(almost) funny, Bucket-Lister Pro-tips, Lifestyle, Travel

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Venice

May 18, 2017
Foods of Venice

If Venice is on your travel bucket list and you like to eat, you’re in luck. Despite this tiny pedestrianized island’s dimensions (roughly the size of 2 Central Parks), restaurants, eateries, and fresh food markets are ubiquitous.

While you’re strolling colorful Fondamenta that border serene canals, grab a fresh strawberry or a Gelato. Hell, it’s a vacation. Get both. Not only will you burn off many of those calories while exploring the city on foot, more importantly, I quickly learned that the Venetians have a rule about not letting tourists go hungry.

Foods of Venice

Have you heard of the “Stick vs. Carrot” as a means of motivating the most stubborn of us to action? The Venetians have adopted a similar strategy, except it’s more of a “Strawberry vs. Gelato” thing. And I’m pretty sure the goal is to remind us to stop doing stuff all the time and enjoy the little moments.

 

Persuading the boss that we should travel to Venice

I didn’t think it would take much to convince Monica that visiting Venice would be a great way to break in the travel season. However, when I recalled the surprising pushback after suggesting equally appealing vacations, including a 6-month backpacking trip through Appalachia, and a hunt through primitive Transylvania for vampires, I thought it best to prepare an unassailable argument. Just in case.

 

Me: “Love, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I think Venice should be our first bucket list destination this year.”

Monica: “Sounds great, Love. When do you want to go?”

Even after all these years, she is still a mystery to me.

 

Me: “Don’t you want to hear my reasons for picking Venice?”

Monica (probably sensing that she wasn’t going to be able to get back to “Iron Fist” until I showed her my PowerPoint presentation.): “OK, Love. Go ahead.”

 

There were gorgeous photos of colorful old buildings and bridges arching over canals speckled with gondolas. I talked about shopping, and dining, and a 5-star hotel with a private garden and dock, and, since I knew my audience, more shopping. Her eyebrows raised when I tried to slip in the budget, but she didn’t flinch. You probably had to be there to appreciate the full theatrical effect, especially when accompanied by the moving soundtracks and my carefully practiced gestures, but I hope you get the idea.

And I wasn’t done yet. I completed my tour de force with… “Then there’s the food! Seafood so fresh it still wriggles on beds of ice, handmade pasta, Limoncello. And pizza. You know eating pizza in St Mark’s square, the birthplace of pizza, is on our bucket list.”

Her attention returned from the TV screen for a minute, “That’s more of a “your” bucket list, than “our” bucket list,” she replied. “Besides, isn’t pizza from Naples?”

“Sure, the Neapolitans like to try to claim that, and for some reason, Google is backing them up. However, you should remember, these are the same people that are trying to take credit for combining strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream. And we both know that if anyone is capable of that kind of brilliance, it’s Ben and Jerry’s

 

Pizza in St Mark’s Square

This may come as a surprise to fellow Foodies with expertise is the culinary field of pizza, but Italy has been reluctant to allow our most beloved pizza within its borders. I was ready to be generous if we were outside the delivery zone, even if it meant hiring a water taxi to bring us our pizza. However, when I discovered that we would be 286 kilometers away from the nearest Domino’s delivery zone, I began to have second thoughts about how magical Venice would really be. After seeing my pouty replies to her attempts to convince me that the pizza we find there would be “just as good,” she told me not to worry about it, that she would take care of it.

As any good househusband would do, I stopped worrying about it. But after disembarking from our vaporetto to set foot on the Venetian dock, all I wanted to do was head straight for St Mark’s. We had to see what our options were.

Monica knew better than to try to reign me in any longer, so we made the 20-minute walk across the length of the city to St Mark’s Square. It was (almost) everything I expected it to be. St Marks Basilica and the Doge’s Palace proudly showed off regal Byzantine facades, while the uniform heights of the procuracies and Muzee Correr formed a comforting border for the spacious and irregularly shaped piazza. Seagulls and pigeons, the true rulers of this realm, playfully dive-bombed tourists to assert their dominance.

I’m not a photographer, but W Brian Duncan at Battered Luggage is. Image of Saint Mark’s Square used with permission from http://www.batteredluggage.com/2014/saint-marks-square-venice-italy/

We settled into one of the many outdoor cafes. A small orchestra played live music in the background. While there was a wide offering of €18 beers and paninis, I was disappointed to see that the only pizza was a basil pesto flatbread that seemed more like a bruschetta trying to reach above its station in life. Not even close to the fluffy, garlicy dough that Domino’s perfected. We ordered a few beers from a haughty waiter who explained that a cover charge for the performance would be added to our bill.

