Dear Readers, just a few thoughts and recommendations from our trip to Venice. Firstly, stay in Cannaregio if you can! It’s close to the railway station and Piazzale Roma (which is where the buses from the airport arrive) but it’s still very much a neighbourhood, with easy access to all the usual tourist sites, on foot or by Vaporetto.
The Al Parlamento bar and restaurant has become a regular watering hole – tourists, locals, professors and students from the University and workmen moving stuff about on the boats all pop in. Plus the flatbreads and coffee are fab, and they will serve you an Aperol Spritz at 8 a.m. if that’s what you fancy. It’s right on the main Cannaregio canal, and it’s great for if it’s cold and raining and you need cheering up.
On the other side of the canal from Al Parlamento is MQ10, which I think of as more of a nice summer day breakfast place – you can watch all the life on the river, and the coffee is great. Pretty terrible reviews on Tripadvisor, but we didn’t have any problems. I think folk sometimes forget that these are largely neighbourhood bars, and the service isn’t always as snappy as it might be in some chain restaurants.
If you fancy somewhere a bit fancier for a prosecco, the Radisson now has a converted palazzo very close to the Guglie bridge. The room rates at this time of year are eye-watering, but it’s fine for a mint tea or a cocktail if you’re feeling flush.
For our one special dinner (John’s 60th birthday for example) we like this place on the Fondamente della Sensa – Osteria Anice Stellato. Booking essential though…The menu is largely fish and vegetarian. The chocolate and pear cheesecake is a real winner!
For something a bit different from the usual Italian/Venetian food, I recommend Gam-Gam, a kosher restaurant right on the edge of the Ghetto. It serves great shawarma and hummous and falafel, and the apple cake is another highlight (can you sense a theme here?) It gets very busy, so again it’s worth booking.
And here is our favourite café on Campo Santa Margherita, over in Dursoduro. It looks out at the fish stall (and all the seagull-related excitement as they steal whole slices of pizza from unsuspecting tourists), it doesn’t serve food until midday, even though there is food at the bar, and it is one of the best places for people-watching in the sestiere.. In short, if you want to while away a few hours before your next museum. or the long trek home, this is a great place. Just keep an eye on your pizza.