Fox Guide: Venice
Culturally rich, geographically stunning, gastronomically enchanting (and home to our very own Pale Fox) we believe Italy has it all! Closest to our vineyard, lying on the north eastern coast, we are starting with Venice.
Top Things to Do
The floating city’ is renowned for its canals, travelling the waterways of Venice by gondola, a wooden boat with one long oar, is a unique and romantic experience. The Canale Grande sweeps through the city and is lined with early Renaissance and Gothic facades of leading Venetian families’ palaces. Ensure you travel under or over the Rialto bridge, close to the market and town hall it is the most central and oldest in the city.
‘The drawing room of Europe’, Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), is vast. Within the three sides uniformly framed in arcades is a buzzing atmosphere of cafés, bars and Venetians in conversation; a perfect place to people watch. Equally, if you are feeling sturdy enough an ascent up the campanile (bell tower) it is truly worth it for the panoramic views. Adorned with ornate friezes Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica), which stands on the remaining side of the square, is the mausoleum of the patron saint. Inside the cathedral, you will gaze at the beautifully painted frescos and over 8,000 square metres of mosaics, many made of 24-carat gold leaf. No words do them justice! The basilica is a fascinating amalgamation of Byzantine, Oriental and ancient Greek styles which are a testimony to Venice’s history as merchants and conquerors.
Next door, the Palazzo Ducale was the official residence of the doges, who were the elected leaders of the former Venetian Republic. The Gothic structure you see today was rebuilt in the 14th century around a courtyard, the meeting place of the governing councils and ministries. It is so richly decorated with delicate marble columns and spires that it looks lacey and light.
Besides the craftsmanship in these attractions, prominent artworks are displayed in many museums and galleries. The Accademia consists of purely masterpieces, name an important Renaissance artist and you will most certainly find their work displayed here. Both the Ca'Pesaro International Gallery and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection house more modern, but just as renowned, pieces. Music is also a central cog to the character of Venice, an evening trip to the first public opera house La Fenice is well worth your time.
As Venice is made up of 118 separate islands most with their own points of curiosity, we suggest visiting some, namely Murano or Burano. In Murano, you will find handmade glass twisted and contorted into beautiful shapes. In Burano, you will not only delight in the multi-coloured houses but also be able to get an insight into the painstaking lace craft for which Venice was famous for. During the annual Carnevale di Venezia, which spans the few weeks up to Lent, people in lavish costumes and elaborate masks, another demonstration of the craftsmanship of the Venetians, parade the streets whilst dancing and singing.
Venice’s cuisine does not let you down either. Cicchetti (tapas) is an integral part of aperitivo hour at bacari (wine bars), examples include fried calamari and vegetables. Due to Venice’s location it is unsurprising that seafood is popular, speciality plates include baccalà mantecato, creamed salt cod, and sarde in saor, sardines in balsamic and onions. The traditional risi e bisi can be found in any restaurants, although only humble rice and peas, it is symbolic as the dish of the locals on St. Marks Day. You should also grab a ring-shaped cinnamon bussolai as a snack!
Lastly, Venice is only an hour or so away from the best prosecco producing regions, including the Pale Fox vineyard in the region of Asolo-Montello. Therefore, obviously next to wine, Prosecco is a popular choice for an aperitivo in its simple form or as part of a spritz. To end your rich meal, made from pomace and originating from its home in the Veneto region, local grappa is served as a digestivo.