run trattorie" I was telling you about. We were slightly lost walking back to the bus station one evening, which turned out to be a good thing, because we came across this place, and sat down for some delicious spaghetti.
It was great - the owner playing with her super-cute child, her husband preparing the food, waiters speaking to us in ITALIAN, and simple, delicious food. It was cheap by Venetian standards too! Less than €10 for a plate of food is a bargain.
Pretzels - so addictive!
Spag Bol - Just like my Mamma would have made if she was Italian.
This was some sort of festival going on one afternoon - we didn't get too involved, but it looked like fun! Food stalls and long tables and whatnot.
Some sort of festival
We stopped off at the Bar Royal, below, when we were absolutely starving during a hardcore day of sightseeing. It's run by a super-friendly Chinese mother-and-daughter team, and has a loyal clientele of old Venetian regulars, who pop in for an espresso, some vino rosso and some smiles.
Turkey & Cheese melt thingo from Bar Royal