Wine, seafood, music and a local guide: what more can a person ask for when in the magical city of Venice?!
This was our second time in Venice. The first time we were there, we only spent two nights which is not nearly enough time to explore all the nooks and crannies Venice has to offer. This time around, we spent four nights. Even THEN it wasn’t enough time! If you’re a lover of all things Venetian and have a hunger to explore everything it has to offer, I encourage you to spend 4-5 nights there. Truly.
We definitely felt like we did better planning this time around, and that’s because we took advantage of a walking tour called the “Cicchetti and Wine Tour” offered by Urban Adventures. Think of it as a Venetian style pub crawl. You sample a little wine, have a little appetizer (cicchetta) and then move along to the next one! It’s perfect for those of us with adult A.D.D. and you’ll get a “how to be a Venetian” lesson along with the tour as you walk from place to place. For example, did you know that Venice offers free water at local water fountains throughout the city that look like decorative fountains? While free water fountains may not seem all too exciting – these water fountains offer fresh water from the nearby Alps and have been there for hundreds of years! It is more fresh than any water you can buy bottled for 2-3 euro at a market. Just watch the locals as they bring their water bottles and fill them up as they go. And the water tastes AMAZING too! Once we found this out, we never wasted money on bottled water again.
But enough about water! Let’s talk WINE. and FOOD. This particular tour included five stops at five different wine and cicchetti bars. According to Giovanna, our wine goddess, Venetians like to socialize while standing at wine bars and eat small Venetian appetizers called a cicchetta (cicchetti is plural.) They only stay for one or two wine samples and bites before they move onto the next one. The cicchetti is always paired with whatever wine you’re wanting to drink. Also, seafood is HUGE in Venice as it is the most plentiful and accessible resource, so most of the cicchetti are seafood based. The wine and cicchetti culture is so prevalent that Venetians don’t even wait until the evenings to drink their wine. Many of the wine bars open as early as 8am for the boat and dock workers who have been up since 4-5am working. Now that’s my kinda living!
I definitely encourage anyone with 2.5 hours to spare to take this tour. It will expose you to the non-touristy sections of Venice to give you a better overall view of what it has to offer. You’ll taste amazing food, have glasses of spectacular local wine (don’t forget Prosecco comes from the Veneto region!) and learn a little more about Venetian lifestyle and history. You’ll even get to visit the oldest wine bar in Venice that has been there since the mid 1400s! Another bonus: you’ll make new friends!
Below is a video I took of Terri as she watched Giovanna discuss this platter of cicchetti. I made the mistake of filming vertically, but I was 4 glasses of wine in at this point. I did the best I could! LOL