Archives For Veneto

 

We all know Venice’s reputation: exquisite, unique, and inspiring on the one hand, but packed, fragile, and confusing on the other. Many visitors to Venice find themselves both awestruck and frustrated as they get lost in its seemingly interminable maze of back alleys, all of which seem to lead back to the Piazza di San Marco and its heaving crowds.

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Bella & Brava

Bella & Brava pizzeria

 

Rather like England’s New Forest, which received that name almost 1,000 years ago, Venice is full of things labeled novo, whose novelty is relative to the age of the city. The most important of these is the Strada Nova (New Street) which since its completion in 1871 has been the main thoroughfare from Venezia Santa Lucia train station (construction began in 1861) to the Rialto area.

Appropriately for a maritime city, the foot traffic on the Strada Nova comes in waves as tourists exit from the trains arriving at the station, and changes direction in the evening as the visitors ebb away.

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An Italian croissant?

April 13, 2017 — 11 Comments
Campo de la Bragora

Campo de la Bragora

 

It has become one of my fundamental beliefs that you cannot find croissants in Italy. There are things that look like croissants, usually called brioche or cornetti, served up and down the country for breakfast in bars, but buy one and you will soon discover the difference between these sweetmeats and the traditional salt-and-butter French classics. And by croissant, I mean the full-fat, full-French version.

Italian brioche are sweet, with sugar in the pastry and usually a glaze of apricot jam on top. To satisfy the Italian sweet tooth they often come with crema pasticcera or apricot jam inside: to have a plain one you need to ask for an empty one, or una vuota. French croissants are slightly salty and made with lashings of fresh butter which means that they melt in your mouth and don’t stick to the roof of it. Having spent two years living in Paris, for me the Italian ones just don’t cut the butter and croissants are one of the very few things I miss.

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Buone vacanze!

August 8, 2016 — 5 Comments

 

August in Italy is vacation season. At the moment, the news reports are full of exactly how many Italians have taken to the road, trains, or planes to spend their annual vacation in or outside of Italy. The August holiday peaks around the 15 August, which is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, otherwise known as ferragosto or ‘the August holiday’.

So, I am joining my compatriots and jetting off for two weeks in the sun in Spain. Not that I’ll be leaving behind any bad weather, because August in Italy is also hot, with temperatures pushing 30 degrees celsius (86 fahrenheit). Be prepared for some Chestnuts and Truffles on holiday posts however concentrating on the wonderful Spanish and Catalan cuisine that I am going to experience.

In the autumn I will be starting a new series of video blogs to accompany the blog on my Youtube channel. If you are not a subscriber already please click on the Youtube icon on the top right of this page to do so. As a teaser for the new series I have uploaded a short video about Venice, which will feature in my first post (liked to above). Check it out and click like if you do.

So, until the next time, buone vacanze or have a nice vacation!

carpaccio di zucchine

 

Until the 1960s, Carpaccio was a Venetian painter whose renaissance canvases are valued as a record of what the city looked like during his lifetime. Today, historians pore over his works extracting knowledge of the minutiae of sixteenth-century Venetian dress and architecture contained in them, including a detailed rendition of the old wooden Rialto bridge. But in 1963, Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of the now almost mythical Harry’s Bar, invented a dish subtle slices of raw meat and named it for the painter—there was an exhibition of his work in the city at the time—and for future generations the name became associated more with culinary than with visual arts.

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