Only by coincidence did I end up with the country specialisation of Venice, where I will actually be travelling to later in the year. As I pour my spare time into planning my trip to Europe, in particular my time in Venice, I am slowly discovering the less explored parts of the city.
From the countless movies that have been set in there, with the romantic gondola rides down the canals and eating pizza or pasta in a restaurant in Saint Marco Square, I have illustrated quiet a picture-perfect image of the city in my head. Imagining it to be ‘the picturesque city built on water’ just like they advertise it to you in the tourist brochures.I even fell into this trap of place essentialism in my previous post, illustrating the art, the alleyways, and the canals – all the primped and ‘perfect’ aspects of Venice. I’m sure many other people go to Venice with this preconception as well, and some may not even find the true elements of the city if they don’t know where to look.
Delving deeper into the ingredients that make up this city, I have been asking many questions – what do the locals do day to day? what are their traditional dishes? A particular interest of mine is the cuisine; I am a massive foodie, so I wanted to know what was local to Venice not just the typical Italian pizza and pasta, etc. A popular traditional Venetian dish I came across was Baccala’ Mantecata (Salted Codfish), but it wasn’t the dish itself that interested me. You cannot find this dish anywhere in Venice on a Monday, but why? The fishermen have the day off on Sunday. This idea of something being so reliant on local workers and traditional schedules made Venice now seem so humble, unlike how I had thought about it before. It made it the city not seem so groomed and camera-ready, but now relatable and even down to earth.