Napoleon once called it the ‘drawing room of Europe’. Dominated by the billowing basilica of St Mark, the Doge’s Palace and the tall, distinctive campanile, it’s best visited very early in the morning before the daily tourist invasion.
One of our best memories is experiencing an aqua alta here with Shadow, our dog.
The Rialto market is spectacularly situated on the Grand Canal. It’s where the true Venetians come for all their fresh produce.
This place is addictive as much for the atmosphere as for the actual produce. The first dish I ever ate in Venice was Spaghetti alle vongole, so I tend to gravitate to these fresh clams, to re-create this old favourite.
In Dorsoduro, just across the water from one of Venice’s most picturesque gondola yards, Cantina Schiavi is a wine-bar and chicheteria – and one of the city’s institutions.
We love to come here for their huge variety of delicious cicheti (an exclusively Venetian type of canapé), washed down with a small glass of wine called an ombra – a shadow.
At the back of the island of Murano, famous as the epicentre of Venice’s glass-making tradition, is the Venice Print Studio. Run by an artist, Gianfranco Goretti.
Gianfranco’s vision is to restore Venice’s rôle as a muse, attracting artists from all over the world. He also lovingly cooks for his students – which makes the experience quite special.