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Venice -- She Finds Fabulous Food Stops


Pizzerias trattorias, and osterias...
Pizza is so easy -- just order, and eat. Eating in a trattoria or an osteria, there are several choices you can make. Italian menus have appetizers, the primo piatti (first course, usually pasta or soup,) the secondo (second course, usually meat of fish) and a selection of contorni (side dishes of vegetables and salads.) You can eat every course if you are really hungry, but it is also OK to order a primo as your main course, or to skip the primo and have a secondo and a salad. The bottom line is, there aren't any strict rules, and you don't have to order every course. Order what looks good to you, but be careful not to order too much -- there is no such thing as a doggy bag in Venice. Make sure to save room for gelato on your way home!

Restaurants I recommend...
Alla Rivetta (Salizzada San Provolo 4625, Castello). This tiny, busy trattoria always has a line out the door. But as a single traveller, you won't have to wait long -- they will probably seat you wherever there is an open seat at one of the long tables in the front. That means you will be eating at a table with others, but the food is excellent and inexpensive, and the waiters attentive and English speaking. M-m-m-m. I wonder who your eating partners will be? (Vaporetto - San Zaccharia)

Osteria da Alberto (Calle Giacinto Gallina 5401, Cannaregio). Walk in for lunch and get a table, but you had better show up right at 7:30 pm or make a reservation if you want to eat here at night. They have a number of pleasant little tables perfect for one (or two). The food is wonderful and the servings are a perfect size to have both a primo and secondo. The staff are sweethearts and it is not expensive at all. (Vaporetto - Rialto)

La Perla (Rio Terra dei Franceschi 4615, Cannaregio). A trio of young women work the tables at this fantastic pizzeria. Be prepared -- service can be slow if it is busy -- but the pizza is worth it, and the single traveler will be comfortable while they wait, with a book or just people-watching. (Vaporetto - Ca D'Oro or Rialto)

Taverna San Trovaso (Fondamenta Priuli 1016, Dorsoduro). This place is always packed, but they will always find a single woman a seat. Great pastas, wonderful fried fish, and decent pizzas all served in large portions. Be careful how much you order here because it will probably be too much. Groan! (Vaporetto - Accademia)

Chow! Venice...

Chow! Venice offers an extensive list of Venetian restaurants and bars as well as Venetian food shops, wine shops, pasticcerias, and gelaterias and an expensive glossary of Venetian and Italian food terms.

According to the authors of Chow! Venice -- Ruth Edenbaum and Shannon Essa -- they wrote their guidebook because they love Venice, and they love good food. They are tired of hearing and reading that you cannot get a decent meal in Venice. These women would like women & men to experience the wonderful Venetian restaurants, trattorias, osterias, wine bars, and cafes that are too often unseen by the average tourist. For further information about this Venitian guide, please visit:

P.S. You can also pick it up in Venice at: Libreria Emiliana, Calle Goldoni 4487, San Marco or in Rome at: Economy Book Center, Via Torino 136.

She buys tea in Harry's Bar...

One winter afternoon, I stopped into the famous Venetian bar, Harry's, to buy a Bellini. A Bellini is a wonderful cocktail of fresh white peach juice and prosecco, which is sparking wine from the Veneto. Harry's was empty except for a table of Germans drinking tea, three waiters doing their after-lunch counting, the bartender, and me. I was sitting at the bar in my happy little world when in walks a young woman with a backpack, dressed like she was headed to a Grateful Dead concert. She clearly only wanted to use the restroom but was quickly herded into a seat by one of the waiters. They handed her a menu, and I watched her eyes get round as saucers as she read it. "I only want a tea," she said, very quietly and with a frightened look on her face. Then she went off to the restroom. They served her the tea, and of course it looked fabulous.

I summoned the bartender, and said, very secretively, "I would like to buy that girl her tea." He looked at me as though I wanted to murder her or something. His eyes got as wide as hers did when she looked at the menu. "Why?" he asked me. "Because I just want to." I told him. "Do you want me to tell her you are buying her tea?" "No," I said. "But just don't charge her again after I leave!" The bartender was stunned that I would do this for a stranger with no ulterior motive. He said under his breath so only the waiters and I could hear him, "She wants to buy that girl her tea!" The three waiters all looked at me, eyes wide.

When the bartender brought me the bill, he said "Since "you" are buying the tea, I am giving you a very good price." It was four dollars or something, and I left without saying anything to the girl, and when I go to Harry's now, occasionally a second Prosecco shows up out of nowhere. It's karma, man.

(Source: Shannon Essa, co-author of Chow! Venice)




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