In the last twelve months I have spent a lot of time in Venice. It is one of those places that I fall in love with just a little bit more with each time I visit. In my dream life I would like to live there all winter long when the city is slightly less overwhelmed by the literally thousands of people who visit in the warmer months of the year. I would love to learn how to navigate all the tiny calle, memorize the vaporetto schedule and have a bar where they know how I like my morning cappuccino and my evening spritz. I want to learn the kind of things that you can only learn if you live somewhere and go to the same places over and over again.
The other day I did the exact opposite of what I am describing. I went to Venice for lunch. From Rome. It was impulsive and extravagant and something I am always discouraging people visiting Italy from doing. I loved every second of it.
8:30 Coffee and Train Snacks
A quick stop for Cappuccino and a to go pastry for the train journey at Eccellenze della Costeria. (I highly recommend the cornetto crema e amarene, which is a sweet croissant filled with pastry creme and sour cherries. It is basically a Zeppole San Giuseppe in breakfast form)
12:35 - The Trenitalia Frecciarossa takes 3 hours and 45 minutes
Arrive in Venice (Note; Our train was 30 minutes late. This made us a little late for our lunch reservation. I would recommend a slightly earlier start.)
13:00 Coffee at Torrefazione Cannaregio
This historic shop still roasts it's beans on site and creates their own blends. I always have at least one cup of coffee here when I am in Venice.
13:40 Work on your Instagram Story
Zoom through a very foggy Piazza San Marco and call the restaurant and tell them you are on your way!
14:00 Lunch at Al Covo
While for those of us who live in the south of Italy 2:00pm is a perfectly reasonable time to sit down for lunch. (I have made 3:00 reservations in the summer on Capri!) up north kitchens close at 2:00pm. They graciously waited for us and we ordered quickly. Our lunch was lovely and leisurely. We drank a minerally Sicilian Etna white and each ordered a bowl of clam chowder Venetian style. It was warming and rich with delicate tiny tender squid and saffron. There was a plate of briny anchovies and sweet butter on crunchy toast and two generous plates of the early winter treat moleche, (soft shelled crabs) from the lagoon and slivers of artichokes from San Erasmo island all delicately deep fried.
Make sure you save room for dessert. One of the things that Al Covo is most well known for is the Venetian chef's American wife Diane's chocolate cake. It has a thick slab of fudge American style icing (Which for me is the whole point of cake) and was scattered with Bronte pistachios and whole peppercorns.
16:00 Foggy Meandering
The fog was thick and made Venice extra beautiful. We could barely see the majestic Basilica San Marco which is usually glittering in the sunlight.
16:30 Rialto Bridge
The Rialto bridge renovation is almost complete and we wanted to say a quick hello to Marco, my favorite jeweler in Venice who was very busy packing up christmas orders.
17:00 Spritz Time at F30
One of the benefits of returning to a place again and again is that you have friends there. There was just enough time to have a Spritz (Venetian style of course; made with Select and with a speared fat green olive) near the train station with two of our best Venetian pals.