Venice is a unique Italian city. It remains culturally intact with much of its own language and culture still in use. A wonderful example is the Venetian version of small plates or appetizers called Cicchetti. These delectable little snacks are found in bars, called Bacari (accent is on the first syllable), and no trip to Venice is complete without at least one Cicchetti stroll.
They are similar to tapas and eaten for lunch, or as a snack during the late afternoon or early evening with an aperitif, glass of wine or a spritz. They can be enjoyed standing at the bar or sitting at a table. Just go in, see what is being served that day, and pick what you like. It is the perfect food for sharing but keep in mind these irresistible delights are so satisfying that you will want to eat every bite yourself.
The bacari have turned these treats into a culinary art form, using traditional methods. Fortunately for the hungry traveler one can sample a variety of Venetian foods, including meat, seafood, and vegetables in small form. But don’t eat all your cicchetti in one place. Each bacaro will be slightly different and I think there just might be a little competition going on as to who makes the best cicchetti on the block. A stroke of luck for anyone visiting Venice.
At times these little bacari can be quite crowded, but don’t let that put your off, some locals even stand in the street. Be sure to bring cash, as many do not take credit cards. Each will have its own daily specials so each night will be slightly different. Plan your cicchetti stroll through the streets of Venice with a good appetite and sense of exploration.
|Matthew Daub is a professional artist and university professor with works in major public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. He has been leading plein air painting workshops in Italy since 1994.
In 1999, Matthew and his wife Barbara formed Arts Sojourn as “a vacation for artists and their friends.” The program is designed to appeal to artists of all levels as well as non-artists who enjoy the company of creative people in a slow travel format.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.