Food, wine and sweets, Venice
Venice is filled with some fabulous food shops - alimentari's (grocery store/delis), fornaio's (bakery), pasticceria's (pastry shop) and other mouth watering places.
As you wander around the winding Venice streets you come across shop after shop tempting you to come in have a closer look.
One shop that particularly caught our eye, in the Dorsoduro region, was this interesting pasta shop - selling pasta in all shapes, sizes and colours!
Along the Strada Nouve there are many tempting cake shops displaying their array of tasty looking sweet cakes and pastries.
What to buy: Too many to choose from - the ones with pistacchio nuts in looked wonderful but the one I sampled was almost like a lemon meringue pastry that just melted in the mouth - nearly choked on the copious amount of icing sugar coating on it though!
What to pay: 2-3 euros, not expensive
When I was in Venice in 2007 I saw many shops selling chocolate and sweets with Venice motifs. But at the end I didn't buy them in town because I feared they would melt. So I stocked up with them at the airport, although had to pay slightly more than I would have in town.
My main photo isn't a chocolate but one of the typical Venetian motifs featuring at one of the sweet manufacturers. It is called “Baute di Venezia” (photo 2), sold in metal poles like these famous ones. It is from company Dolcerie Veneziana. And I am happy that this company still exists in June 2015.
The small chocolate pieces with the watercolour paintings (at the top in photo 3) of several Venezia sights are of company Santomiele and cost been 4 Euro (60 g) at the airport, in 2007.
This lovely chocolate postcard (bottom of photo 3) was made by Caffarel. But it seems that they don't produce them anymore, given their website. However, they are specialist for finest Gianduiotto The postcard chocolate cost 4 Euro (125 g) at the airport.
To complete this, I have included a photo of coloured pasta, which was available in various delicatessen shops in town.
© Ingrid D., May 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.
In this shop you will find the best italian food from all over the country, more than 100 sauces for pasta and over 100 different italian wines chose from the best wineyards. Huge selection of olive oil from all the regions, Balsamic Vinegar up to 50 years old. Truffle paradise from white to black truffles, whole and in paste. English and French spoken, they deliver all over the world even in the USA with wine custom duty included in the shipment fee.
Some important tip on buying food around venice:
Avoid the stalls selling colured pasta, Coloured pasta is not a traditional italian or venetian food, only tourists buy it, an italian would prefear to eat dirt than that coloured stuff. Limoncello is only a southern liquor made from lemon sugar and alchool, anything branded Venice's Limoncello or Limoncello del Doge ( the Duke of venice ) is a not an original product is clearly made only for tourists. Don't buy any food beside chocolat, bread or biscuits branded like is been original from venice, venice has never had a food producing tradition ( is a built up island , no lemon trees, no cows or sheep ). Don't buy anything with a picture of venice or a mask on is probably made in china.
What to buy: Wine, Truffle, Pasta, Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Salami, Cheese and Chocolat
What to pay: is up to you, all kind of customer can enjoy a rewarding experience in this shop.
I came across this enticing shop while wandering around Cannaregio on Christmas Eve, and couldn't resist going in to buy some of the hand made chocolates on display. There was so much choice-I was 'The kid in the sweet shop'.
The shop was divided into smaller rooms, all stocked with high quality Italian produce - wines, champagnes, balsamic vinegars, olive oils, herbs, jams and preserves, coffees, teas, pastas etc.
There were some very smartly attired locals perusing the goods, and stocking up on Christmas gifts, and wine.
The lady behind the counter was also very elegant, and a bit intimidating (like those women who work on the expensive cosmetics counters in department stores!)
I was trying to decipher how much the chocolates were, whether they were sold by weight or per item from the different notices on the counter. The woman asked how many chocolates I wanted, when I replied that I didn't know - (I wanted to select a few, but wasn't sure how much this would come to) - she sneered and said that she needed to know, so that she knew what size bag to put them in. I selected about 8 chocolates- including limoncello, rose, coffee, and chocolate fillings. My selection came to just under 6 euros.
I enjoyed eating these back in my hotel room , and managed to restrain myself from eating them all at once!
There is another branch of this shop in San Marco sestieri near Campo San Bartolomeo
Sotoportego de la bissa, S. Marco 5415. Tel 0412413045
What to buy: Hand made chocolates, dragees, pralines, nougat.
Locally produced wines
To buy as gifts or to treat yourself!
What to pay: From around 1 euro, to enough to upset your bank manager!
Once I've 'checked in' I head for the shops of this airport - sometimes stopping for a small ice cream from the well stocked stall.
Bottaga dei Sapori is my favourite shop-stocked with 'the best food and wine from Italy and abroad' - (their blurb!)
I usually stock up on presents such as Italian biscuits and chocolates for family and friends, then usually treat myself to something. Coffee, Bellinis, Prosecco, cheese etc.
My next visit I'll have to buy a bottle of Aperol so that I can enjoy my evening spritz!
You can purchase gifts from Florians, The Cipriani and Harrys Bar here too.
What to pay: From a few euros to as much as you (and your bank Manager) like.
There are sometimes reduced items.
The shop is on Burano on the main street near a wooden bridge.
What to buy: S-shaped Buranelli biscuits. I had had some of these biscuits with ice cream at the restaurant hear Rialto bridge (see my restaurant tip) and wasn't sure where to find them.
