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5 Dishes to Try on Your Vacation to Venice

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Clam pasta at a restaurant in Venice, Italy

Clam pasta at a restaurant in Venice, Italy

The food of Venice reflects the city’s heritage and history of exploration combined with local ingredients. Whether harvested along the floodplains, cultivated from the sea, or imported from distant lands known for their spices, sunlight, or buttery flavors, Venice’s position in the eponymous lagoon has separated it from invaders and allowed the city to expand across Veneto and the Adriatic Sea. Venice follows the traditions of the cucina povera by focusing on the profusion and quality of seasonal elements that elevate flavors you can experience during your Venice trip.

1. Bigoli

Bigoli in Salsa

Bigoli in Salsa

The long and thick noodles of bigoli are made from buckwheat flour and resemble a wider spaghetti noodle. The life of the noodle has a rich legend dating back to the 17th century, but the genesis of the name remains shrouded in mystery. Whether sampling the traditional Venetian dish of bigoli in salsa or learning how to make the long and thick noodle during your Italy tour, you can indulge in the variety of flavors and textures the bigoli provides in every dish.

2. Clams

Steamed clams

Steamed clams

Seafood plays a vital role in Venetian cuisine, and clams play an essential role in the greater culinary heritage. Pencil-thin razor clams are easy to gather, offer a luscious texture, have a rich flavor, and remain a joy to treat with butter or olive oil. Clams are abundant in the waters surrounding the city and provide a variety of natural flavors, from surprisingly sweet to salty, representing a delectable taste of historical and contemporary Venice.

3. Risotto with Goby

Risotto with Goby

Risotto with Goby

Risotto with goby captures the customary heritage of Venice’s cucina povera, a dish once enjoyed by the poor who created unique flavors out of necessity. The dish typically includes risotto, vegetables, and wine, and the goby fish is easy to find around the lagoon. With local flavors that combine seasonal ingredients, the dish offers an excellent introduction to the rich and historic flavors of the city you can enjoy.

4. Grana Padano DOP

Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano is a hard cheese with a high fat content. The crumbly, flaky, and grainy textures stem from the length of maturation in addition to the strength of the robust nutty and semi-sweet flavor and fruity aroma. The specific characteristics and aromas of the cheese emerge from the herbaceous quality grasses on which the cows forage. When aged up to 20 months, you can find a more savory and complex taste supporting Grana Padano’s nickname as the King of Cheeses that you can sample when in Venice.

5. Squid Ink

Risotto al Nero di Sepia, squid ink risotto

Risotto al Nero di Sepia

Squid ink in Venetian cuisine is popular as a base for risotto resulting in the typical dish of risotto al nero di sepia. The addition of the squid ink provides the rice with a luscious texture while also infusing an umami flavor into the dish with benefits from the natural iron and antioxidants. The visual aesthetic allows the vegetables inside the dish to burst with color in front of a backdrop of black rice that bursts with flavor during your Venice trip.

More Travel Information & Tips

Gondola on quiet canal next to restaurant in Venice, Italy

Gondola on quiet canal next to restaurant in Venice, Italy

Venice is renowned for its serene canals and glamorous marble palaces, but the entire culinary experience captures the regional spirit from the mountains to the lagoon. The unique location reflects the delectable cuisine of the region’s best. Take a look at our Venice Tours or find inspiration for your trip with Zicasso’s Italy Travel Guide. Planning a Trip? Talk with an Italy travel expert for free by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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