By now it’s no secret that author Susan Van Allen’s ‘100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go’ is resonating with female travelers and Italophiles all over the globe. I’ll admit that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I was convinced that I would love it. I mean c’mon, Italy and Travel – what’s not for me to love?
Susan has graciously offered up an excerpt from the book on one of my favorite topics. Wine and wine bars in Venice, Italy. And stay tuned, because after Susan talks about wine and Venice, we are going to offer up not just her book for a giveaway – but a total of four books about Italy travel. More details about the giveaway after Susan’s words on Venetian wine bars.
In the place that does everything differently, here in Venice wine bars are called bacari, the snacks (including fab seafood) are called cichetti, and a drink of wine is called an ombra, which means shade.
That’s because back in the old days, wine sellers in San Marco would move their carts to the shadow of the Campanile to keep their wine cool, and workers would take a wine and panini break there. In warmer months, you’ll want a spritz—sparkling water and Aperol or Campari.
Here are a few favorites:
- Cantinone Già Schiavi, Ponte San Trovaso
On a quiet canal in the Dorsoduro sestiere, near a gondola workshop, this classic family-run spot is where old-time regulars go elbow-to-elbow with foreigners. I had my first baccala mantecato (whipped baccala on toast) here and they’ve hooked me ever since.
- Bancogiro, Campo San Giacometto di Rialto 122, open 11-9, closed Sunday night and all day Monday
On the east side of the Rialto Bridge, this converted medieval bank is a comparative newcomer on the bacari scene. You can sit at outside tables for a Grand Canal view and enjoy innovative cichetti, like carpaccio di branzino (raw sea bass).
- Cantina Do Mori, Calle dei Do Mori 429 (San Polo), closed Sunday
One of the oldest in Venice, here you perch on a wine barrel with copper pots hanging over you, and have a selection of 600 wines to choose from, along with fabulous cichetti such as braised baby artichokes with lemon.
TIP: Lessons of the Vine is a new offering of wine tasting classes in Venice which are absolutely entertaining as well as informative, and well-priced. The wines and complementary antipasti presented change with the seasons and are adapted to the tastes of the travelers. This is a wonderful first stop for visitors, an enjoyable evening to orient them so they can thoroughly enjoy the bacari of Venice, and wines throughout their Italian vacation.
UPDATE : CONTEST IS OVER
Now for the details on the awesome giveaway. Susan’s publisher, Travelers’ Tales, has decided to offer up four great books for a giveaway. 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, Travelers’ Tales Italy : True Stories of Life on the Road, Travelers’ Tales Tuscany : True Stories and 30 Days in Italy : True Stories of Escape to the Good Life. Just to make it interesting – and give you more chances to win, I’ve decided to have a little fun with this contest, which will run until midnight EST on August 27th, 2010. Here is how you can win: Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win Susan’s book, 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Visit. On August 28th, I’ll pick one winner using a random number generator. Become a Facebook fan (or LIKE my fan page) to win a copy of either of the Travelers’ Tales titles – Tuscany True Stories or True Stories of Life on the Road. On August 28th, I’ll select two Facebook fans using the random number generator and each will receive one of the books, not both. Already a Facebook fan? Congrats! You’re already entered! Use this link to subscribe to my free monthly newsletter to win a copy of 30 Days in Italy : True Stories of Escape to the Good Life. On August 28th, using the random number generator, I’ll select one winner from my newsletter subscriber list. Already a newsletter subscriber? Bonus, you’re already entered! All four winners will be announced on the My Mélange Facebook fan page.
Thanks so much to Susan Van Allen and Travelers’ Tales for the great Italy content and awesome giveaway! Good Luck!
It not only happens that Susan recommends Lessons of the Vine, but I partner with them as well. For more information on this special Venice wine tasting or to book, feel free to contact me.
Full disclosure : Travelers’ Tales provided me with a free review copy of each of the titles involved in the giveaway.