One of the most fun things to do in Venice is to wander the back streets and alleys away from the touristy areas. This was how Maureen found the Vino e Vini enoteca in the Castello district. This friendly enoteca offered tastings of eight Veneto wines that it sells to neighborhood customers as 'vino sfuso da tavola,' or 'open wine' meant for immediate consumption. The wine is siphoned directly from large damagiane, which are 54-litre cane-covered containers, into 2-litre plastic water bottles. The wines included several whites -- Pinot Bianco del Veneto, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon and Tocai (our favorite) -- and two light reds, cabernet and merlot. These wines were also sold in corked bottles.
We recently saw that this enoteca is under new ownership and is now a wine bar called Enoteca La Caneva, located next to a well regarded restaurant, Ristorante Cantina Canaletto. We hope to get back soon to try them both out.
RISTORANTE CANALETTO-ENOTECA LA CANEVA, CASTELLO 5490, FONDAMENTA DEI FURLANI
There are dozens of excellent seafood restaurants to choose from in Venice, but one we enjoyed is Corte Sconta in the Castello district. This intimate trattoria specializes in traditional Venetian seafood dishes. Our meal was accompanied by one of the Veneto region's best white wines, a light dry Prosecco. Ask for a table in the lovely outdoor courtyard.
TRATTORIA CORTE SCONTA, CALLE DEL PESTRIN, 3886
Closed Sundays and Mondays, reservations recommended.
Thanks to great recommendations from one of my cousins who honeymooned in Italy, we dined at Corte Sconta and stayed at a wonderful pensione nearby in the Castello district, Hotel Bucintoro. It is located on the waterfront next to the Naval Museum, just a short walk from the Arsenale stop of the vaparetto. Every room in Pensione Bucintoro has a view overlooking the lagoon. Rates are reasonable considering the waterfront spot and breakfast is included. Reservations can be made online.
HOTEL BUCINTORO VENEZIA, RIVA SCHIAVONI, CASTELLO 2135