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Eating well in Venice

Eating well in Venice
03 June 2016 0 Comment

My Italian friends visiting Venice from places like Rome and Florence will tell you without any apology that eating well and at a sensible price in Venice is not easy. I visit Venice for the joy of being on the water, for its remarkable history and stupendous art; it’s also an adventure but it is made even more pleasurable when I enjoy good food. Finding a good Trattoria in Venice takes a little effort but it's worth the effort and you can thank me later.

Cannaregio is the northernmost of the six historic sestieri (districts) of Venice and its here you will find Trattoria Dalla Marisa and it’s well worth finding. This old-fashioned trattoria is a Venetian institution that has been serving delicious traditional dishes at affordable prices since it opened in 1965. It is packed to bursting every lunch-time with a noisy mix of workers in overalls, students from the nearby architecture faculty and a few tourists in the know!  You can sit inside the cosy oak-beamed dining room or grab a waterside table and watch boats pass by on the busy Canale di Cannaregio. This neighbourhood used to be the site of Venice’s abattoir, and while elegant palazzos were built facing the Grand Canal, the area grew primarily with working class housing and manufacturing.

In 1516, Jews were restricted to living in the Venetian Ghetto, created in the eastern part of the Cannaregio. It was enclosed by guarded gates and no one was allowed to leave from sunset to dawn. However, Jews held successful positions in the city such as merchants, physicians, money lenders, and other trades. Restrictions on daily Jewish life continued for more than 270 years, until Napoleon Bonaparte conquered the Venetian Republic in 1797.

Marisa made a reputation for her nose-to-tail cuisine with dishes such as risotto con le secoe, using beef bone marrow. Today, her daughter Wanda runs the kitchen, still making favourites such as tripe stew, but also rich ragu sauces and tasty roast rabbit. The lunchtime menu is dominated by meat, and for €15 you can feast off a steaming plate of pasta, one of the dishes of the day, vegetables, wine and coffee. At night, the specialty is seafood; though expect to pay around €35 a head.

Trattoria Dalla Marisa – Fondamenta di San Giobbe 652B, Cannaregio, +39 041 720211 – open every lunchtime from 12 midday to 2.15pm – Wednesday to Saturday evening from 8pm to 11pm

Peter Kilby
About the Author

Peter Kilby is an artist, writer, story-teller, journalist and avid traveller who has lived and worked in Italy since 1987. He created Perfect Traveller to bring the world of art and history closer to you. Download the “free” Perfect Traveller app and enjoy the best audio tours available; about Italy today and yesterday. Sign Up to this website and submit your travel stories and become part of the Perfect Traveller community.

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