Ok not a real Gondola but the best thing after that. Alberto Penzo in his wonderful shop at S Polo 2681 sells amazing Venetians boats reproductions, not the tacky plastic ones you see walking around, we are talking about real gondolas! The Venetian lagoon has a well-established ship-building tradition. Couple that with an intense passion for boat making and you have a stunning collection of gondola model boat kits constantly in production and on sale.
Gilberto Penzo, born in Chioggia in 1954 from a family of craftsmen and shipbuilders, lives in Venice where for many years he has been conducting a vast research, gathering and organizing information about traditional Venetian boats. Explanations and direct examples of the last remaining gondola builders (squerariòi), surveys of ancient templates and patterns, and - in ideal cases - the direct measurement of intact boats, are the sources which allow the author to reconstruct their forms and the construction methods used. These have given rise to a series of books, construction plans, models for museums and private collections, restorations ans reconstructions of boats.With a group of friends who share the same interest, he founded the association Arzanà in 1992 which specializes in the study and conservation of historical Venetian boats.
If you are not coming to Venice soon you can get them here
If there is a tradition I got accustomed very quickly since relocating in Venice is the custom of the "ombra" (a glass of wine)....and you cannot possibly have an ombra without some cicchetti...that are small snacks or side dishes. Please do not call them "tapas"! I usually end my Venice Photo Walks with my clients in one...or two of them ;-)
Few photos form Bacari around Venice are here
The bacari, open just for lunch and dinner, are the local down to earth version of wine bars which serve 'ciccheti, a kind of snack traditionally washed down with a glass of wine, and Venetians stop to snack and socialize before and after meals.
May be would be a nice idea to write in the comments a list of YOUR favourite Bacaro!
I am working on a list of Restaurants in Venice and in the Lagoon....and is here
Cantina Azienda Agricola or Da Roberto in Rio Tera San Leonardo in Cannaregio. Very good wines and Excellent cicheti all using top products
My review Wine 9/10 Food 9/10 Prices ££ Friendliness 9/10 Value for Money Excellent
Al Volto Calle Cavalli 4081 San Marco Venezia Having moved not even “a ponte e una calle” from them, decided to test this Bacaro Choice is really good as is the quality. The Risotto was out of this world!
My review Wine 9/10 Food 9/10 Prices ££+ Friendliness 8/10 Value for Money Excellent
Do Spade Just behind Rialto Market Sestiere San Polo 860, 30125 Venice, Italy Another bàcaro dating back to the 15th century, Do Spade offers a great selection of traditional Venetian cicchetti in a cozy if not somewhat dark atmosphere. It is a busy little place and it is full of locals. It’s on a little calle between the Rialto Bridge and Calle dei Bottieri
My review Wine 9/10 Food 9/10 Prices £ Friendliness 7/10 Value for Money Very Good
Ca’ d’Oro/Alla Vedova. Calle del Pistor, Cannaregio 3912. One of the most famous bàcari in Venice, this one’s both away from the city’s crowds and on the cheap (€1) end of things, ideal if you’re on a budget. Don’t miss the polpette, meatballs made of pork.
My review Wine 8/10 Food 9/10 Prices £ Friendliness 6/10 Value for Money Brilliant
Osteria Al Portego. Calle della Malvasia, Venice, Italy The place is tuck away in a quiet area near S Lio and the Ponte delle Paste. It is owned by a group of young guys. Cicchetti are nice and really fresh, wine is good and staff is very courteous. My only remark is that the prices are on the expensive side if you seat at a table, May just be me...I am used to drink on the other side of Rialto!
My review Wine 8/10 Food 810 Prices ££ Friendliness 8/10 Value for Money Ok (I suppose)
Do Mori. Sestiere San Polo 429, Calle dei Do Mori. Myth has it that Casanova frequented this bàcaro, also near the Rialto Bridge. Even if he didn’t, it’s still thought to be the oldest in Venice, dating back to 1462. Ask for the “francobollo” (postage stamp)—a tiny sandwich with various fillings, it’s the house specialty.
My review Wine 7/10 Food 7/10 Prices £+ (Polpette are quite expensive) Friendliness 7/10 Value for Money Good
Cantinone–già Schiavi. Ponte San Trovaso, Dorsoduro 992. This family-run bàcaro, located across from a gondola workshop, boasts raw fish, meats, more than 30 wines available by the glass, and much more. Crowded with Venetians in the evening!
Al Ponte. Calle Larga Giacinto Gallina. One of the cheapest bàcari—and, therefore, places to eat—in all of Venice, Al Ponte has pasta and fish plates and a welcoming atmosphere.
