Venice Diary: Of masks, markets and melt in your mouth food

It is inevitable that one speaks of masks when one talks of Venice. Even though masks seem to be hardly a part of  the current ‘Venice experience’. Yet, they hang at every corner shop or stall, a hangover from a past where they had an undeniable role. The masks in the corner are from a shop near the San Marco square called Max Art Shop. Here, masks are handcrafted by local artisans from either ceramic or papier mache.  So ofcourse I had to buy a couple of tiny ones. The mask on the right is a birthday present for my sister. I thought it appropriate that her present have a Venetian flair since we were in Venice on her birthday..:)

One of my favorite sights in Venice was watching people walk into this grocery store, near our Hotel in Cannaregio. It was such a prosaic sight yet there was something oddly poetic about its normalcy.

One of the highlights of our trip was our meal in this restaurant located at the border of Canneregio and Castello. We walked through many back alleys in search of Osteria da Alberto and enjoyed both the search and our lunch at the end of it. We started off with a mouth watering (though a tad salty) Melanzane alla parmagiana (Eggplant Parmesan) which haunted my taste buds for days after. We followed that with the tastiest Venetian biscuits and a Tagliolini al pesto which was tangy and light with a very herby green flavor (unlike any pesto I have tasted anywhere). This restaurant was recommended to me by a few people on the slow travel forum , a source I highly recommend exploring before any travel (it contains a wealth of info and very helpful members).

Of course we had our share of wild goose chases (in search of a local paper shop that we never found). But it was a perfect way of exploring neighborhoods that I would otherwise never have seen on a teeny trip such as this.

Here’s a  fleeting taste of  the Venice we saw:

Shops/restaurants mentioned:
Max Art Shop
Frezzeria San Marco 1232

Osteria da Alberto(Closed on Sunday)

Calle Giacinto Gallina
Cannaregio 5401
Ph no: 0415238153


  1. Your reference to the slow travel forum reminded me of a book i bought over a year ago that “encourages you to choose the right pace for every moment”. It’s called ‘In Praise of Slowness’ by Carl Honore and i think you’d enjoy it if you haven’t already read it (because you seemed to have lived it on your Venice trip already…)

    Masks and masquerades. O the romance of it all… (I think I’m born in the wrong century!)

    • I’ve heard of ‘In praise of slowness’- if you recommend it- I’ll go check it out at the library/bookstore.

      LOL (at being born in the wrong century)..But you have old Delhi! (how far from Old Delhi do you live?)

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