Walks of Italy’s Venice Food Tour is every foodie’s dream! I was definitely satisfied by the end of the food tour and would have happily done it all again the following day.
Most tours that you’ll participate in all over Italy are not done by someone born and raised in the city. To my surprise, my tour with Walks of Italy was guided by the amazing Barbara, a true Venetian. Huge highlight and we haven’t even started on the food yet.
As a solo traveller, food tours are highly recommended! They give you the opportunity to meet other travels, find out the best places to eat and get some bearings in your new destination.
I was really excited to be going on the food tour with Walks of Italy, I had seen multiple amazing reviews and had seen a video of one of their tours that takes place in Rome and it looked great. The day finally came. It was my last day in Venice and I was finishing it with Walks of Italy.
FIRST STOP: AL MERCA
After meeting the group and our amazing Venetian tour guide Barbara, we headed to our first stop which was around the corner from Rialto Bridge, Al Merca. But first, Barbara told us a bit of information about the square that we were in. Around the corner from where we met were previously jail cells, and passersby used to pelt fruit and vegetables at those prisoners (well at least we’d like to think so – personal entertainment).
Al Merca is like all traditional places for cicchetti, without chairs and only a ledge to pop your food and drinks on. If you are ordering quite a bit of food or you want to chill for longer, you can actually ask then to for barrel and they will wheel one over. We started off at Al Merca with a glass of prosecco each and were able to try two different cicchetti rolls. I opted in for the spicy salami and creamed cod which were both incredible! I had tasted spicy salami so I wasn’t surprised, however the creamed cod was pleasantly surprising and definitely my favourite between the two.
STOP TWO: RIALTO MARKET
The famous Rialto Market located next to Rialto Bridge. I loved walking through the market, seeing all the vendors engaging with visitors. The first section was souvenir stalls which led into the fruit market. If I was staying in Venice longer, I would have definitely done a little shopping trip to the market. Moving on the the meat section, we passed a butcher that sold horse meat (yeah, I’m not a fan). Rialto Market is famous for its fresh fish market and we were lucky to catch it during prime time. I am a big fish food fan, so I was ready to cook up some salmon and snack on king prawns. Living in Venice and having such a great market with fresh fruit, vegetables and fish, Venetians are definitely eating well.
STOP THREE: ALL’ ARCO
Next was another hot cicchetti spot called All’ Arco. We all tried something different and by the reaction on all of our faces, it was really good. Then we all tried the baccala, which was the creamy cod and I literally wanted to eat a plate of them. It was so good and very filling. Had I known about this place before, I would have definitely had a couple more dinners hear.
RIDING ON THE TRAGHETTO
Gondolas are beautiful and romantic, but not too friendly to the bank account. It is €80 for about 30/40 minutes on a gondola, so it was not something I had budgeted for at all. Luckily, as part of the Walks of Italy food tour, we got a taste of a gondola ride. We had a ride on what is called a traghetto and is used to cross the grand canal instead of a bridge. It was a short and sweet ride, my little taste of a gondola.
Our traghetto ride found us by Support, which is a sculpture of giant hands rising from the water. The artist Lorenzo Quinn says that they meaning behind Support is for us to all think about how we can protect our planet and our heritage. It is a beautiful piece and I’m glad I saw it before leaving Venice.
FINAL STOP: LUNCH TIME (if you still have space)
After all the amazing food we had the cicchetti bars, we were taken to the cutest Venetian restaurant to have a sit down lunch together. Throughout the tour, we encouraged to share our travel plans and how we have found Venice so far with each other. As Barbara was so friendly and bubbly, she made everyone in our group feel relaxed and so by the time we sat for dinner we were all really familiar with each other.
We all opted in for the squid ink spaghetti and it amazingggg! I literally ate the entire plate and washed it down with a couple of sips of red wine. In true Italian fashion, we were then given an espresso and biscuit for afters. I am not one for coffee, but I really enjoyed the biscuit – haha.
What made this food tour so special is that it was guided by a Venetian and there aren’t many tours that are given from lifetime locals. She shared the history of Venice and the different areas of Venice we were in from a locals perspective and how they feel about different things. I would definitely recommend going on a food tour when in Italy or travelling in general. I had the most amazing last day with Walks of Italy, and I would definitely say to start your trip to Venice with their food tour.