Banco Giro. Campo San Giacometto, San Polo 122. A Grand Canal view, a variety of cheeses, fish, and wine, and a lively atmosphere. What’s not to like?
All’Arco. Calle Arco, San Polo 436. Another one of Venice’s most-loved spots, All’Arco, near the Ponte Rialto, is packed at lunchtime with shoppers from the local fish market. Everything from calamari to liver to shrimp is on offer, and if it’s available, don’t miss the hot sandwich of boiled beef sausage and mustard.
My review Wine 9/10 Food 9/10 Prices £ Friendliness 9/10 Value for Money Excellent
Osteria La Ciurma Calle Galeazza, Venice, this is a nice little wine bar on a quiet alleyway a short distance from the Rialto Mercato vaporetto stop. Wines are very drinkable and mostly 2 Euros per glass; some less, some a little more. Food offerings are tasty morsals from 1.30 Euros. A great place for a drink among neighborhood people.
My review Wine 9/10 Food 9/10 Prices £+ Friendliness 9/10 Value for Money Very Good
Osteria Ai Osti Sestiere Cannaregio, 3849 Strada Nuova, Venice, A really welcoming ( I think family run) tiny restaurant with no frills but full of real Venetian character. Great traditional food and a good chance to meet the locals
My review Wine 7/10 Food 7/10 Prices £+ Friendliness 7/10 Value for Money Very GoodDiavolo e Acquasanta San Polo 561b, Venice, Italy, Located a few steps away from the more famous restaurant "alla Madonna", this tiny Osteria is geared toward locals rather than tourists. Do not expect upscale atmosphere, or welcoming nice english-speaking waiters. But if you go beyond the unpretentious appearance and the rough manners, you'll find some genuine home-style food, priced below the Venetian average.
My review Wine 8/10 Food 8/10 Prices £+ Friendliness 8/10 Value for Money Very Good
Al Vecio Penasa (not even worth my proper review!)
If they think you are a tourist...they will try to hit you nicely. Been twice and will never get there again. I am Italian but from a different area so the accent is different... both times they charged me the wrong amount. First time was 2 Euros out of 5 E!!! Today they asked me if I wanted a Tramezzino and Wine at the table and I said NO still they tried to charge me the price of table service. NOT nice at all Tramezzini can be nice but do not want to be taken for a ride!
Take a tour of the Grand Canal
A wonderful way to take in the Grand Canal is on board a vaporetto (a rounded 230-passenger boat). I have talked before about them here and here .The canal may no longer be teeming with merchandise-laden cargo boats, but it is still the main thoroughfare of Venice, and only a little imagination is needed to understand its historical importance. The three and a half kilometre (two-mile) trip from the railway station to San Marco provides a superb introduction to the city, telling you more about the way Venice works – and has always worked – than any historical tome.
Every family of note had to have a palazzo here, and this was not just for reasons of social snobbery. The palazzi are undeniably splendid but they were first and foremost solid commercial enterprises, and their designs are as practical as they are eye-catching.
Vaporetto tickets can be purchased at most stops, at tabacchi (tobacconists, identified by a white T on a black or blue background) and at Hellovenezia offices On board, you can only buy single tickets. The fare for a shuttle journey (ie one stop across the Grand Canal, the hop across to the Giudecca, or from Sant’Elena to the Lido) is €2.
I have been asked few times the best place to find a Waterbus - Vaporetto map, I have blogged before here about the vaporetti, prices and new numbers but here is a map, if you click you will get an PDF Hi Res map and info taken from ACTV! Or you can buy a printable Tourist Version from our friend Nan of Living Venice here
SEASONAL LINES Seasonal lines are largely dedicated to tourists and are activated on particular occasions, such as during the Venice Carnival or in the spring and summer to facilitate the mobility of large numbers of visitors. These seasonal lines provide rapid, direct backup to the city centre lines down the Canal Grande and Giudecca Canal. Line 5 on the other hand directly links the island of Murano with Piazza San Marco and the city centre of Venice, taking an external route.
CITY CENTER LINES These are the lines which crisscross the "heart" of the city, exploiting the two largest inner canals, the Canal Grande, probably the world's most famous canal, and ....the Giudecca Canal, large and deep enough to allow even the arrival of cruise ships. The city centre lines connect a number of access points such as Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma and the railway station with the Venice of shops, monuments and museums, passing through the San Marco Basin as far as Lido di Venezia, famous for the beauty of its beaches and its nature reserves.
CIRCULAR LINES These lines with a roughly circular route connect the perimeter of the city touching points of great cultural and commercial interest throughout the area. With the circular lines, you can easily reach the islands of Lido and Murano (famous for its glass products), passing through or starting from the railway station, Piazzale Roma and near Piazza San Marco. With the circular, you can also get off and reach Venice City Hospital after a short walk along a route free from architectural barriers.
