20 Great Things to do in Venice 11/20 – Buy a Gondola!

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

Fegato alla Veneziana (Venetian Liver and Onions)

Fegato alla Venziana, finely sliced liver with gently stewed onions, is one of the most classic Venetian dishes, and even those who do not usually like liver enjoy it. The recipe will serve 2 Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 white onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed or ground dried sage
  • 1 garlic clove, flattened
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 12-ounce, 1/4- 1/2-inch-thick calf's liver, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Preparation

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon sage and sauté until onion is tender and brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Discard garlic.

Combine flour, remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pat liver dry. Add liver to flour mixture and toss to coat. Add butter to garlic oil and melt over medium-high heat. Add liver and stir until beginning to brown on outside but still pink inside, about 3 minutes. Add onions and sauté until liver is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley