Venissa: among vineyards in Venice!

28 04 2014

When thinking of vineyards, images of the hills usually pop up in your mind and the association with Venice adn its stone ground is unlikely.

Nevertheless, the Venetian islands are a fruitful environment for agriculture and in some of them this activity is still flourishing, like in the island of Sant’Erasmo, called the orchard of Venice, or Certosa.

In fact Venice, throughout the centuries, not only was a powerful maritime republic trading with the entire world but also a flowering garden with luxurious cultivation growing out of a microscopic, stingy, salt-laden area of land. Grape cultivation, in particular, dating back to the roman period, has always been conducted by the “Venetian farmers” who had to fight against the tides, salt water and buffeting wind. Historical documents talk also about vineyards  even in the area of Saint Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal.

Traces of Venice’s agricultural tradition can be found almost everywhere: in documents, in works of art, in place names, such as the islands of “San Francesco della Vigna” (Saint Francis of the Vineyards) and “Le Vignole”.  Some remains of the “walled vineyards” – vineyards enclosed among walls – can be found in different lagoon islands.

In the little  island of Mazzorbo, a few years ago one of these walled vineyard was restored and the growing of the local “Dorona” grapes was restarted. The Dorona, also known as the “Golden Grape”, is an ancient variety of Venice-native grape with yellow berries that was cultivated in the Venetian lagoon islands until 1400.
That’s part of the “Venissa” project and estate (see www.venissa.it). The estate includes the vineyard, a vegetable garden, a hostel and a top quality restaurant and the ensemble creates a real corner of peace and delight!

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Venissa restaurant & hostel

Venissa vineyards

Venissa vineyards

The restaurant cannot be defined cheap and the food portions are small compared to prices, but the quality is really high, the used ingredients are extremely fresh and their combination is really original. The result is a refined but simple cuisine, with strong aromas and lots of herbs, which pays particular attention to the products of the territory, some of which are grown in the estate. The service is also top-quality.

Venissa estate

Venissa estate

I had lunch there a couple of days ago, to celebrate my birthday, and, even if I was there with a girlfriend of mine, I found it very very romantic: eating among vineyards is really nice (and unusual for Venice) and the location is so quite and relaxing, even in the busiest and most turistic days.

In your tour there, do not miss to visit the near island of Burano, which is connected to Mazzorbo with a short bridge: it will enchant you with its colours!

Island of Burano

Island of Burano

Venissa Restaurant
Fondamenta Santa Caterina, 3
30170 Island of Mazzorbo
Venice
Ph. +39 041 5272281

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Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it

 

 

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Osteria Da Simson: a fresh touch of Venice

27 10 2012

While I was going through one of the special itineraries that our guests at Ca’ Amadi will be provided with from November on, I happened to find a little nice restaurant in a really quiet place: Ostaria da Simson.

The Ostaria is located along the street called “Fondamenta Felzi”, near the famous gothic basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Just at the end of the Fondamenta, hidden behind a gate, you can find one of the most beautiful courtyard of Venice: Corte Botera. This area offers a real bite of Venetian life and so does the Ostaria.

The restaurant is really small – only 6 tables inside and 2 outside along the canal – but this works for a highly attentive service and a good quality food.

Ostaria Da Simson – Inside

The variety in the menu is not wide, but the used ingredients are extremely fresh, folowing the seasonality, and all is prepared expressly upon order. The menu offer changes very often and the food is tasty and genuine.

The dish I enjoyed at the Osteria Da Simson

Following the tradition of the typical Venetian osteria (the term “osteria” derives from “oste”, which is the person who serves wine), here you can find also a good selection of wines. The service is really friendly!

Ostaria Da Simson
Castello 6316, Fondamenta dei Felzi
Venezia
Tel  0039 041 5226276

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From Naples with love: also in Venice the pizza of RossoPomodoro

3 10 2012

It was 1997 when a group of friends decided to open a pizza restaurant in the city where the pizza was born: Naples. The purpose was to offer the people the traditional and genuine tastes in a cheerful place with a particular attention to the quality of used ingredients. The result was a massive success that was exported all over the world under the name of RossoPomodoro (Red Tomato).

