Friday, May 2, 2014

What to do on a rainy Venetian evening

It rained all day, sometimes with great claps of thunder, but we didn't let that stop us from exploring some of Venice's culinary delights.  With the help of our Rick Steves guidebook we were able to sample some cicchetti or snacks at two fabulous places in little alleyways west of the Rialto bridge and fabulous bruschetta and pizza at another place. This bar hopping for wine and snacks is a Venetian tradition and we found we really liked it.

We met our friends Ritchie and Liz and walked from their hotel up and over the Rialto with its fabulous views of the Grand Canal. Then we ducked into some little alleys and found two great spots. Even on a Friday night they weren't busy, partly because we started early. These places open about 6:00 pm but don't get really going until quite a bit later. I think also that there were fewer people out and about because of the thunderstorms

The first place we stopped was Cantina Do Mori, which has been operating in this location since 1462 (before Columbus sailed the ocean blue). We ordered their wine from the big bottles on the bar, a lovely Friuli pinot grigio and the guys' favourite, a soft red called Montepulciano d"Abruzzo. along with this came Danish codfish bruschetta and another snack of spicy rolled meat. Ritchie looks unhappy in this photo, but it's not because of the food.  He's just a bit of a grinch about getting his photo taken.

Our next stop was a little hole-in-the-wall called Ostaria ai Stori, where we got some wonderful deep fried veggies and shrimp. Fabulous.  Here you can see a couple of older Italian guys (locals I think) who stopped in for a glass of wine. They were the only other customers there at the time. Liz and I had a glass of lovely Prosecco.  I don't know what the guys had to drink.

Our final stop was a family-run pizza and pasta place where we treated ourselves to a platter of the best prosciutto I've ever had along with gorgeous buffalo mozzarella and tiny fresh tomatoes for the crostini. This was followed by two incredible thin-crust pizzas, one with tomatoes and mozzarella and pesto; the other with a variety of wonderful vegetables including asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, spinach and who-knows-what else.  Plus more wine, this time a bottle of organic Valpolicello.

Have I made you hungry yet?

If it hadn't been for Ritchie and his bottomless stomach I know we couldn't have finished this feast. But finish it we did, and then headed out in the rain to find our way home. They went to one end of Venice and we went the other.

There's wasn't much action in the campos and piazzas this rainy night, as you can see by these moody photos.

We headed for the Rialto vaporetto stop and within 15 minutes were back at our cozy little hotel.  Now it's to bed to rest up for tomorrow, a day of sightseeing culminating in a trip the boat moored on Certosa Island, somewhere off of Venice, which we get to by taking two vaporetto boats. Hopefully we won't get lost.

1 comment:

  1. I'm envious of you being in one of the truly great cities.


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