AH Venice…one of the most amazing cities ever developed. I mean, how do you build a city on marshland hundreds of years ago??
February always brings the best and brightest out of the city for Carnevale. Thousands of tourists come to view the exquisite masks and elaborate dress. Performers are everywhere. Food and alcohol are on every street corner. And all around, the people are happy! After all, get out everything now before lent begins.
Here are a couple other things you may have not known about Venice.
- During the Italian Renaissance Venice was the leading commercial city in Italy. It was at this time that the Venetians looked eastward for spices and became the center of the world spice trade. Though today most restaurants in Venice style their offerings towards the tourist trade, there is a notable difference in Northern Italian cooking. The regional flavors here are influenced by the spice trade and if you go to Nonna’s house you might find her adding cinnamon to her sauce.
- Did you know that the Venetians were the ones who coined the phrase “Ciao”, meaning both hello and goodbye? Ciao Bella!
- The region of Veneto has the widest variety of foods in Italy. The proximity to the Adriatic Sea and adjacent agricultural lands provide a bounty of seafood, produce (white asparagus grows here!), and land for livestock. Rice, risotto, and polenta are very popular dishes in this area.
- Asiago cheese, parmesan’s lesser known cousin, comes from the province of Veneto.
- Tiramisu was created in Treviso. The Venetians love desserts and festive foods and they don’t disappoint! With the abundance of good fruit and spices, the Northern Italians made some delicious sweets!