The RossoPomodoro stores are now more than 120, but the mission is always the same: to preserve the Naples culinary tradition and the product quality and freshness. Since 2007, at least 20% of the dishes are prepared with ingredients which are protected by Slow Food Association with the aim of safeguarding rare products and traditional cooking techniques (the Association is committed to protecting traditional and sustainable quality foods, defending the biodiversity of cultivated and wild varieties as well cultivation and processing methods).

The pizza at RossoPomodoro is cooked inside a craftmade wood oven made of 340 bricks which provides the right humidity level for having the typical high and soft crust of the pizza. The ingredients are selected and come from few small producers whose handmade production is bought almost entirely by RossoPomodoro (the buffalo mozzarella, the extra-virgin olive oil, the bronze-drawn pasta, the traditional Neapolitan flour, the sauce of tomatoes coming from agro-nocerino-sarnese area).

In Venice, RossoPomodoro restaurant is placed very close to Saint Mark’s square. The place is quite big and of course reflects the style of the restaurant chain: colorful, cheerful, genuine and Italian! The service is quick and nice and the food is really good, including not only pizza, but also pasta, salads and other typical Napolitan dishes.

Rosso Pomodoro in Venice – outside

Inside the restaurant you can find also 2 bars whare you can have breakfast or a light lunch with sandwiches and other fast food and also a small shop where you can buy Neapolitan specialities.

Prices are quite fair considering the central location.

Rosso Pomodoro in Venice – inside

RossoPomodoro Venezia
San Marco 404-408, Calle Larga San Marco
Venezia
Tel. +39 041 2834989

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Visit my place at www.caamadi.it





Algiubagiò: a romantic dinner by the sea

13 08 2012

When you ask suggestions for a good restaurant in Venice, locals usually tell you to avoid the ones with tables along the canals, which are the “most touristic” and less authentic in town.

To find the best Venetian restaurant you have to get lost at least twice or three times across the “calli” (streets of Venice) before reaching them. Yes, finding a good restaurant in Venice is like looking for a precious treasure!

Like all rules, also this has some exceptions and Algiubagiò is one of these.

Algiubagiò restaurants’ entrance

Its position is amazing: along the “Fondamenta Nove”, the street that faces the northern part of Venice lagoon, in front of San Michele island. The restaurant has a big terrace on the sea, where you can enjoy romantic sunsets on the lagoon and a light breeze, even in the hottest days of the year.

Algiubagiò’s terrace at night

The menu doesn’t differ much from the typical Venetian offer and the food isn’t unforgettable, but on the whole I had a good dinner there, probably thanks to the magic atmosphere you can breathe.

The place gives you a strong sensation of peace and quietness and here you feel faraway from the bustle of the city:  what do you think, is it because we’re in front of the cemetery island of Venice? 🙂

Algiubagiò
Cannaregio 5039, Fondamenta Nuove
30125 Venice
Tel +39 041 52 36 084

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Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it





Pane Vino e San Daniele: a different restaurant chain

23 07 2012

In Venice it’s not easy to find a restaurant whose speciality isn’t fish.

“Pane Vino e San Daniele” is one of these restaurants. Actually the restaurants with this name in Venice are three: one is placed near the Rialto Bridge (Calle dei Botteri 1544) and the other two are in the Dorsoduro district (Calle Lunga San Barnaba 2861 and Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele 1722), not far away from each other. They belong to a chain that counts nearly 30 restaurants all around Italy.

The name of the chain (which means “Bread, Wine and San Daniele“) suggests that the speciality here is the San Daniele raw ham, which is made in the homonymous city sited in the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The menu in fact proposes a good variety of dishes with this famous type of ham. The food offer also includes pasta and meat dishes, some typical dishes from Friuli Venezia Giulia, salads and delicious desserts. At Pane Vino e San Daniele Rialto (www.panevinorialto.it) you can have also pizza, while at the one in Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele (www.panevinoesandaniele.net) you can taste some dishes of the Sardinian cuisine too.

