Traditional food alone makes Venice worth visiting
Ombra and a platter of the day’s mixed cicchetti at All’Arco guarantees Venice’s exquisitely simple pleasures, writes Madeleine Morrow
Venetians joke that they can roam from bar to bar enjoying a drink because no one has to drive. From morning to evening customers frequent their favourite wine bars, called bacari, to enjoy an ombra — a small glass of wine — and a choice of savoury snacks. Named cicchetti, these bite-sized eats range from a simple slice of salami, a serving of octopus or polpetti (meatballs), to tuna tartare with cocoa or brie with nettle sauce. While some bacari offer a dazzling selection of cicchetti, others, like All’Arco, present a smaller number of traditional offerings. Located close to the Rialto market, All’Arco occupies a tiny room fitted with a marble bar counter and lace curtains at the windows. All’Arco is well known to Venetians. The owners originated in Puglia, where the family had a vineyard. They migrated to Venice at the start of the 20th century, bringing their wine. The original owners’ grandson Francesco Pinto now runs All’Arco with his son Matteo. From 11am a local clientele gat...