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Discover why Italians love their coffee and the etiquette behind how to drink it on a small group tour of the traditional bakeries and café culture of Venice. Become a caffè expert and get an introduction to the traditional pasticcerie of the city. Learn the history of the sweet treats as you wander through local neighborhoods
Meet your local guide at the steps of the Santa Lucia train station (the only train station in Venice) and begin your adventure exploring the Cannaregio neighborhood. The first stop on your Venice food and drink tour will be at a family-owned pasticceria, a favorite breakfast venue of locals on their way to work, conveniently located at the entrance of the island. For those coming to work from the mainland, it has become an institution for its well-known pastries. By visiting this stop, you will be supporting a family-run business (which is fast becoming a thing of the past in Venice). You’ll also learn the secrets to sipping coffee the proper way so that you’ll blend right in with the locals for the rest of your Italian holiday.
After breakfast, head to the heart of the ancient Jewish Ghetto, a neighborhood that is 500 years old and remains an important part of the Venetian community. It’s here that you will have the chance to buy kosher desserts in a small bakery.
Continue your stroll through the neighborhood of Cannaregio, passing by the main corners of this residential area. Your guide will stop for those who fancy doing some shopping, at a family bakery that’s famous for its torrone and other traditional desserts of Venice, all prepared using ingredients indigenous to this part of the world. Get a lesson on the history and traditions of local Venetian cuisine as you munch on delicious sweet treats.
You then head toward the Castello neighborhood, the largest sestiere on the island and home to the Arsenale (naval dockyard). Explore its narrow lanes before stopping at your next pasticceria, an elegant family-run spot that has become the most beloved and famous place to buy seasonal desserts (panettone at Christmas, Colomba at Easter). Depending on the time of year, you’ll get a mix of different desserts to try, appropriate to the season. You’ll also have the chance to relax your legs here while sipping the famous Venetian spritz, and enjoying the view overlooking the beautiful Church of San Giovanni e Paolo. After your energy boosting spritz, visit one of the most amazing bookstores in Europe, Libreria Acqua Alta, a hidden gem in the heart of Castello.
The tour ends on a high with some famous Italian tiramisu. Learn all about this delicious Venetian dessert, served with a traditional hot chocolate that was drank by Venetians in the 17th century. Made from an old 17th century recipe, go back in time while tasting this chocolatey perfection (in summer, there will be a cool version of this).
You then walk toward your ending point at the Rialto Bridge where it’s time to say a presto at the steps. Your local guide will give you some tips for continuing your day in Venice or help you with directions back to your accommodation.