As soon as he left, Monica pulled a t-shirt out of the backpack she had thus far refused to let me carry and put it on. She beamed with pride as I noticed the huge Domino’s logo. Sure, I thought it was cute, but I wasn’t going to be appeased by this flimsy gesture. I couldn’t resist reminding her, “Have you ever heard the old Roman expression about spreading honey on a turd? Just because you’re wearing a Domino’s T-shirt, I still know what this is,I pointed at the basil pesto flatbread from the menu. “And it wouldn’t be right to cross off “eating pizza in St. Mark’s Square” from the bucket list for this.”

Then, when the waiter came back with our drinks, Monica pulled a box of Domino’s pizza out of her backpack. It was nearly a day old, and I could see that the writing on the box was Romanian, but I knew then that I was the luckiest househusband in the world. I was more enthusiastic than she was, as I’d had quite a bit more practice refining my palate to appreciate the subtleties of Domino’s day-old pizza. That first bite was more than a delicious reminder of all that is good in this world, it was a cathartic moment. No matter what else happened for the duration of this trip, we could cross this off our bucket list.

Venice Bucket List

Several “Where’s Waldo” moments here. Not only is my wonderful wife wearing a personalized Domino’s t-shirt, if you look carefully, you will see the waiter standing in a white Captain’s jacket. He looks like someone is waving 2-week-old anchovies under his nose as he sees us celebrating the birthplace of pizza as it truly should be done. There was no need to be jealous. If he would have asked, we would have gladly shared a piece

 

crab pappardelle

I’m sure the minced crab meat complimented the fresh eggy pappardelle noodles perfectly, but I was having too much fun with these slippery sheets of noodle to notice

The Foodie Fest continues

Our gastronomic tour took us to one of Venice’s 7 Michelin’s starred restaurants like Osteria Da Fiore, where eel with orange marmalade and Sea Bass teased our taste buds. More “typical” meals included handmade pastas so thick and eggy I hardly noticed the crab meat or the mussels. We also stumbled across more modest, but familiar haunts, which greeted us with Oreo shakes and chicken fries. Turns out this was the perfect snack to tide us over during our daily walks. We made a point of trying as many different foods as we could. The one constant being Limoncello, a lemon liqueur, which was served with nearly every meal except breakfast.

 

Burger King

Seeing a real Burger King tucked away on the outskirts of Venice was like finding long lost treasure, but with more flame broiled fun.

A Risotto to Remember

I’ve been told (mostly by friends and family that are contractually obligated to support all of my hobbies) that I make a decent risotto. While I may be wrong about Venice being the birthplace of pizza, and Ben and Jerry’s as the originators of Neapolitan ice cream, I’m certain that Venice is known for its risotto. It’s part of the Venetian heritage. And I was curious to see how mine measured up against the best Venice had to offer.

When we first checked into our hotel, I challenged our concierge to find and arrange reservations at the restaurant that served the best risotto in town. As a testament to her professionalism, nothing in her expression suggested that she thought I was another pushy, arrogant tourist. Despite Monica’s insinuations to the contrary, I knew that I was simply exercising my rights as an informed consumer.

 

Our concierge arranged a reservation on our final day. Before leaving she gave us a map highlighting a tortuous path to the heart of the city. Winding through alleys that were only wide enough for one person, we arrived a secluded, barely-marked restaurant called La Colombina.  The chef waved to us from an open kitchen and the lone waiter quickly brought us to a cozy table looking out over the deserted ramo (side street). It felt like the kind of place the locals came to get away from us obnoxious tourists. I knew we were going to love it before we were even seated.

Soon enough, we were nibbling on a delicate selection of chilled tapas and drinking our first round of Spritz’. I was still scraping the bottom of the Sea Bass and arugula bowl when our langoustine risotto in squid ink arrived. I watched Monica take her first bite.

 

“It’s OK, Love. Your risotto is still good. This is just,” she paused to shovel in another moaning bite, “different.”

It’s a good thing we aren’t eating from a shared dish, I thought.

As difficult as it is for me to admit, the langoustine risotto in squid ink truly is a risotto to remember. Maybe even better than mine. We didn’t need the gold flake garnish to point out that this was a gold star course.

