While the city of Venice itself has everything to offer, one can’t help but to venture out and explore a few nearby islands in the Venetian lagoon. Amongst which the most famous include the colourful island of Burano, that is on the wish list of almost every tourist. But before any sightseeing, a great place to eat runs on the very top of my priority list. That is why my first destination has to be Torcello island, for the perfect garden lunch at Locanda Cipriani.
Jumping on a boat and pulling away towards Torcello on a sunny early afternoon, nothing builds up your expectation and appetite as high as that. The short walk from the Torcello dock to Locanda Cipriani is also pleasant and crowd-free.
The charmingly rustic inn + restaurant has played host to many royal families, politicians, writers and artists over the years. Some of the most well known include Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth the second and the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Diana, Margret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Tom Cruis, Mick Jagger, Al Pacino, Liz Taylor….well, I can keep the list going but that would make this blog my longest article ever. But never mind the name counting, the dining experience is what has to count.
The restaurant itself has the most modest and unassuming facade. It even makes you wonder for a second if you’ve reached the right place. But as the waiting staff in an all white tailored suit welcomes you and takes you to the garden, everything becomes apparent: this has to be the one. In the sun-filled garden, a few tables of customers happily chat away, along with the reassuring sound of glasses and cutlery gently clinking. At the side by the entrance, a pile of straw hats are available in case the sun gets a bit too much. Prepared to take all the time to enjoy my lunch in this perfect setting, I grabbed one for myself.
However, from the moment I opened my menu book, everything went a little bit blurry. I immersed myself completely in the sea of pasta, tomato, seafood, Bellinis….
Ooh, and dare I not to forget the chocolate cake that was offered to us by the end of the meal. One piece of that gooey, right-on-point creation sends you straight to heaven. I’m not even joking. Long story short, the experience at Locanda Cipriani has to be, easily, one of the top Italian meal experiences I’ve ever had. As I slowly gained my conscious back after the feast, all I could feel was how satisfied and full I was. And a little wonder in their loosely groomed garden seemed like the perfect activity before heading back to the real world. In the afternoon, we took the ferry to Burano. A little fairy tale like island with colourful little houses. It used to be famous for producing top quality lace fabric and fishing. You can still see traces of that heritage here and there. But now there are mainly tourists on the streets, while the locals (I imagine) are either working in the main island of Venice, or enjoying some peace and quiet in those little houses.
There’s really nothing too breathtaking about the place to me(I mean, if you’ve seen the streets of Nottinghill in London, Burano would be a smaller and more rustic version of it). Or I could still just have be napping and recovering from the lunch. Who knows?
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