View of the Grand Canal
Working at an international school has its perks, particularly vacation time. We have three weeks off for the December holidays, then a week ski break in February, and spring break the week after Easter. I chose to spend this past spring break in Venice, Italy. Here are some highlights.
Best Dessert Award: Dolce della Cassa con Melone at Bar Pasticceria Rio Marin (Santa Croce 784)
We found this little gem on accident. We’d been on a self-guided walking tour through the Santa Croce area, and the dessert window caught our eye. The house dessert of the day was the Dolce della Cassa con Melone: thin layers of a genoise cake (4 layers in all), layered with pastry cream and slices of cantaloupe, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The pastry cream was airy. The cake was moist and thin. My fork easily cut thru the cake without making a complete mess. On the way out, I bought an almond cookie, by far, the best almond cookie I had all week. Just a heads up, it is cheaper if you buy to go or eat at one of the bar tables inside. You’ll pay extra for a canal view.
Best Meal: Osteria da Rioba, Cannaregio
The Cannaregio district was one of my favorite areas in Venice. Quiet, hidden, and had a local feel (not sure if the last thought is really true). Based on a review in Time Out Venice, we strolled into Osteria da Rioba at about a half hour prior to closing for the afternoon. Luckily, we we’re able to sit outside and enjoy the most memorable meal of the trip. For the appetizer, we order the eggplant pie, which was sliced eggplant filled with ricotta cheese, onions, and pine nuts, topped with a pesto and red sauce. My main course was homemade ravioli filled with prawns and topped with a zucchini sauce. Mmmm!!!
Ravioli with Prawns and a Zucchini Sauce
Best Parma: Ristorante Greppia, Vicolo Samaritana 3, Verona
A family run restaurant, sourcing local ingredients. My parma plate was served with a bowl of pickled vegetables. I also recommend the tiramisu…I had the last nibbles of my companion’s dessert after her recommendation. Wow! The ladyfingers were moist, but still held it’s shape, and there was perfect balance amongst the coffee, cream, and liquor.
My Parma Plate
Best Drink: Sgroppino
My travel companion had Sgroppino on her list of things to drink while in Venice. Now that I’ve had one, I recommend you all put it on your list as well. The server said the drink has “ lemon gelato, with a splash of vodka and a splash of prosecco.” The lemon gelato is the main act, while the vodka and prosecco support the creamy after dinner drink.
Best Gelato: Ricotta, Fig and Caramel Gelato
Ricotta, Fig and Caramel Gelato
It was creamy, sweet but not overly sweet, and I could taste each flavor.
Best Market: Padua, Italy
We went to Padua on our way back to Zagreb. Padua is about 30 minutes west of Venice. My co-worker told me we had to visit. It’s a gem of a city.
Saturday Morning Market
Beans and Rice