I recently returned from Venice, where aside from renewing my love affair with that unique and wonderful city, I also visited three restaurants well worth discovering. I hope you’ll have a chance to enjoy them too.


This is one of my favorite restaurants in Venice and I was eager to find out whether post-Covid, it would still offer the truly enchanting Venetian dining experience I remembered.

Navigating the labyrinth of narrow streets, charming piazzas, and canals between the Rialto Bridge and Campo San Polo is always a challenge, but with the help of a local couple headed to the same destination, we finally arrived. Along the way, the signora enthusiastically pronounced the “fritto” at Le Antiche Carampane the best in Venice, so that was a good sign!

As always, the restaurant still radiates warmth, rustic charm and a cozy, welcoming vibe. The menu showcases seafood and traditional Venetian specialties, emphasizing freshness and top quality, locally sourced ingredients.

I wholeheartedly echo the signora’s recommendation of the “Frittura di Scampi e Calamari” (fried shrimp and calamari). Although it’s listed as a “Second Piatti” (second course or main entree), we opted to share it as an appetizer. We also sampled the daily special — freshly caught “cannochie” (mantle squid), from the Northern Adriatic Sea, simply and perfectly steamed, and marvelous.

For the main course, our “Pesce del Giorno” (fish of the day), a grilled sole accompanied by local bitter greens, could not have been improved upon. I’m pleased to report that Ristorante Antiche Carampane remains unchanged and completely delightful, delivering both the best in Venetian culinary traditions, and gastronomic excellence.


Every traveler is familiar with those evenings when all you really crave is a tasty, low-key dinner at a pleasant, comfortable, and steadfastly reliable restaurant. Then, relaxed and satisfied, you can stroll back to your hotel room to rest up for the next day’s adventures. Located in a memorably tiny alley, Ristorante da Mario alla Fava provides exactly that restorative experience. Recommended by some local friends, it was new to me, and an excellent surprise!

The menu centers impeccably fresh seafood and traditional Venetian dishes, served in a homey, pub-like atmosphere. We noticed numerous vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, and a notable lack of pretention all around. I especially enjoyed a lovely plate of fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers) stuffed with ricotta and the aromatic scampi appetizer. And I will always appreciate the very lovely people who cheerfully served us exactly what we were yearning for, in a laid back, welcoming environment.


When the occasion calls for candlelight, romance, unforgettable food, and dramatic presentation, this is your venue. Located near the picturesque Campo Santa Marina, this historically inspired, yet unmistakably contemporary restaurant delights every sense.

I love the classic yet inviting ambience of Osteria Di Santa Marina. I love the charming surroundings, the blend of authentically Venetian charm and legendary gastronomic excellence. I love Chef Agostino Doria’s exquisitely creative reinterpretations of venerable Venetian seafood and fish dishes, and his artistic aesthetic. As you can tell, it’s one of my favorite experiences, and I highly recommend it for a birthday, anniversary, or any significant occasion that brings you to Venice.

One thing to keep in mind: this restaurant is not a place to grab some dinner, but the centerpiece of a beautiful evening. If you are a committed gourmet, treat yourself to one of the chef’s “degustazione” or tasting menus. With a palette of flavors ranging from subtle crudos to the tang of saor (Venetian marinated sardines), the delicacy of homemade pastas, and the evening’s fresh-from-the-dock fish, treated like Venetian royalty by the kitchen staff, I promise you, if there were ever a one-night way to understand the foundations and the evolution of Venetian cuisine, this is it. And even if you generally tend toward moderation, this is no time to turn down dessert! You can thank me later.

Buon appetito, Giovanna

Italy travel expert dedicated to opening the real doors to my native country, so that you may have a truly authentic experience… and fall in love with Italy as your own. In every corner of my Italy, I’ve sought out the beauty and the pleasures of its landscapes, cities, villages and people. Many are famous or popular, but many others remain undiscovered or rarely experienced. I know them all well though, and I’m eager to share my knowledge with you.

Contact me for more information about booking a spectacular and affordable small group tour or designing an affordable custom tour of your dream trip to Italy.

With love and gratitude,
Giovanna Chiti

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