Explore the narrow alleyways of Venice to experience an authentic Italy.
When I think of Italy, my mind wanders to the beautiful landscapes, the romantic Italian language and of course; the food.
On a, very hot, summer’s day in Venice, after wondering through St Mark’s Square and being utterly astonished by the exquisite floating city, it was time to find something to eat.
My travel buddy, Ashleigh, has a great eye for finding the perfect place to eat, so Madeline and I left it up to her. She wandered ahead and turned into a narrow alleyway. With laundry gently suspended above us, we made our way towards a soft mumble of people sitting at small tables at Ostaria Ai Storti. Ashleigh turned to me and promptly said “We are eating here, I want to eat here.” She could not have chosen a more perfect spot.
Greeted by a rather charming Italian waiter, we took a seat outside. Sitting next to us was an old Italian man drinking a chilled glass of wine. As I looked at this old man, he seemed to embody what I can only describe as ‘The Italian Life’. While we carefully examined the delectable dishes on offer, the old man was joined by five local older men whose exuberant characters filled the once quiet alleyway with expressive Italian.
Our food arrived and the three of us sat and spoke about all sorts of topics, before I began eating my shrimp and zucchini spaghetti I sat back, took a deep breath and examined my surroundings. I was sitting in Venice, in a small cafe with two wonderful friends and true Italians around me. For the first time in a long time, I was perfectly content and happy with my life, smiling like a fool I tucked into my meal, which can only be described as phenomenal.
Eating local food was something we had all been eager to do. We ignored crowded tourist spots with English speakers and wherever we went we searched for small places to eat. They all gave us an authentic taste for the country we were visiting and this was no exception.
The chef came to greet us “belle ragazze” (pretty girls) and blushed when we complimented his food. We sat and watched as the old men helped each other up and wandered down the maze of alleyways, and so too did we.