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11.27.2015

A Weekend in a Venetian Palazzo {Where to Eat and Stay in Venice}

Where to stay and eat in Venice

Where to stay and eat in Venice

When Noah and I went up to Venice for our biennale art fest this past summer, Mark had to stay behind in Rome for work. That didn't really seem fair, so I organized a trip for just the two of us at my favorite time of year. November. Yes I know late autumn in Venice can mean aqua alta, but that actually doesn't happen all that often. It usually means atmospheric misty days and no crowds.

The art part was sorted. I knew what collateral shows were worth the trek and which countries pavilions to miss on this second go around at this years Biennale. What I needed was a place to stay.


Where to stay and eat in Venice

While going through my virtual rolodex I remembered meeting Filippo Gaggia (and his very beguiling dog Socrate) at dinner on the Eolo. I remembered that his agency rents apartments all over Venice from simple studios to entire floors of grand palazzos. Filippo graciously invited us to stay at his house. His house just happens to be a 15th century palazzo on the grand canal. Our cozy apartment was on the ground floor and we slept (and woke) to the very relaxing sounds of waves lapping on the dock outside the living room window from the vaporetti and motoscafi sailing by. It was like being on a boat, but way better.

From our comfortable base we saw as much art as we could possibly see, took very long walks alongside misty canals and narrow calle. We stopped for cichetti and spritz, (stay tuned for my picks on where to have a spritz in Venice) ate plates of seafood pasta in a crowded trattoria which we found in the very best apartment guide book I have come across, met good pals for dinner and had a long wine soaked lunch. Here are a few addresses for your next trip to Venice.

Bacaro da Fiore
San Marco 3461 Calle de le Botteghe

I do this every time. We take an early train from Rome, get to Venice drop our bags and head out for lunch. And then I get distracted. By art, by a Campo, by Venice being Venice and then it is 2:00 o'clock and I am starving. To stave off a hangry meltdown we ducked into this Bacaro on the calle de la Botteghe (this is the street to buy your Carlo Moratti Murano glasses that you have been thinking about since drinks at Le Sirenuse) having done zero research! A plate of tender squid, octopus and celery salad, bacala mantecato, sarde and soar and glasses of Malbec and Valpolicella from the Veneto were ordered and a crisis was averted. These were some of the very best cichetti I have ever eaten. I don't think it was just the hunger talking.



Where to stay and eat in Venice

Where to stay and eat in Venice

La Cantina
Strada Nuova Cannaregio 3689

If you are planning a trip to Venice you have downloaded my pal Elizabeth's app, right? I did and when we were faced with the 6:00 pm closing time for Biennale events I just opened it up and looked for what was near us and voila we were steps away from La Cantina which Elizabeth helpfully advised had a terrific locally brewed craft beer. We ordered one of those and a small snack of crostini gorgonzola and walnuts which we enjoyed as we watched twilight turn to night.


Where to stay and eat in Venice

Where to stay and eat in Venice

Osteria ai 4 Feri
Dorsoduro 2754/A, on Calle Lunga San Barnaba

A word of advice. If you are going to be in Venice on a cold, dark Thursday evening, Make a dinner reservation. We did not do that and walked up and down the Calle Lunga de San Barnaba asking at every warmly lit doorway for a table only to be told they were all fully booked. Ai 4 Feri cheerily suggested coming back in about an hour and they could probably squeeze us in. We had another spritz and returned to find a tiny table for two waiting. We ordered a carafe of house wine and a plate of scallop pasta to share. The service was swift and friendly, the food good and filling. Perfect for a cold dark Thursday evening.


Where to stay and eat in Venice


Cafe la Serra
Viale Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1254

I love the Biennale, but it can be exhausting. After a few hours in and out of the pavilions inside the Giardini I am kind of saturated and need a break. In-between the two main venues is a tranquil airy space. Inside a once abandoned greenhouse, this space is run by a cooperative that managed the cafe, gallery space, activities and a small plant nursery. The menu is listed to plates of thinly slice cured meats, slides and a few choices of quiche-y things. We had a local beer and recharged before heading back out to tackle the Arsenale.


Where to stay and eat in Venice

Where to stay and eat in Venice

Osteria Enoteca ai Artisti
Fondamenta della Toletta Dorsoduro, 1169/A

We had a late afternoon train back to Rome, which meant after a slow morning exploring the Guidecca we had time for a long lunch. Learning our lesson we booked a table at this teensy tiny spot very near to our apartment. The menu here changes daily according to what the chef finds in the market in the morning. We had small lightly fried soft shell crabs, pasta with prawns and shavings of artichokes, pasta with scallops and a cold bottle of Soave recommended by our enthusiastic waiter.We decided we had room for one more dish and chose the coda di raspo (monkfish) because I never see that on a menu in rome. After a long discussion on the frightful looks of this fish it was served beautifully filleted and with a side of tender, just barely bitter puntarelle. We lingered over chocolate mousse with a single perfect poached pear and bracing amari before it was time to collect our bags from our temporary Venetian palazzo home and head home to Rome.


Where to stay and eat in Venice

Where to stay and eat in Venice

Pied a Terre
San Polo 60 
Rialto

This was not a shopping trip, but I did manage to make a quick stop at Pied a Terre for a pair of deep emerald green velvet slippers, known in Venetian dialect as Furlane. Handswen from recycled materials, like old bike tires and scraps of luxuries textiles these espadrille style shoes were once favorites of Gondoliers. 


Where to stay and eat in Venice
















3 comments :

  1. Mille grazie, Gillian - reading this post was almost as nice as actually being in Venice. I'm overdue for a return trip!

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    Replies
    1. I am always ready for a return trip to Venice :)

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  2. Thank you! I will definitely try to find Pied à Terre because velvet plus espadrilles equals pure style happiness for me!

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