It seemed a shame to fly in and out of Venice without ever actually going to Venice, so on my last day in Italy, I took a train into the city to have a look around before my flight. The thing that struck me instantly was the crushing wave of humanity, snapping photos and clicking shutters and buying knickknacks from the street vendors. Ever the tourism hypocrite, I boarded the vaporetto water taxi through Murano out to Burano, and took my snapping and clicking elsewhere.
Burano itself is known for handmade laces and colorfully painted houses, and is a delightful place to walk around for an hour or so. But on the way there, I’d seen that the little island was connected to a larger one, Mazzorbo, by a walkable bridge, and I’d seen several unoccupied restaurants on the waterfront there.
Perhaps I missed a lot of the famous architecture, but my adventure for the day was culinary, ordering pasticcio de pesce off the menu with little direction other than guessing it has something to do with seafood. And seafood is accurate; this dish turned out to be a sort of lasagna with white sauce and a host of chopped sea creatures tucked between the noodles. Clams, octopus, and shrimp were among the identifiable ones. This method of blind ordering in foreign countries has often steered me wrong- perhaps you’ve heard mention of the pljeskavica back in Serbia- but this was a surprisingly good choice. So good that I would order it again.
As I finished my late lunch, the restaurant staff cleared the tables, and sat down with dishes of their own as a boatful of locals pulled ashore to join them. This is the sort of Venetian life I would like to experience- the slow, small-town days with delicious, fresh-caught food and lazy afternoons.