Adriana, the owner and chef, came over to chat with us when we’d eaten enough to perceive our surroundings again. As she set down another pair of Spritz, she asked if we were enjoying the meal. I’m nothing if not gracious in defeat, and simply gestured towards Monica who was transported to a “different” place than any of my meals had taken her.  “La nostra cena è deliziosa,” I said in what I hoped was decent Italian. She discussed the preparation. I wasn’t surprised that she hand-minced the sufrito (onion and celery base); however, I was skeptical that no butter or parmesan cheese was used. It could be that I was just bitter that I would have to up my game when we got back home.

 

On our slow amble back to our hotel room, Monica swung my hand playfully. She reminded me that this was the perfect way to end our trip to Venice. Full bellies, carefree feet, happy mouths, and another item checked off the bucket list.

 

Silently I reminded myself, I’m still a good househusband (I can clean dishes like a pro). That’s MY heritage.

 

Disclaimer:

If I’ve done my job well, you’ve found a few tasty new additions to your Foodie menu (or remembered it’s time to try an old favorite again). I’ve also included quite a few links (all the yellowish words are clickable) just in case you want to see more for yourself. While I may call this a “job,” I don’t do it for the money. I’m not getting paid to promote anybody or any product. I’m in it for what Monica calls: “full bellies, carefree feet, and happy mouths.” But, if one of you wants to come over and help with the laundry (as a show of appreciation), I won’t stop you…

Foodie Guide to Venice

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117 Comments

  • Reply janetweightreed10 May 18, 2017 at 5:16 am

    Ah, beautiful Venice….I am so pleased that you obviously had such a wonderful timer…and yes I would say you are a very lucky househusband 🙂 Here’s to many more visits….janet

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 10:17 am

      I absolutely am the luckiest househusband I know. And Monica really stepped up in so many ways to steer us towards a beautiful getaway despite the funk that threatened to bog me down. Cheers Janet!

  • Reply usathroughoureyes May 18, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Gotta love the Venetians rule about not letting tourists go hungry. Love the dialogue between you and Monica. What an adventure. You may have crossed it off your bucket list but now its on ours.

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 10:21 am

      I know right! Although I have to admit, I’m still carrying the evidence of this trip around my expanding waist(and the two after it that we’ll be blogging about in the near future). Think it’s time to get hiking again to work off some of the Foodie Festing…

      • Reply usathroughoureyes May 20, 2017 at 6:38 am

        We know what you mean. Well on the bright side nobody can take those waistline moments away from us like they can material things.

  • Reply Didi May 18, 2017 at 6:01 am

    So good to read about Venice. Its so pretty there, until you get lost pn their Marine base. And reall good Italian food..yes. That ads to it. I do think you had anti pasti not tapas while in Italia. Sorry had to say that to the American guy😉
    And when you are back in Italia a future time..forget fluffy pizza dough. Find the tiniest town , the strangest place and be suprised. I found the best pizza ever in a Tuscan village hidden from tourists, where the local soccer club baked pizza’s too as an evening after game snack. Both setting, local company as food was heaven.

    Keep up your writing and explorations, and sharing them.

    And maybe keep up your risotto cooking practice too 😉 I’m pretty sure yours delicious.

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Yup, Venice is gorgeous, and the food was such a welcome departure from the pork and cabbage fare we normally face here in Bucharest.

      When it comes to the pizza, I’m hoping that with enough time and exposure to the delights of Domino’s pizza, you’ll see that it really is amazing 😉 (However, I have to admit that Monica would probably agree with you. Domino’s is OK, but she’s not the pizza connoisseur that I have become) And I can see a visit to some of the more remote Tuscan villages in the near future. I hear they have some decent wine…

      I still haven’t worked up the courage to try my hand at risotto again yet. I’m going the memory will fade, and we will all pretend that it was some kind of fantasy.
      Thanks again Didi!

  • Reply Maggie Wilson May 18, 2017 at 6:11 am

    I am so charmed by Monica’s Domino reveal. What a clever woman! I think I am in love with her, too.

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 10:28 am

      hehehe had a lot of fun writing this post Maggie, and glad you liked it. It’s a lot easier when I get to show off my gift for ensnaring amazing women 😉

  • Reply Sheri @trail2peaktheadventurouspath May 18, 2017 at 7:39 am

    So that’s where you’ve been hiding! (Just kidding.) My hubby and I will search out that last restaurant when we go there this fall. Your wife seems to be the perfect match for you & your sense of humour with her elaborate pizza scheme! My hat goes off to her! Well played, Monica! Well played.

