Venice, Italy

I spent the last few months traveling from London to Beijing. Here is a taste of one place we spent time. Follow the links to read about others.

October 25th- 27th, 2005

After leaving the chestnut farm in France John and I spent a few days in Venice with my uncles from Chicago who were also visiting at that time.  All over Venice are businesses where for a few euro you can fill up empty bottles with very decent wines right from the barrels.  This inexpensive option combined with lovely weather made for some excellent picnics.

We enjoyed prosciutto and various delicious cheeses.  A few months ago Alberto from Il Forno mentioned a cheese, Caciocavalli, in a top ten list of Italian foods to try.  With such a recommendation I could hardly pass up the opportunity to try some. 


This cheese (on the right) had a more subtle flavor than I was expecting, though it was bold and delicious hidden just beneath a truly buttery texture.  This was a great cheese and I would love to try more varieties of it in the future. 

With so much cheese we naturally sought out breads as well.  The best bakery we found in Venice was Mauro El Forner de Canton, where for under four euro we purchased 2 Grissini Naturalli, 1 Ciabette, and 1 Pane con olive.


Everything was excellent.  Unfortunately we also tried another bakery nearby, Panificio F. Paronuzzi  where we bought Strudel con Olive e Formaggio.  We were lured in by what seemed to be appealing breads, but were rock hard, dry, crumbly, and made with limp and lifeless olives.   But it looked so beautiful!

We stayed in Marghera, just outside the city, in cheaper lodgings than we could find in the center.  While it was sort of a pain to take the bus in each day, we did have the opportunity to enjoy the Piccolo Lounge Cafe.  One of the best things we ate here were little morning donuts made of lightly sweetened bread and filled with a fine and smooth, sugary-sweet apple filling.  Delicious.

One other fun find was this salt bearing my first name.  I have never met another Gemma in the states, so it is always fun to see my name in print.

Next stop, Rome.

show hide 14 comments

Laura - I’m so happy you enjoed Venice…
Here in Italy some years ago there was the “salgemma”, a typical kind of salt. So “Gemma” is a normal name for our salt…
Bye ! Laura

gemma - Venice was great Laura. I had no idea my name could refer to salt in Italian. That is a surprise! I suppose it is fitting, I enjoy salt more than most.

Laura A. - Hey Gemma,
I’ll be in London the last week in January, and just on the off-chance that you’ll be there, too, I thought I’d check…I’m glad your travels are going well!

Chef Melissa De Leon - Gemma, evething looks delicious, specially the cheeses and the olive strudel! Yum! Happy New Year, many hugs from Panama :)

Laura - Wow, I’ve found that:
“Salgemma, or sale di rocca: it’s a natural and poor product.
Salgemma (95% of the mining salt) preservs his natural integrity, and so is more valued than the normal industrial cooking salt.”
From here:
Bye !

shaz - you’re rite. those olive bread loaves look too good to be eaten. what a waste!
shaz a fellow food blogger

gemma - Thanks Melissa, Happy New Year’s to you too!
Hi Laura, thanks for the information. I’m glad it is good salt!
Hi Shaz, it really was too bad. Luckily there have been many other redeeming bakery experiences on our trip. I am currently in Russia enjoying some fantastic pies and breads. Mmm!

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Gemma Salt - I got a kick out of the salt named Gemma, as my name is Gemma Salt!! (I also live in the US)

Jaci - I keep getting your wed site for “Best Bread” in Venice. Maurao El Forner de Canton” I search for an address or where to find..Pleaes help me locate… I get hungry everytime I see the picutes and discriptions. Going to Venice for 9 days in Mid April. Thanks

gemma - Mmm, I wish I was going back to Venice. Here is some information for you Jaci — I don’t know which address is correct, but Venezia isn’t too big (Strada Nova sounds right to me though):
El Forner de Canton (Grocery and Bakery)
S. Polo, Venezia: Centro Storico
ruga Vechia S. Giovanni No. 603
El Forner de Canton (Grocery and Bakery)
Cannaregio, Venezia: Centro Storico
Strada Nova No. 3845

Caroline - Um…. WOW. What a trip.

Venice Travel Guide - Hmm, nice information about Venice bakeries.

Gemma - It really was amazing Caroline! I’m tempted to do it again, but I should really be saving money at this point in life.
Thanks Venice Travel Guide, though this is probably a bit out of date at this point.

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