• Nicky F.

Venetian Wanderings | Episode 27: Al Theatro

Finally I have a day off and Vito is home too! As you may know, the Biennale of Art has started now and the city is studded with external and collateral pavilions, which means there are plenty of things to do and of places to see! Most exhibitions are hosted inside outstanding Venetian palaces, thus not only you visit a contemporary art exhibition, you also get to see a historical palace.

Since I live two minutes from Saint Mark's Square, we started our exploration in the nearby area. Scala del Bovolo was our first destination, then we went to Palazzo Morosini Gatterburg in Campo Santo Stefano and then...I was hungry! I didn't really want to have a proper meal, just something nice and quick, so we went to Al Theatro, next to the Fenice Theatre.

Al Theatro has both a restaurant (quite fancy and elegant) and a bar, but most importantly: they have the best tramezzini in Venice. Tramezzini, in case you didn't know, are small triangular sandwiches (with the crust removed) with mayonnaise and different fillings (like ham and eggs, mozzarella and cheese, prawns, and much more). I don't know how many locals come here to take home an assortment of these delicious tramezzini, so rich and satisfying.

The bar has been recently restored and, in a way, I can say it went back to its old look, of course renovating it with style. Until a short time ago the entrance of the bar was from the calle (narrow street) you see on the left, while now it's from the other street on the right. I like the fact that it's very spacious and clean and I really appreciated the way the food was displayed, it really made me wanted to eat everything.

As the name suggest, this bar becomes very crowded before and after the shows and concerts held at Teatro La Fenice. I started coming here when I was a child, because my dad used to manage a hotel just a few steps away, and we would always stop for a treat. Dad would drink a pallina (small spritz), while I always opted for a tramezzino with asparagus and eggs.

The staff is more or less the same and they are always extremely polite.

For breakfast you can have tea, coffee or a freshly squeezed juice and choose among a wide assortment of croissants and pastries. Everything seemed so inviting.

If instead you prefer to have a savoury nibble, the choice will be among gourmet sandwiches, small salads, crostini with baccalà, pizzette, fried meatballs and, of course, tramezzini!

We sat down and relaxed. Vito had a spritz al bitter (with Campari) while I had a beer.

In the end he just had a small pizzetta (which is a small pizza in a pastry dough), while I had a couple of these super yummy buns with smoked salmon and pesto! Really nice and flavoursome.

Unfortunately it wasn't enough for me, so I had a look around to see what else I could put into my stomach.

And I just happened to stop in front of this alluring assortment of mini pastries! Yum... I would have tried them all but, as always when I'm undecided, I went for the win-win option: chocolate! So I tried the round chocolate with a hazelnut topping and ... one small cannolo (the fried tube of pastry dough stuffed with ricotta and, in this case, chocolate chips).

Vito had a mini tart with cream and berries, a coffee and then we proceeded with our "tour". This stop was the perfect break to regain energy and enjoy some time in peace and the prices are affordable, not different from the ones of most bars anyway!

I highly recommend the bar of Ristorante Al Theatro to anyone looking for a nice snack and a relaxing break in the Saint Mark's district. Let me know what you think.

Al Theatro

Address: 1917 S. MARCO, Venezia, VE 30124

Phone: +39 041 522 1052


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