Cook like a local: Venice
Take a tip from the cognoscenti in Italy’s most romantic city, and graze on fresh crab, meatballs and ricotta tart
Spaghetti with clams, Venetian crostoli and more
Italian cuisine in general is well-known and well-loved, but its infinite local variations are less celebrated because recipes tend to change every 30km – and everyone believes their version is the best. For this reason, the best Venetian cuisine will surprise you. Based on local products, using ingredients that come from islands in the city’s lagoon, its wealth and variety reflect the relationships that Venice has developed with different cultures over the centuries. A visit to the city’s Rialto market will convince you that Venetian vegetables are different: the slightly saline land on which they’re grown gives them an unbeatable flavour. Local fish is, unsurprisingly, good, perfect with just a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Less expected is the variety of poultry you’ll find on the city’s menus – the result of Venetian aristocrats starting to farm inland after the fall of the republic in the late 18th century. Eating out has always been a Venetian tradition, particularly in the famous Venetian bàcari. Predecessors to the concepts of fast food and happy hour, these workers’ wine bars date back to the mid-19th century. The atmosphere is always warm and sociable. They’re where people meet to indulge in cicchetti –Venetian-style tapas – at any time of day.