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An Off-Season in Venice - 4; Hotel Saturnia and Bar Caravellino

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August 24, 2017 / Italian / By
Anna

 

To the left of this door is the main entrance to the Hotel Saturnia and to the right, the main entrance to restaurant La Caravella; both are also accessible via this entrance. 

On our last day in Venice, we had to vacate the hotel room at 11.00, but we were not leaving the city until we were due to catch our train much later in the day. Having circumnavigated the different sestieri (the literal translation would be sixths but it means sections, really) of the main islands of Venice, we still had a few places to visit, a few places to go back to, including a hat shop and we needed to find somewhere to eat. We left our bags with the hotel concierge and set out.

By 11.30 were in the area where the high-end shops cluster, not far from Piazza San Marco. The Tall Guy (TTG) was about to go into the second hat shop of the morning and I was resisting. I wandered across the road to the Hotel Saturnia and looked in the window of what appeared to be a very inviting medium sized bar – Bar Caravellino, adjoining a very posh restaurant (La Caravella). Best of all they had a very small menu in the window which indicated that the price for a cappuccino was €2.50. While that is more than double what we pay in our little village, it is much better than the €6.00 we had paid at a bar with a view of the windswept Grand Canal.

This is vino and chicchetti, Round 1; ordered immediately after coffee, because by then, we really liked the feel and style of the place.

With the bar looking so tempting, I slid along to the next set of windows, also part of the hotel, which opened into La Caravella, which turned out to be a Michelin Star restaurant. The menu included the fish soup I had enjoyed the day before at what was for us a reasonably expensive restaurant; however with the addition kudos of a Michelin star, the soup was exactly double what I had paid.

Undaunted, I suggested to TTG that we needed a coffee and to get out of the cold - it was about 7 degrees at that time - we would try the bar. We went and ordered coffee, then settled back to take in our surroundings. The only other table with customers was packed with handsome young Gondoliers tucking into a hearty early lunch with a little red wine to wash it down. The food seemed to be coming from the Michelin restaurant, but I felt certain they would not be paying the prices we had seen on the menu. It is expensive to take a gondola ride, but that does not translate into the kind of income that allows Gondoliers to eat Michelin Star lunches on a cold winter’s day.

Our coffee was good and we began to feel a little peckish and reluctant to head out into the cold, so I order a couple of glasses of white wine. It is really not acceptable to order cappuccino after 11.00 and we had already transgressed, so it was time to put it right. The wine came with lovely little boat shaped pastries filled with smoked salmon. Any Italian bar worth having a drink at will serve the drinks with food if it is aperitivo time. That went down well, so we asked to see the cicchetti menu (a little like tapas) and ordered a selection.

Of course that led to another round of drinks. During this time the Gondoliers had finished their meal and headed out for a few more hours on the cold waters of Venice. But a number of very well-dressed young women had come in and collected paper bags stuffed with panini from the bar. So it began to look to me as though the bar did good business providing lunches for the workers in all the high-end clothing and accessory boutiques that line the street.

Round 2: time to leave. We'd already seen off half the cicchetti on the plates before we realized we hadn't taken a photo.

We had had a filling series of small eats as well as two glasses of wine each and of course had started with the coffees two to three hours earlier, so we were quite happy when the whole bill came to just €40.00, ironically, exactly the cost of a bowl of fish soup in the adjoining Caravella restaurant.

I would definitely recommend a visit to this bar whether for a coffee when you tire of shopping, or window shopping, or for a glass of wine. It is a relief to find a moderately priced bar in this otherwise pricey part of Venice.


Bar Caravellino - part of Hotel Saturnia

Country: Italy

Province/State: Veneto

City: Venice

Address: Calle Larga XXII Marzo, 2398, Venezia VE

Zip/Post Code: 30124

Location Tips: 5 minutes walk from Piazza San Marco

Phone: n/a

Website:http://www.hotelsaturnia....

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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