You can’t say you truly visited or completely understood Venice, if you didn’t do at least one of these untouristic things.
1. If you read A little vocabulary of Venetian language, you would know that Venice doesn’t just have its own dialect, but a proper language that names many things that does not exist in standard italian.
As other italians say, people from Veneto are known for their drinking culture. Their alcholic habbits are funnily pointed out by their compatriots when they are abroad. So, after this statement, could the venetians not create some words about the so important italian aperitivo hour?
Dear young european readers, have you ever joined a pub crawl? Are you able to translate the word pub crawl into your language? Maybe. Are you able to translate it into italian? I am sure you can’t, because it doesn’t exist. Well, venetians made up their own version by using the word Bacaro: the bacaro tour or tour dei bacari.
The bacaro is a little venetian bar, called osteria in ancient times (or simply a pub in London), where you can drink the so-called ombre, that are wine glasses. Meanwhile, you could eat the popular venetian cicheti (similar to the spanish tapas): little toasts or canapés typical of the aperitivo hour (6 – 8 pm).
If you put together ombre, cicheti and the act of strolling around from one bacaro to another (all of that in the venetian calli) you are going to obtain the Bacaro Tour. So, at least for the aperitivo time, you are going to feel a true Venetian.
2. If you have visited Venice, you have probably been there for Carnival. Also, you might not had enough room for going to one campo to another, because of the big crowd of tourists. But, while they are taking pictures between San Marco Square and the Ducale Palace, you may get away from there, in order to reach the best place in Venice where you can eat frittelle: the Pasticceria Tonolo.
The frittella is a food that changes in every italian region. In Venice, the frittella is a typical Carnival sweet. It is fried and rounded and the shape may change in any city of the region (but Tonolo’s ones are huge). Also, it is filled with pastry cream or zabaione cream (eggnog), even if the typical ones are stuffed with raisins as well. If you go to this bakery, you might queue a lot, but there will be less tourists and more local people who you might taste those frittelle with.
3. In Venice there is a special place, not crowded at all, that you can reach withut walking the usual way to go to Rialto and then to San Marco. I am talking about the old jewish neighourhood, located in the Cannaregio sestriere.
I went there for the first time when I was 14 and I immediately fell in love with it, especially because of its bakeries. My favourite one is Panificio Giovanni Volpe, where you can buy many bakery products. Most of those products have jewish origins and you may eat them in the close campo, just outside the bakery.
The jewish district is not only an happy “island” where you can eat sweets, but also a place where you can discover the italian jewish community. In the district, there are five synagogues, but just two of them are visitable by buying the ticket for the Jewish Museum of Venice. The museum is located in the Campo Ghetto Novo, the full ticket costs 12€ and 10€ the reduced one.
So, if you are tired of the usual and touristic Venice and you want to taste a new side of this unique city, the Jewish district is waiting for you.