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 10:36 am

      hehehe I have been pretty quiet recently Sheri. But I think its time to start rattling the cage a bit again.
      And what better way to get back in the swing of this blogging thing again than to show off a few of my wonderful wife’s many talents. (This of course means I get most of the credit, since I was skilled enough to convince her to *put up with* marry me)

  • Reply Almost Iowa May 18, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Wow! day old Domino’s pizza. We are well within the Domino’s delivery zone and still can’t get them that fresh.

    Fabulous read, thanks Gabe.

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 10:46 am

      High praise from a gifted storyteller! Still remember your retelling of Steel Venom…

      And it helps to know the right people if you want to get the “good stuff” when it comes to Domino’s.

  • Reply Writing to Freedom May 18, 2017 at 7:54 am

    You’re a pizza popping piazza playboy. I thoroughly enjoyed your romp through the stomachs of Venice, though I must admit to being a little hungry for exotic food. Clearly you both had fun and your title as reigning househusband is safe with Monica and her appreciation (tolerance?) for your cooking. Thanks for the playful pizza party!

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 11:05 am

      hehehe you’re awesome Brad! While I don’t know whether I have earned the titles or awards yet, we’re all contractually obligated to support each others hobbies, so I think I’m safe. I fervently fear another foray into the felicitous forests of form and phrose as my fumbling attempts to find favored phrases will fall feebly from frail and fragile fingers.

      • Reply Writing to Freedom May 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        Wowza, wondrous wanton word wrangling. I surrender to the true master. XD

        • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm

          hehehe I think we’re gonna have to call a tie 😉

  • Reply Melody Bock. May 18, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Hi Hermes! I greatly enjoy reading your posts. I hope you’ll keep writing! John and I are visiting Venice for the first time, in July. I think I’ll pass on the eel, but definitely try the risotto. We’ll have to come visit you and Monica to compare yours!-Melody, aka Songbird

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 11:13 am

      That’s great Songbird! I’m sure you’ll both have an amazing time in Venice. While I’ll mention it more in the next post, we stayed at the Boscolo Venezia (recently purchased by Marriott), and was a great choice if you’re looking for lodging suggestions. And if you go to La Colombina, please tell Adriana I said Hello and thank you again for giving us such and amazing experience. She and her son really pulled all the stops to ensure Monica and I had a wonderful time.
      Of course, you both are more than welcome to stay with us as well if you happen to come out to Bucharest (but you’ll have to pretend you like my cooking;)) However, we just bought a new apartment in the suburbs and its TINY. However, it will be far more accommodating than most of the hostels and shelters we stayed at on the Trail;)
      And it’s so much fun to hear my old trail name again- I think that means its time for another hike.

  • Reply sandyjwhite May 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for taking us all along on your Venice adventure.
    Quite enjoyable all the way around!

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Sandy, glad you enjoyed. We sure did!

  • Reply desertcurmudgeon May 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I’ve never laughed so hard at an essay about international cuisine in my life. Loved this post, Gabe.

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I know right! Pretty sure it’s poor form to laugh at your own writing, but there were a few times a chuckle slipped out as I was putting this together. Guess sometimes life is better than fiction. Cheers Paul!

  • Reply susielindau May 18, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Sounds like a fantastic place and trip. It’s definitely on my bucket list. Go Dominos!

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 11:16 am

      hehehe Yay! Another proud Domino’s fan. I knew I could count of good taste from a fellow Coloradan.

  • Reply mydangblog May 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you for the amazing post. Reading this, I could almost imagine being there! One question–how does Venice smell? I heard many years ago that it was kind of sewage-y , but maybe not anymore. Smelly or not, it’s still on MY bucket list too!

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      You know, even underneath the awnings of the fresh seafood stalls in Rialta Fish Market, there was no fishy smell. Just fresh sea air. It may have been the early spring weather and constant breezes but there were no “sewage-y” smells to be found, and we had a chance to wander all of Venice and several of the surrounding islands. So it’s definitely worth a spot on your bucket list!

  • Reply Retirementallychallenged.com May 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    It has been way too long since I’ve been to Italy, let alone Venice. So nice to see it again through your eyes (and stomach). I remember being SHOCKED at how different the Italian pizza was from what we serve in the states. I expected it to be the same, only better. After I got used to it, I decided that, although not the same at all, it was better. I never did get a chance to try the risotto, though (we were young and on a tight budget). Perhaps even more of a reason to return?