LAGOON LINES These lines connect Venice with the most important islands in the lagoon, both in the north lagoon (Mazzorbo, Burano, Torcello, Sant’Erasmo) and the south lagoon. The lagoon lines also link transport nodes on the mainland and in Venice province with the city centre. You can in fact reach Venice directly from Punta Sabbioni, Treporti and Chioggia. The lagoon lines also include the ferry-boat line no. 17 connecting Lido di Venezia and the Tronchetto terminal and the bus line no. 11 linking Lido di Venezia with the island of Pellestrina. The San Lazzaro - Lido Casinò section of line no. 20 is seasonal, to verify availability contact the Hellovenezia Call Center (+39)-041-2424.
TERMINAL LINES The terminal lines are a group of rapid lines with few stops which rapidly connect Venice with the mainland terminals managed by companies in the ACTV group. They consist largely of the Alilaguna group of lines and the line 16.
VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 06: Two of the participants sail under Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal ahead of the 34th Befana Regatta on January 6, 2012 in Venice, Italy. In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on the feast of the Epiphany on January 6 in a similar way to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus.
Images from Venice event and around the world about Epiphany
Watch the New Year's Eve Fireworks from S Giorgio This tip is still warm...I just discovered it yesterday. Instead of watching the New Year's Eve fireworks in St Mark's Square where yesterday evening there were more than 70,000 people why not watch them from S Giorgio with beautifully lit St Mark's and Palazzo Ducale?
Get around in a gondola
So obvious. No trip to Venice would be complete without a punt down one of the city's picturesque canals in a traditional gondola. The Istituzione per la Conservazione della Gondola e Tutela del Gondoliere (Gondola Board; 041 528 5075, www.gondolavenezia.it) website has recommended itineraries. Prices below are for the hire of the gondola, for six passengers or less.
8am-7pm €80 for 40mins; €40 for each additional 20mins. 7pm-8am €100 for 40mins; €50 for each additional 20mins.
Venice Canvases, Photographs and Venetian Fine Art Prints featuring the Grand Canal, St. Mark's Square, the Bridge of Sighs, famous and unknown landmarks and Venetian Gondolas. These Venice Prints on Canvas are also available in larger sizes on request. You can now buy them directly here
The mascareta is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian Lagoon. For centuries gondolas were the chief means of transportation and most common water craft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in the city, serving as traghetti (ferries) over the Grand Canal. They are also used in special regattas (rowing races) held amongst gondoliers. It is similar to punting, except it uses an oar to propel it instead of a pole.
Since moving to Venice, it has been a great desire of mine to visit the mysterious island of Poveglia, with its ruined mental asylum and haunted burial grounds. Finally, yesterday, thanks to two wonderful skippers Luca and Jacopo, and accompanied by fellow journalist and writer Robin Saikia I managed to visit the island.
Robin Saikia writes: "Shortly before we left Poveglia, I forced myself to lie on an iron bed in the ruins of the psychiatric ward, recalling the images of the day: the desecrated chapel with the scabrous remains of its cheerful Tiepolo-blue ceiling, the claustrophobic corridors, the rusting beds and lockers, the quay, the bell-tower, the woods, the bridge. I closed my eyes tightly for a few long seconds. When I opened them, I saw a very clear picture of hell..."
The island of Poveglia, with its ruined hospital and plague burial grounds, is said to be the most haunted location in the world. Though the island is a multi-million dollar piece of real estate, it remains deserted and off limits to the public. Its dark, derelict and forbidding shores are only minutes away from the glamour of the Venice Film Festival on the Lido, but there are few visitors. Very few Venetians are prepared to talk about the island or answer questions. They believe that while the rest of Venice is governed by the Comune di Venezia, Poveglia remains firmly in the Devil’s jurisdiction. They see it as a kind of supernatural penitentiary, an outpost of purgatory and hell. This view is captured in an unnerving local saying: quando muore un cattivo, si sveglia a Poveglia; when an evil man dies, he wakes up in Poveglia. I visited the island in August this year with the photographer Marco Secchi. Our account is a drawing together of truth, half-truth, speculation and urban myth. It is based on conversations with local people and our exploration of the island. It is an attempt to make sense of the fear and revulsion that Poveglia continues to provoke, despite the best attempts of sceptics to exorcise its ghosts with the bell, book and candle of reason. (Robin Saikia)
Robin Saikia is the author of the highly acclaimed book, The Venice Lido, recently published by Blue Guides (http://thevenicelido.com). Please contact us to discuss licensing our 4000 word photo documentary of the island, words by Robin Saikia, photography by Marco Secchi. firstname.lastname@example.org