The best way to experience true Venetian culture is getting off the beaten track and explore the areas unknown to most tourists, where the locals seek out their favourite bars for friends, food, and fun. If you were looking for a chance to experience the local version of “happy hour”, this is your chance!
Do as the locals do and join us for this Venetian tradition as you discover the local secrets of the historic Jewish quarter, and savour regional wines and Cicchetti appetizers in the Cannaregio neighbourhood. [readmore]Our tour begins by exploring the Jewish Quarter in the heart of the Cannaregio district, a less frequented area that the Venetians refer to as being the most authentic. The Jewish Quarter was the first of its kind in the world and served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. It is still an active centre for the Jewish community, and the surrounding alleyways, bridges and canals have maintained their unique identity throughout the ages. With less tourist traffic, the shops and restaurants tend to offer a higher level of quality and service here, making it a favourite place for locals to wind-down. No one is more qualified to show you how to live this experience like a Venetian than a true insider: your local guide.
As we amble along you’ll see a traditional open air market, fascinating shops, and other unique characteristics of the area highlighted by your guide. Still, food and wine are the stars of the tour and you‘ll experience the best of both in three celebrated and hidden bàcari (wine bars) in Cannaregio itself, just beyond the Jewish Quarter.
The bàcari themselves seem like something out of an Italian film: wine glasses and bottles line brick and stone walls, and a friendly face greets you from behind the bar while others scurry to prepare and display a wide variety of their best finger foods – cicchetti of various shapes, sizes, and flavors. Lively conversations can be heard among wood-beamed ceilings and chandeliers, giving you the impression that the locals have been coming here every week for a lifetime. You’d be correct.
Here you’ll sample some of the city’s most extraordinary offerings. Whether it’s expertly seasoned and fried meatballs, creamy codfish mousse or a creative bruschetta, you’ll always find the best of the day’s market in these one-of-a-kind creations.
As no Italian edible should be without an excellent glass of wine, each sampling will be paired with an ombra, a small glass of one of the regions many renowned varieties (and included together with the food in the tour price). Your guide will share fascinating insights such as how the word ombra, which means “shadow,” comes from a centuries-old tradition when merchants would sell their wine in the shadow of St. Mark’s bell tower in order to keep themselves, and the wine, cool.
Before the tour is over, you’ll have seen the breathtaking views, hidden treasures, and local favorites of the area. You will have also learned the history behind the Venetian culture and how to make the most of your experience. That’s the best part; beyond delighting in the food and wine adventure itself, you’ll leave with the courage and insight necessary to continue the adventure on your own!Read more
Please be at the meeting point 15 minutes before departure. Guests arriving after departure cannot be accommodated, and missed tours or tickets cannot be refunded
We strongly suggest that you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour
This tour involves a fair amount of walking, comfortable shoes are recommended
Guests under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
Unfortunately, due to the particular kind of appetizers served in Venice’s typical wine bars, they cannot provide any gluten-free option
We regret that we are unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance