After a particularly harrowing journey from Paris on RyanAir, we arrived in the amazing city of Venice. We checked in on the third day of torrential rain (thus the petrifying journey) and shopkeepers were still mucking out, knee-deep in floodwater. They seemed all too familiar with this, which gives a foreboding nature about the future of Venice.
Venice itself was fantastical and entirely lived up to its hype. Neither of us had been there prior, and we were dazzled at every turn. As is the cliché, every corner you get lost in is another cute little alley leading to another little canal, and in that canal another cute Italian boater. It was serene and strange and misty and heavenly.
By and large the food left something to be desired, though we did have a couple of great meals. It wasn’t easy avoiding the tourist traps, and we really had to weave through the town and find little crevices with no signage or people around, and finally some Italian-speakers to alert us to the fact that there might be authentic food near. (For a city in Italy, the amount of Italian spoken is comically lacking.)
The barkeep was very considerate in preparing two plates for us. He fixed a vegetarian plate for me full of beautiful pieces of cheese, arancini, some peppery things, some unidentified spreads, and the most flavorful artichoke heart I’ve ever had. Ev got cured meats and little fishes and a mini-octopus.
We did some pastry experimenting, and found that Italian pastries really are vastly different from French pastries! The dough has a much tougher, flakier texture that explodes when you bite it. It’s chewier and sweeter. We had a beautiful cream puff, and an Italian sweet cream treat in a horn-like shell that we could smell being baked from several canals over.
Of course we experimented with the Italian classics: pizza, bruschetta, pastas. Not at all tricky to survive as a vegetarian in this town. We drank lots of wine and binged on gelato. All your standards.
Venice, I beg you: please don’t sink.