    I am amazed that W. Brian Duncan could get a picture of Saint Mark’s Square without any people… how does that happen?

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Yeah I’ve heard that Italian pizza is an acquired taste as well. However, I think I might be old and set in my ways…
      And I was stunned by the Brian’s photo of St. Marks as well. While I’m sure the late hour and rainy 2014 weather had something to do with it, I suspect that it was “closed” for a special occasion. Perhaps the MOST amazing aspect was that there were no pigeons or seagulls anywhere. While there were a few times Monica and I passed through the Square during the quiet hours, there were always plenty of birds around (they really do own the Square).

  • Reply Arionis May 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    That all looks delicious! The Dominos picture is awesome and the look on the waiter’s face is priceless!

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Hehehe I’m sure he was just jealous😝

  • Reply shopgirlanonymous May 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Eating my way through Italy is definitely towards the top of my Bucket List. I see it as my step two of completing my Eat Pray Love pilgrimage. 😉 That Burger King looks too kewl! Sounds like it was a successful vacation…::clears throat:: I mean work trip.

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Hehehe I promise that absolutely no “work” was performed. And good luck with your pilgrimage- sounds like I would really enjoy Step 2.

  • Reply Miriam May 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Gabe what a fantastic post, from your culinary risotto descriptions to the magic of eating Dominos pizza in St Marcos Square, you absolutely transported me. Brought back wonderful memories of getting lost in back alleyways and eating panino and drinking a thermos of red wine in the steps of the Grand Canal. Bellissimo Venezia, the most magical city in Italy. Wonderful, fabulous post. ❤️

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Glad you liked it Miriam! And Venice really is a wonderful city to explore. I can totally see you slurping on a thermos of wine as u watch the boats drift by.

      • Reply Miriam May 18, 2017 at 4:16 pm

        Haha, absolutely. My parents come from the Veneto region so it almost felt like being home, hearing the dialect and all.

  • Reply tianasweb May 18, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed it…though I havent tasted your risotto, this one looked divine. Thanks for sharing a wonderful time with us

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      My pleasure! And feel free to stop back by any time the mood strikes!

  • Reply Tiny May 18, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    First you have a fabulous trip with all the trimmings, then you enjoy it again writing this great piece – double the fun! Hehe. Your musings brought back my memories of the food (that risotto looks amazing), narrow alleys, mysterious old buildings…and shopping. Thank you!

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Absolutely Tiny! Glad I could refresh those memories, they should like good ones.

  • Reply dave ply May 18, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Interesting. Of all my vague and fading memories of Venice, food doesn’t even make an appearance, and for you it’s a centerpiece. Maybe it was the less than memorable tour group fare we encountered. Yet somehow you manage in one breath to describe the joys of Domino’s Pizza (not exactly known as gourmet around here, sorry) and Burger King, and in the next breath taking us on a journey to a risotto taken to the next level, and beyond.

    But the best bit was the pizza packin’ Momma. I think you have a keeper there.

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      hehehe no worries Dave, that leaves more of the good stuff for us plebeians. And you’re so right, Monica really is a keeper!

  • Reply Middle Eats May 18, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    I’d love to visit Venice one day, my dad went recently to celebrate my step mother’s cousins birthday and said it was stunning. I would literally just be going for the food, I’m not that fussed about anything else! Haha

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Sounds perfect! However, I have to warn you, along the way, you might get distracted by the gorgeous ambiance and the undeniable history that will stand between you and quite a few fun meals. Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to come on back any time the mood strikes!

  • Reply Johanna Bradley May 19, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Love the photo of you and Monica (in that t-shirt! 🙂 ), Gabe. I’m no foodie but I like your ‘just one cornetto’ sketch too. Happy days!

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Thanks Jo- glad you liked the sketch! And I’m probably not a true foodie either, but it sure is fun to play.

  • Reply Heritage: That ‘s Cricket | What's (in) the picture? May 19, 2017 at 1:41 am

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  • Reply josypheen May 19, 2017 at 4:57 am

    This post is brilliant! Good work ‘persuading’ the boss to allow you to go to Venice.

    I almost can’t believe your amazing wife brought you a day old pizza to St Marks Square, but it is so sweet that she knows what you really want!

    That risotto looks amazing.