I found this shop on the main street in Burano. The biscuits are actually quite heavy so be careful about buying a big bag for gifts. I did and had to eat some of them before I packed my case - honestly, it's not just an excuse.........
What to pay: Not very expensive, depends on the size bag you buy.
VAPORETTO - GUGLIE
Wandering around the streets and campos of the Ghetto, I realised that I was feeling a bit hungry. The display in this bakers was very enticing. Inside it smelt wonderful! A mix of sweet and savoury scents.
I managed to restrict myself to the soft sweet bun in picture 3 and a savoury patty, which I wolfed down before I remembered to take a photo. My second experence of eating kosher food in less than 24 hours-I'd eaten at Gam Gam - Venices best known Kosher restaurant the evening before.
Apparently, although the food sold in this bakery is all certified as kosher, the owners aren't Jewish-so the shop will sometimes open at times that Jewish shops remain closed such as Shabbat (The Sabbath).
The food shops/restaurants have certificates on the wall showing that the Chief Rabbi has inspected the ingredients and preparation of the goods, and is satisfied that this is in accordance with the kosher standards and laws.
The Rabbi doesn't bless the food or equipment to 'make it kosher'.
My knowledge of kosher foods is very limited-I was aware that certain foods are forbidden such as pig - or any animal that isn't cloven hooved, or is cud chewing. Also that meat products and dairy are kept seperate. I found this
LINK for info on KOSHER/KASHRUT Dietery laws etc was quite an interesting introduction to Judaism
Some typical cakes made in here include "Orecchiette di Amman", which are filled with fruit, "Bisce", which are an S-shape. "Zuccherini" and "Sweet Azime" are donut shaped.
There were various types of breads, biscuits, cakes, savouries, cheeses, pizza, plus plenty of dry goods and drinks including kosher beers.
Opening hours: Sundays from 09.00 - 13.30pm, Mon-Fri from 07.30 -13.00 and 17.00- to 19.30 Closed on Saturday.
What to pay: I spent a couple of Euros
The Jewish comunity is big in Venice, and around the old Ghetto area there are a lot of shops offering Kosher food. This bakery attracted our sense with the color of the windows and the smell of the sugary goodies they were baking.
What to buy: We tried their tiny pizzette di sfoglia and a variety of their cookies. The ones with almond were exceptional.
What to pay: few euros
An elegant and welcoming atmosphere, with dark wood and brass, Tuscan terracotta floor and intense aroma of truffle and chocolate. Outside, the Gondolas pass lazily behind the windows overlooking a quiet canal.
The shop gives you the opportunity to find the best of enogastronomic italian production, all under one roof, but also the chance to have a unique and particular experience where the customer is taken on a path of discovery. This not only includes the italian food traditions but also cutting edge creations that you can find among the 1500 products displayed on the shelves.
What to buy: You should definitely ask their Original from Ischia island ( near Naples ) Limoncello, and have a look at all the wines and oil and balsamic winegar bottles.
What to pay: Nothwithstanding the fact that the shop offers the top of the quality in italian food you can easily spoil yourself with some sepcial sicilian chocolate or some pasta sauce for as little as 3 or 4 €. Of course if you feel a little bit more adventurous you can even think about some nearly impossible to find vintage wine but in that case you'll have to deal with more engaging prices.
Overall is an experience for alla kind of budget and wether you buy a pack of hand-made spaghetti or have delivered in your country 12 bottles of Amarone the staff will make you feel at home and will provide you alle the infos you need.
Baking, Venetian style. Much of this is different than the usual fare found in other parts of Italy. My favourite is the green pastry shown in the photo. Goes well with coffee.
Be aware, bakery goods are sold by weight, not per piece or by the loaf as is usual in North America. The exception would be a set price for one piece (higher) eaten at the counter.
What to pay: sold by weight, priced accordingly.
Italy is famous for many things and when it comes to eats and drinks, if you have a sweet tooth, give yourself as many treats as possible at the local pastry shops and bakeries. Most of them ellaborate local delicacies and also each of them have their own varieties of " tortas ", buscuits and other varities. One that specially was a big weakness for me was a pastiserria between rialto and ferrovia. I am sorry I did not take note of the name, was just excited trying different stuff from this place. The owner is sort of rough while he attends but what he sells is really worth, so look for it get in there and try out what he sells. A torta that I particularly liked very much was a green coloured one made of pistachos and wine - hmmm...
You gen buy some good homemade red wines by wandering along smaller side streets and loking for large (
You can find pretty good local red wines sold out of 30 gallon glass jugs in many tiny shops on smaller side alleys. The seller actually uses a simple foot pump to (re-) fill a 1-liter or larger plastic water container with your choice of wine. Cost under $2. US in 2007. If you're a germaphobe, bring your own container. You won't be displeased.
If you love sweets (who don’t?) then Venice is the place to be. Try the ice cream (gelato) in the special ice cream shops (gelaterie).
In Venice I saw blue chocolate (yes, it’s true) for the first time in my life.
It was a surrealistic feeling to eat the blue chocolate because it tastes just like regular brown chocolate. You think, and your brain tells you, it should taste completely different…
Pannetone is the Italian Christmas cake, available with a variety of flavours
To be continued.....