top of page


After three days of wandering aimlessly around Venice, I met up with my hosts, who showed me how the Venetians eat.

We walked out of the train station in Venice into mobs of people. There were 20 in our group. I was part of a family reunion that was not my family. My friend had invited me to join her on a trip to Italy, visiting family in Bassano del Grappa, a town about an hour outside of Venice.

We followed the crowd deeper into the masses, and I was quickly engulfed in the crowd and swept down the crowded street. A hand grabbed my arm and pulled me to the side, flat against the wall of a building. I started to pull free, but stopped when I saw Juan-Carlo, my host in Bassano, holding on to my arm. There were 80,000 people in Venice that day. A record for a city heavy with tourists.

“Vamos,” he said and led us down a tiny alley away from the crowd. We navigated streets and alleys, walked through a park, over countless bridges, and the crowd slowly thinned. I had spent three days prior getting lost in Venice, navigating with a paper map and a digital map. He and his wife led us without a map and without hesitation to the Jewish Ghetto.


We stopped outside a small restaurant with a chalkboard that read “Cicchetti e Aperitivi.” We sat at tables outside and drinks arrived. I had ordered an Aperol Spritz, not really knowing what I was getting. I fell in love. The icy, golden-red liquid was like manna on a hot, crowded day. I’m not a big drinker, and definitely not a day drinker. I made an exception in Italy.


Drinks were soon followed by trays of small open-faced sandwiches topped with salmon, grilled onions….


To be continued...


bottom of page