    I went to Venice years ago, but although I loved it (and though the scenery was gooorgeous) I wasn’t that impressed by the food. Now I know, I should go back with dominos and search out burger king. 😉

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      hehehe thanks-this trip turned out really well. And I do have to give Monica the lionesses share of the credit for her ingenuity and creativity. We both know how important it is to keep checking items off the bucket list.
      And hope you have even more luck on your return trip- but I completely understand, Foodies like us are difficult to please.

  • Reply Jennifer May 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Eating Domino’s pizza in St. Micheal’s Square? My husband is jealous!

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      hehehe While we caught the scandalized look on the waiters face, this was barely fraction of the shocked expressions we faced from those nearby. You’d think we were trying to wash our hands in holy water 😉 That made this moment all the more fun. Wouldn’t have it any other way;)

  • Reply cracTpot May 19, 2017 at 6:58 am

    *sigh* There is nothing like walking, bellies full, hand in hand, in the city of love, with your love…even if there is a cover charge added to your bill for the privilege lol…Glad you had a lovely time. Just a quick 2 hour jaunt north and you’re in Nuvolento with my family where the rule is, if you want seconds you say, ‘absolutely no more, I’m stuffed’ and if you don’t want seconds…well you’re getting them anyway 😉

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Well said. Even if the cover charge was probably the waiters way of either trying to persuade us to leave before we disgraced the outdoor cafe with our sacrilegious Domino’s, or it was a “sin” tax, it was absolutely worth it.

      And your family sounds amazing! This is the exact same policy I face when we visit villages in Transylvania (stay tuned, more on that in future posts;). Cheers!

  • Reply Ann Coleman May 19, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Everyone who has been to Venice has told me I should go, but nothing has convinced me of that truth the way your post did. I am going! I doubt that I’ll bring my own pizza (you married very, very well), but if I have half as much fun on the trip as I did reading about your visit there, it will be time well spent. Thanks for my first laugh (s) of the day!

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      hehehe so glad you enjoyed the read Ann. It took me awhile to shake off this funk, and I’m pretty sure I’ve just about used up my “depressing content” allotment for awhile.

      Can’t wait to read about your future adventures if you make it out to venice!

  • Reply TheCuratedLab May 19, 2017 at 11:30 am

    That pasta looks very delicious. I totally believe in igniting the traditional flavours and hunting for places where the food is not only delicious but at the same time the preaparation is appreciable.

  • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Wow well said! It’s great to meet a fellow Foodie, even if I can already see that you are far more refined than I.
    Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to return whenever the mood strikes!

  • Reply Mal IntoTheCity May 19, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve been to Venice a few years ago but I did not end up in any of these places. When I go again I’ll make sure to write them all down and visit!

    • Reply Gabriel May 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      That’s one of the great things about this tiny little island…even with a week of free time to explore, there are still too many things to do, and meals to eat, to take them all in.

  • Reply alisonrost May 19, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    We have friends who just got back from Venice and haven’t stopped talking about it since. Especially the pasta. In fact, while they were there the took a cooking class (they take a class in every foreign place they visit). I can’t wait to make pasta with her and learn the secrets!

    • Reply Gabriel May 20, 2017 at 8:34 am

      ooooo that sounds like a lot of fun. Wish I would have thought of that while we were there. Enjoy the pasta!

  • Reply Lana_SHON May 20, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Great post. Thanks.

    • Reply Gabriel May 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Sure Lana- glad you enjoyed!

  • Reply Nayna Kanabar (@SIMPLYF00D) May 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Venice, I loved everything about it when I visited, especially the wood oven baked pizzas they were delicious.

    • Reply Gabriel May 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      hmmmm that might be a decent substitute to Domino’s, but I wouldn’t want to appear disloyal 😉

  • Reply Wendy Weir May 20, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    So much to enjoy in your post, but the photo of you by Burger King is sublime! It’s everything perfectly wrong and right, and made me giggle audibly.

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      hehehe thanks so much Wendy. I thought you might enjoy a few moments of “real” from the city that is usually portrayed as a beautiful, romantic, historic destination. I know we sure did!

  • Reply twobrownfeet May 20, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    The handwork you and Monica put into striking off an item of your bucket list is aspirational, Gabe. It sets new goals for us. 🙂 In 2010, as rookie travellers we spent most of our time (two days) in Venice gawking at Venetian architecture, finding quiet corners or back alleys to explore, and sampling (really cheap)local food. None of it was as exciting as your ‘Pizza Moment’ !

