Driving into Venice…
Even from the brisk trek that is from Verona (~100 odd kms) is one of the most daunting experiences you can do in the heart of summer, especially if for the first time. When you eventually work out how it is exactly you are supposed to return your hire car, and then reach your hotel when nobody seems to know where it is, lug your baggage through the vast enclaves of the town and up this stairwell, and that one, and the other one over there too, and then back down that one, and over another.. And was it this Vaporetto stop, or was it the last one? It seems the last thing in your mind about the town is captivating and positive. Especially when the masses of tourists make it apparent that moving your round peg through this vastly square hole is entirely necessary to navigate the variety of sestiere that comprise the town.
BUT, stick with it. Despite my obviously less-than-positive first impressions of this town, it drew me back unto the fond memories of my childhood and something about the town just mesmerised me. It’s eery at night, with the sometimes dark alleyways and luminescent green lit waters… The occasional Riva passing underneath you or an opportunistic Gondoliero picking up one last fare. During the day, its a bustling maze of craft shops, expensive restaurants and underpasses, bridges and piazze.
The second largest sestiere of all though, Cannaregio, captivated me the most. This almost town-within-a-town, on the opposite end to Piazza San Marco is swathe with boutique shops and restaurants and this very Tuscan of restaurants was recommended to me and visited on our first night when our original plans (Enoteca San Marco, Vini da Gigio) were closed. Ferie, and day off respectively.
The menu changes often, daily even, and the delightful menu (Available in pure English, or Italiano) is printed on thick paper, almost like a wedding invitation. The food, so obviously fresh meant that L’s first two choices of fish, had both sold out for the night.
So, while it may seem to be a cop-out eating Tuscan in Veneto, some things are just too good to pass up.. We both agreed this was meal of the trip, and will most definitely be back. When in Venice, this is, put simply, impossible to resist.
Salizada S.Giovanni Grisostomo, Cannaregio 5719 Venezia