The three restaurants, being part of the same chain, are obviously similar in the style, simple and warm, but my favourite, for the location, is the one placed in Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele.

The view inside-out at Pane Vino San Daniele in Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele

It is sited in a square tucked away from the mass, just behind the San Sebastiano church. The square is quiet and picturesque and here you can enjoy a bite of realVenetian life, among locals and very few tourists, tasting a good wine and a dish from the inland regions.

Pane Vino e San Daniele 1
Dorsoduro 2861 – Calle Lunga San Barnaba
30123 Venezia
Tel. 041 2439865

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Pane Vino e San Daniele 2
Dorsoduro 1722 – Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele
30123 Venezia
Tel. 041 5237456

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Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it





At last, the pizza I like in Venice!

10 10 2011

Looking for a good pizza, I tried different places in Venice, but so far I wasn’t able to find the perfect place (see my post “Looking for a good pizza in Venice?“).

A few days ago, by chance, I tried he pizza at Pier Dickens Inn in Campo Santa Margherita. And the trial turned out to be a nice surprise!

Campo Santa Margherita is full of  restaurants, but they all looked too much “touristic” to me. Some of them even have waiters outside trying to get you in … a thing I do really hate and one of the reasons why I usually exclude the place from my whitelist!

But, on that day, I was going back home from work at dinner time and, like many other times, I wouldn’t have got a decent dinner out of my fridge! So I opted for a take away pizza.

Instead of buying it at the take-away place in the Campo (Pizzeria Al Volo), I decided to try one of the various pizzerias you can find there. I chose the first one you meet coming from san tomà/Campo San Pantalon: the Pier Dickens Inn.

Pier Dickens is a pizzeria but also a restaurant and brewery. It has numerous tables in the outside where you can enjoy the intense nightlife of the Campo (hundreds of young boys and girls gathering for a chat and a spritz).

Pier Dickens Inn at night

I do not know if I will ever try the cuisine of this restaurant, but I do know that here I had the best pizza I ever had in Venice so far.

Thin, light, crunchy and tasty: the perfect mix for a pizza! It was so good that I went there again only 2 days after!

Good job!

Pier Dickens Inn
Campo Santa Margherita – Dorsoduro 3410, Venezia
Tel. +39 041 2411979

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Anice Stellato restaurant: a look inside the authentic Venice

23 09 2011

Venice is all about walking. To reach every place you need to walk more than what you expect. The bridges make the way much longer than what it seems in a map.

This is, on one hand, very good for the health and also for the digestion (I call the trip between restaurants and home as the “2-bridge-digestive”!), but on the other hand it sometimes prevents you from discovering some areas which are a little bit faraway from your home or work place.

That’s why it took me 6 months since I live in Venice to go to the Anice Stellato restaurant, which was more than once recommended to me.

The restaurant is located near to the Jewish Ghetto, in the north side of Venice, where tourists seldom venture, especially in the night, even if it is where they could experience the “authentic Venice”.

Anice Stellato is sited on a Fondamenta (that’s how the streets along a canal are called in Venice) where you can hear a lot of Venetian people passing by: a true look inside the city.

The Fondamenta (street along canal) where Anice Stellato is sited

The restaurant is nice, even if a little too dark for me and the food was really good. Here you can taste typical Venetian food and cicchetti (appetizers). I was impressed by the “sarde a beccafico”, rolled sardines stuffed with raisins, aromatic herbs and pine-seeds. The menu includes almost entirely fish dishes but you can find also few meat proposals. The price is quite fair and the atmosphere you can enjoy here and in the nearby area is really fascinating.

The only negative aspect was the service: too slow! Recommended only if you’re not in a hurry!

Ristorante Anice Stellato Ristorante Anice Stellato

Anice Stellato
Cannaregio 3272 – Fondamenta della Sensa
Venezia
Tel. + 39 041 720744

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Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it