The bacari, or cicchetti bars, are part of the local heritage of food in Venice. They are typical places of the city and for this reason they are found in large numbers scattered throughout the historic center. Going for a bacari tour is a local habit but it is also a tasty and convivial pleasure! Hence it is one of those activities that you should really try if you come to visit Venice, even if you are here just for just a few days. Venetians usually meet in the bacari before the main meals. Sometimes we give appointment to our friends at the wine bar, other times we just go and see who is there. Because, as you might already know, in Venice we all know each other! The island is small and the bacari are a stone away from our home or work; the environment is familiar and welcoming. Usually almost everyone coming here stands sipping a glass of house wine, accompanied by small cicchetti, or appetizers based on fish or meat.
Where to find Cicchetti in Venice?
Bacaro is a typical place that has its roots in the recent history of Italy and the origin of the word itself revolves around wine and its different uses. Bacaro probably derives from a mixture of etymologies related to the drink, the celebrations and the food and wine commercial activities. These places are characterized by rustic furnishings, where wood is the predominant material. The light is dim, yellowish almost golden, because they are usually located in narrow callettes (little streets), often secluded but no less crowded! Normally there are few seats, in fact it is preferred to stay near the counter to converse with the host and to more easily order the so-called ‘ombra de vin’ or ‘shadow of wine’, which translated from Venetian means a small glass of white wine. In these places the counter is always full of colorful and tasty ‘cicchetti’ on sight, which literally make you mouth water!
Cicchetti meaning: Venetian delicacies to taste
Eating cicchetti in Venice is like tasting tapas in Spain or translating the word into English with the term finger food; in reality they are real delicacies of the local cuisine, which we recommend you to taste. The best time is before meals and especially before dinner, therefore between 6pm and 8-9pm. Prices are varied but always cheap: from one to a few euros per snack. Mostly the variety depends on local recipes and local products, especially those from the lagoon. They are true marvels of flavors, for example: sardines in saor; marinated anchovies, not to mention the creamed salt cod on toasted bread but also raw fish if you like. The best location for these tastings can only be the Rialto Fish Market, where fishmongers sell fresh products every day under the suggestive arches of the fishmonger’s building. As for the meat, we recommend trying the Venetian liver, it is delicious but, like the recipe for saor, tasty and full of onions; something to keep in mind if you are on a romantic date! A delicious cicchetto in one hand and in the other you can not miss holding a glass of wine or a spritz, which one do you prefer?
Aperitif in Venice: the most popular
The aperitif in Venice has become a very popular custom among young people and not so young! The Venetian spritz has become popular even in other regions of Italy and can now be found even abroad! Among the many cicchetti and a good choice of wines it is difficult to remain dry-mouthed! In Venice and its province it is now said: “see you for the Spritz”! So the meaning has expanded: from the literal one of the drink, to indicate the convivial situation with friends. The aperitif is in fact a custom rooted in the city, so much so that happy hour here is called spritz hour!
This well deserved moment of leisure and relaxation after a long day of work is also famous for the added value of the fabulous scenographies offered by Venice. Just imagine the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark Square (Piazza San Marco) or the elegant buildings overlooking the Grand Canal with the lovely reflections at sunset time!
Speaking of channels, another way to make our aperitif even more special is to make it itinerant by boat. So as not to waste a second of time, we consider this a great way to discover new places and new panoramic views. To enjoy some time with our loved ones and friends while also getting to know the city and its lagoon surroundings!
Taste the best Cicchetti in Venice on a Bacaro Tour
The Bacaro tour is an interesting and different experience for those who love walking, wandering and having fun in traditional places. This tour gives the opportunity to try some of the best cicchetti in Venice but also to go through and discover various districts: from San Polo, Castello to Dorsoduro. This way you can taste local flavors and also enjoy alternative itineraries in Venice. Be careful not to get lost in the labyrinth of narrow streets and squares, especially after a few too many glasses!
This tour normally takes place before and during meal times and replaces them completely, because all drinks are accompanied by cicchetti, prepared with local products. An opportunity to drink and eat well at low prices.
The Bacaro tour is very popular among the Venetians but also among the Venetians in the hinterland, who love to indulge in this habit. Among the many places, a corner particularly appreciated and frequented by young people is the foundation of Misericordia, where there are several taverns, restaurants and beer gardens!
Venice is all to be discovered through its customs and its food and wine and fun is guaranteed! Are you ready to walk with us? Wear some comfortable shoes and off you go!
After trying few cicchetti, you will probably want to know how to prepare some of them. In fact, having few cicchetti ready next time you have guests, will surely make for a lovely evening! YOu will be glad to know that most cicchetti could be prepared at home if you have the correct ingredients and know how to cook them. Then why not go on Venice cooking class o discover the recipes?
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