Venice: The city of romance, fine dining and…soggy feet?

I’m sorry blogosphere, I know I have been a little MIA recently. And for good reason. Daddy HALapeño (yes, Hal is my Dad) came to visit this past week, all the way from the US of A. And with Dad, comes lots of eating. LOTS. Especially when you’re in Italy…

I had the luxury of choosing pretty much anywhere in Europe to travel with the Halapeño. I wanted to pick a destination that I could really aprovechar, or “take advantage ofhis being here. A destination that I probably wouldn’t be able to afford on my #youngwildwanderingandhungry budget. And I really love boats, pretty buildings, and of course FOOD. So, I chose Venice.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And a good choice it was, Venice did not let me down. And neither did its pasta, gelato, tiramisu, pizza, calzones, seafood, chocolate, prosciutto, mozzarella…

YEA. As I said, MIA for good reason.

Within 5 minutes of landing in Venice territory, I was quickly reaffirmed that Venice is a tourist hub for every European and American alike.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA So this left me with the ever-so-welcomed challenge to find the most yummy, foodphoric local hotspots and hidden gems.

Talk about luck.

The first place we went to upon our arrival in Venice, an adorable little Venetian restaurant called Alla Vedova (as suggested by a nice local named Giovanna), we hit the gold mine. And I’m not referring to just the delicious food. After eating the best meatball, or polpette of my life (and this is coming from a girl who doesn’t love meatballs), followed by my spaghetti and prawns dish with the most amazing crushed tomato sauce I have EVER had,

Yes, that shrimp has eyes.
(Yes, that shrimp has eyes)

I went to take some pics of the place fo’ the blog. As I was talking to our friendly waiter about A Wandering Casiedilla, a girl all of a sudden grabs my arm and excitedly says in a bubbly italian accent, “You are a food blogger too?!” She then proceeds to pull me over to her table of three friends; one of them, being the food and travel blogger for Expedia Italy. Simone is his name, and he was pretty freakin’ awesome.

But WAIT. There’s more. It turns out the girl who pulled me over to the table, Monica, is a food GUIDE for Venice. If I didn’t believe in the big man up above before, I sure do now. It just so happens that the four of them were going on a food tour of Venice that afternoon, led by Monica. They ever so kindly invited me to go with them, but unfortunately I had to pass up the opportunity ‘cause Daddy Halapeño and I had big fish to fry of our own that afternoon. However, we exchanged contact info and then, the best part. Monica made me the most incredible list of must-eat-at restaurants in Venice, all off the guide book radar of course. WINNING. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet the foodcation begin…

However, before I get to the yummy part, there is something very important I have to share with you guys. Or warn you, rather. When you go to Venice, BE PREPARED TO SWIM. I mean it. Like keep a pair of shower sandals and maybe even a bathing suit in your purse at all times. The thinnnnnngs I would’ve done to have this golden lil’ tidbit of advice beforehand. Cause this happened…photo (8)

There was a 4 foot-deep flood in the main plaza of San Marco. Considering every tourist shop sells these really goofy looking plastic “poncho boots,” apparently it’s a pretty common occurrence. The boots would be kinda fun to have, if they weren’t 8 EUROS. That’s about equal to 10 dollars. For these….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, Halapeño and I roughed it. We took off our socks and shoes, rolled up our pants, and made a run for it. Or a swim for it, rather. Might I add, that we were the ONLY idiots dumb enough to do this, ‘cause the water was maybe 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 degrees Celsius). Boy, did we get some looks. Crazy Americans, I know. But all in all, we saved 16 Euros, so I guess it was worth having soggy, cold feet for the rest of the day? Moral of the story: throw in a pair of plastic flip flops in your bag when in Venice. Your feet will thank you later.

Luckily, a hot slice of pizza right outta’ the oven warmed me up in no time. Lots of foodsearching (and an additional 10+ pounds later), here are the best of the bests I had in Italy.

  1. THE BEST PIZZA

    Thin crust by-the-slice pizza with Italian Spicy Pepperoni (this ain't pepperoni like in The States) @Pizzeria Sansovino
    Thin crust by-the-slice pizza with Italian Spicy Pepperoni (this ain’t pepperoni like in The States) @Pizzeria Sansovino
  2. THE BEST MEATBALL (And red sauce. Sold separately)

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    “Polpette” or Italian meatballs @ Alla Vedova.
  3. THE BEST PASTA

    Freshly made pasta with with chicory, Italian smoked caramelized prosciutto and walnuts, in a creamy gorgonzola sauce @Trattoria Da Fiore
  4. THE BESTBEST GELATO

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    Ricotta gelato with honey and caramelized sesame seeds @Gelataria Ca’D’Oro
  5. THE BEST CANNOLI

    Dark chocolate covered canoli. If you're into the classic, they have that too @Pasticceria Dal Mas
    Dark chocolate covered HOLY canoli. If you’re into the classic, they have that too @Pasticceria Dal Mas
  6. AND MY NEW FAVE THING; TORRONES.

    Tiramasu Torrone, from Pasticceria Ballarin
    Tiramasu Torrone, @Pasticceria Ballarin

For a full list, check out my recommendations page. And if you’re prepared to have a horrible case of foodenvy, check out THE FOOD page. Get a tissue. Ya’ might drool.

And to that, salute! To fine dining, some quality father daughter time, and a really, really reaaaallly beautiful city.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Look out for my next blog post on the brothering islands of Venice: Burano, Murano and Torcello. Are they worth the visit?

#youngwildwanderingandhungry

Which delicious “best” from the list are you just DIEING to try? Have you been to Venice before and have anything to add? Tell tell!

To download this article on iTunes as a GPS-guided tour, click here!

7 thoughts on “Venice: The city of romance, fine dining and…soggy feet?

  1. When I was in Venice I had like a rolled pizza.. A bit like a tortilla wrap. It was the tastiest thing I think I’ve ever had!! I’m in love with Italian food! I miss it so much!!!

  2. Hi Casie – made it to Dal Mas and got the peperoncino chocs, intending to give them to my daughters, though as I write I’m doubtful if they will survive the trip home! Hmmm. Today I’ve done the Torcello, Burano and Murano trip (ACTV powered) which went something like this; get to the Torcello basilica only to realise I’ve left bag with camera accessories on the vaporetto so turn and head back (luckily bag still on boat when it returned for next trip). Murano – found some nice jewellery for my daughters but little else. Burano… you’ll have to check my blog and see!

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