• Nicoletta Fornaro

sullaluna: new bookshop and vegetarian bistrot in F.ta della Misericordia


Wow! What a lovely Sunday we had here in Venice, the sun was shining and there was a beautiful light that made staying out in the cold much more tolerable. I had an appointment with Vito at midday close to the Misericordia but, since he was stuck at work a little longer than expected, I decided to wait for him in a bar. Walking along the Fondamenta della Misericordia I noticed a new place that had recently opened and went in. How well I did...

The name is sullaluna, which means on the moon, and as soon as I walked in I could immediately breathe a positive and calm vibe. sullaluna is at the same time a vegetarian and organic bistrot and a bookshop with a focus on graphic novels, illustrated books and cookbooks. Nice! Well, actually, everything is nice here, the owners, Francesca and Rodolfo, restored the premises with great attention to detail, from the flowers (rigorously produced in Refrontolo - TV, the area where they produce their organic prosecco, more on this later) to the cast iron teapots and the linen napkins. A sophisticated and refined design with the ability of seeming apparently simple.

The windows envelope the small room in a warm light, the colourful books and floral prints on the walls add positivity to the whole place and the low background music, mostly jazz and soul, is perfect for this ambience. Clearly, if you come here you want to chill and a have a good time. The light then is fantastic, really.

I loved the flowers and the herbs placed on the different tables and I also liked the fact that while you drink your tea you can look at all the books. What a beautiful selection, something new in Venice, with books for both children and adults in Italian and English. Plus, there is wifi. I know, in such a place one should just relax and forget about the web, but I have to admit that it's great to have a spot where you can bring your laptop and work for a little while.

As one would expect just by looking at the design, the food too is of excellent quality. sullaluna is not a restaurant, but a small bistrot and it offers a small -but excellent- selection of fresh cheese like bufala, burrata and ricotta (produced by Borgoluce), organic salads, hummus, half-dried tomatoes and a small assortment of biscuits and cakes. If you come here you must try their prosecco, the Lunatico, produced -as previously mentioned- in Refrontolo, following the moons and with a care and passion that goes beyond what provided for the law on organic farming.

You should also try the focaccia, perfect for vegans too, made with ancient flours and ingredients of first choice. Anyway, in general, all the ingredients are of first choice and from virtuous producers that work the land respecting its natural cycles; speaking with Francesca I could clearly feel how much she believes in a world with no meanness or whatsoever, a dream and more slow paced world, in fact if you think about it if you go to Francesca's you are going to the moon!

After all the chit chats, I was hungry, so I sat down and asked for a green tea and for suggestions. Although short, the menu was all so very inviting and I was undecided. In the end I opted for a dish with a burrata, some tumeric bread, a tardive radicchio salad and the most delicious half-dried tomatoes I've ever had! It was lovely, the burrata simply melted in my mouth and combined with the bread and the mix of acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes it was pure heaven!

I savoured it taking my time, so good I would have wanted it to last forever and if I could have, I would have bought a loaf of that bread to bring home. The dish was served on an elegant wooden tray and I could not help noticing how beautiful the fork was, very vintage looking. I'm definitely taking my mother and coming back with a friend this very week. Plus, being Christmas period, I think that between books and bottles of prosecco I could easily get most of the presents. For Christmas, in fact, Francesca and Rodolfo have decided to propose the Panettone Giotto, a craft panettone (the traditional Italian Christmas cake with raisins and candied fruit) made by the prisoners of the Padua jail under the supervision of an expert Pastry Chef.

When I had finished I asked for another tea and tried the biscuits with chocolate chips. Yummy! I was tempted by the chocolate too. They had the chocolate from the small town of Modica, in Sicily, renowned for its ancient recipe ad its characteristic grainy and sweet texture; the bars and the hot chocolates -organic and vegan- come in different flavours, like cinnamon, orange, vanilla, and pepper. Perfect treat for a cold winter afternoon.

The value for money is very good, especially if we consider that everything is organic! Open from 10 am to 8 pm (from 12pm on Sundays) I think it's an excellent option for an easy going yet gourmet lunch and for an afternoon snack. Needless to say, it is also a great place for a high quality aperitif in an interesting environment, surrounded by books, beautiful drawings and images and lovely people. I think I'm going to become a regular because Vito works close by and sullaluna is exactly the type of place we were looking for!

So, if you are the type of person that enjoys a good cup of tea, good food, a friendly atmosphere, I highly recommend to stop by sullaluna! You can go for a drink and a nibble or simply to look and buy those beautiful books. I am sure you will love it.

sullaluna

Address: Cannaregio 2535 30121 Venice, Italy

Phone: +39 041 722 924

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