City of canals re­pays some ex­tra walk­ing

Neale May­nard was de­ter­mined to track down the quaint os­te­ria he stum­bled on at the be­gin­ning of his Vene­tian so­journ

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

MY FAM­ILY has lived in Venice for 1000 years; my fa­ther, he is 90 years old. He will know where your os­te­ria is.’’

So said the proud Vene­tian who an­swered our plea for help, a race against the clock on our last night in Venice try­ing to track down a tiny os­te­ria ( res­tau­rant/ bar) we’d stum­bled across two nights ear­lier.

Armed with a pho­to­graph of what I thought was the os­te­ria we’d vis­ited ( there was even a street sign vis­i­ble in the back­ground), we had a map and as we tried to re­trace our steps some build­ings started to seem fa­mil­iar.

But many things weren’t and we started to worry that we mightn’t find the place that had de­liv­ered such an en­joy­able time two nights ear­lier. ( Dis­claimer: I’d had more than my share of some en­joy­able Ital­ian wine with our first din­ner there, so it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble the snap­shot taken that first evening was of an­other os­te­ria en­tirely.)

There are lots of such places in Venice: some fa­mous, many writ­ten up in guide­books, many with prices that re­flect the de­mand dur­ing tourist sea­son as the world in­vades its wa­tery streets.

And there are oth­ers, places that lo­cals go, that are hard to find and of­fer a spe­cial taste of Vene­tian hos­pi­tal­ity at rea­son­able prices.

We’d walked into one of those on our first night in Venice and

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