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      You’re so right. I was surprised to find plenty of places to find “cheap” food (although I suspect you had more luck finding “really cheap” food than we did). In all honesty, these were some of our favorite meals – the ones we didn’t pay over 100 euros for, and got to throw away our paper napkins after!

  • Reply Liesbet May 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    What a wonderful time in Venice, Gabe. And such a fantastic and romantic pizza surprise from Monica. Did you not see it coming at all? I’m happy to read you had a wonderful (foodie) experience and vacation. Did your batteries get charged?

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Liesbet! While I had a hard time shaking off the funk to get on the plane, once we landed, the haze lifted and we were able to immerse ourselves in the experience. This of course made it far easier for Monica to plan to “surprise” me, and easier to enjoy once we were in the city.
      It has taken several weeks to mentally reset and get moving again, but I think I’m ready to jump back into the blogosphere again. Looks like I’ve missed a lot of great stuff!

  • Reply Lucid Gypsy May 21, 2017 at 1:14 am

    I love your nerve, eating pizza from a box at restaurant! Wish this was Florence as I’m going in September!

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      hehehe yup it was a lot of fun. Pretty sure we were the first ones to ever enjoy the rare delight s of Dominos in the shadow of St. Marks square.
      Florence in September will be amazing! Can’t wait to read about it. Don’t forget to set aside a day to visit the Uffizi!

  • Reply Green Global Trek May 21, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Gabe you have my mouth watering over that risotto!! Yum.

    Dominos pizza in Venice? I have to say, that must be a first. I recall some incredible hot chocolate at the square when we were there over Christmas one year, when the square flooded it rained so much. And gelatto is always a winner in Italy.

    Great read.

    Peta

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Peta Venice over the holidays sounds delightful! I was expecting rain, but we had clear skies and cool weather the entire trip. Was perfect.

      Hope you get a chance to satisfy that risotto craving soon.

  • Reply Ritu May 21, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Ok, now I am hungry!!!!

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      hehehe thanks Ritu, glad you enjoyed, and hope I gave you a few ideas for dinner 😉

      • Reply Ritu May 21, 2017 at 11:44 pm

        I’m ALWAYS up for eating Italian lol! That’s the trouble! 😀

  • Reply Candace May 21, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Venice is on my bucket list of places to go. You’re tempting me even more now lol

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      You should absolutely add it to the bucket list. And thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to stop back in any time the mood strikes.

  • Reply the incurable dreamer May 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Venice IS on my bucket list, and I cannot wait to go there. My friends were in Venice on their honeymoon a couple of summers ago, and all they carried on about when they got back was the wine and prosecco, and how delicious it was. SO, now that you have provided me with a foodie review, I am ready to hit the canals! I am so thrilled that you and Monica had such a marvelous time, and I LOVE seeing photos of the two of you! Great post, Gabe.

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Tanya! I really wanted to say a few words about Spritz, but I’m pretty sure I used up my allotment on Burger King and risotto. Monica and I are now Spritz-oholics. You probably know already, but one part Prosecco, a bit less Aperol (that orange bitter stuff in the dusty bottle way in back of the liquor cabinet), and splash of soda water (or Sprite if you like the sweet stuff as much as I do). Repeat and repeat and repeat.
      Totally unrelated topic, but really hope your body gives you a break for a bit, you got shit to do!

      • Reply the incurable dreamer May 22, 2017 at 8:11 am

        Gabe, you may have just turned me into a Spritz-oholic! What a fantastic summer drink. I am definitely going to repeat and repeat and repeat. Your whole post was hilarious and I see how Burger King and risotto kinda hogged the spotlight! haha. Thanks for the spritz tip, you have no idea how excited I am about trying it. And thanks, I hope my body backs the hell off soon, I have SO MUCH shit to do!

        • Reply Gabriel May 23, 2017 at 8:30 am

          hehehe I hope you enjoy the Spritz Tanya. And maybe have an extra (just for medicinal purposes of course).

  • Reply angelanoelauthor May 21, 2017 at 9:08 am

    A delightful post. Plus, your wife is awesome.

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks Angela and you are so right. Monica IS awesome. (But so are you!)

  • Reply Andrea Stephenson May 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Sounds delightful Gabe. I have been to Venice a couple of times, though I don’t remember much about the food – maybe I’ll have to go again someday to sample it!

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      hehehe your right Andrea, it takes a bit of extra effort to focus on the cuisine in Venice, especially when surrounded by the history, architecture, and ambiance. I hope you’re able to make a return trip – strictly for research purposes of course.

  • Reply D. Wallace Peach May 21, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Trying the different and authentic foods is one of the things I like best about traveling. Venice sounds wonderful, Gabe. I’ve never been but will get there!

    • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      oooo I’d love to read about how Venice looks through your eyes (or words). Your book is next up on my cues of reads…really looking forward to it. And thanks for stopping by!

      • Reply D. Wallace Peach May 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        I haven’t traveled much, Gabe, and plan to make up for lost time! I’m sure there are stories oozing out of the landscape all over the world! Can I ask which book?

        • Reply Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm

          I think you’ve “traveled” more than most of us. After created more than a dozen novels, you’ve been (and taken your readers to) more worlds than many of us can imagine.

          Next up on my Kindle: The Sorcerer’s Garden

          • D. Wallace Peach May 21, 2017 at 5:01 pm

            Aw. Thanks for the lovely comment. I do hope the journey is a fun one. And “Oh good.” Hope you enjoy it. It’s a wild one. 🙂

  • Reply Bel May 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    The trip to Venice seems lots of fun. I love that Monica, your lovely wife, had Domino’s in her backpack. I mean, how cool is that? Really? 😁 The food looks so yummy but seems to be on the pricier side – which is something my lame budget can’t possibly afford. I will just live vicariously through this post everytime I think of Venice. What a fun adventure – now I’m hungry! 😭

    • Reply Gabriel May 22, 2017 at 5:52 am

      Yup – she actually did have Domino’s in the backpack. And yup- most of our meals were ridiculously overpriced. However, I’ve heard that the savvy shopper can find great deals on both lodging and meals. Even saw a handful of backpackers strolling the canals. (That would be awesome right?) Cheers Bel!

  • Reply Marceline Dementori May 23, 2017 at 4:45 am

    I am a certified foodie and one of the things that I love doing in other countries is try out the local fair. I think this is a nice guide especially for first time visitors like me.

    • Reply Gabriel May 23, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Wow thank you so much for the endorsement. I haven’t been able to get my Foodie status certified yet. For some reason they don’t recognize the culinary delights of Domino’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Snickers to the same extent I do. But, I’ll keep trying…
      And thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to come on back any time the mood strikes.

  • Reply nbosken May 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    That’s so cute that you wanted to tell her your reasons and she was just like “okay yeah, Venice.” And to be fair, it would take little convincing to get me to go to Venice as well. It looks amazing!

    • Reply Gabriel May 24, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      hehehe yup. It may take me awhile, but I’m finally beginning to figure women out 😉

  • Reply aFrankAngle May 24, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Time for me to complain. Read a post about Venice is torture in itself …. and Brian’s pic of St. Mark’s Square is awesome …. but then you go into eating in Venice. OK … time to search for airfare.

    • Reply Gabriel May 24, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Sorry about that Frank. I’ve been warned that I’m a bad influence. I’ll take all the blame (but half the credit) if you do make it out to Venice. It’s a good time.

      • Reply aFrankAngle May 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

        LOL … thanks for taking the blame. Actually visited Venice twice … the last time about 5 or 10 years ago (they run together) … gotta love all of Italy!

  • Reply Di May 24, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    What an entertaining post while still being informative Gabe. Such a lovely read. And I’d still keep looking for Dracula on your list… you never know! Great to see photos of you and Monica.
    Until next time… 🙋🏻🌟🌟

    • Reply Gabriel May 25, 2017 at 12:20 am

      Thanks Di. And I don’t wanna spoil too much but recently returned from another trip to Transylvania. There might be a few stories in the not-too-distant future…

      • Reply Di May 25, 2017 at 12:26 am

        You’re welcome Gabe! And… awesome…I’ll look forward to reading whatever you’re alluding to…🙂🙋🏻

  • Reply rgayer55 May 26, 2017 at 8:27 am

    I love the exchange with Monica at the start of this piece. Women are definitely a mystery, and a wonderful one at that. I’m glad she graciously allowed you to share your PowerPoint.

    • Reply Gabriel May 26, 2017 at 8:31 am

      So true Russell! While I’ll never figure these mysterious creatures out, it’ll be a lot of fun to try.

  • Reply Sariska Jeep Safari June 1, 2017 at 2:08 am

    So great to peruse about Venice…I am so enchanted by Monica’s Domino uncover. What a shrewd lady!..

    • Reply Gabriel June 2, 2017 at 8:17 am

      She really is.

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