To celebrate the release of my upcoming cookbook, Cinnamon and Salt: Cicchetti in Venice: Small Bites from the Lagoon City, I am offering a very special trip that I like to call The Lagoon Workshop! The idea here is to introduce you to a part of Venice that is so often overlooked by visitors to Venice but yet is the “internal organs” of the city, as activist Jane da Mosto says: the lagoon.
We will have three nights together and we will based in a beautiful property of the sustainable resort Venissa on the ancient, colourful island of Burano. Once a fishing village, the fisherman painted their rustic homes bright colours so they could see them from afar. Famous for lace and the delicious, buttery buranelli, or S-cookies, it is also a photographer’s paradise for the unique buildings and canals.
It will take place on May 26-29, 2022, a time when you can still say crowds haven’t rushed back to Venice just yet and we can enjoy the sunshine but also the delightful late spring produce.
Day 1: Arrival in Venice, meeting for our first aperitivo of cicchetti and spritz in the charming neighbourhood of Cannaregio (see some favourite spots in this mini guide here) before taking the vaporetto to Burano and settling in. In the evening, we will walk over the wooden foot bridge to Mazzorbo island to visit the walled garden of Venissa, where they grow vegetables and have revived a rare and ancient Venetian grape, for a wine tasting (read more about this incredible project here at Wine Spectator) and dinner at their Michelin starred restaurant.
Day 2: For early risers, I suggest a walk around Burano early in the morning before anyone else arrives! It is a special time to be there and a wonderful opportunity to take photos and enjoy the stillness. We will take a converted fishing boat with fisherman Manuel Bagnolo to visit the southern side of the lagoon towards the salt marshes and the last of the moeche (crab) fishermen, before enjoying aperitivo and lunch on the boat anchored in the middle of the lagoon. After a three course lagoon seafood meal that has been fished by Manuel and his family, we will visit the abandoned islands in the north of the lagoon (anyone who wants to visit one or jump in for a brave swim can do so!), while Manuel tells us his stories. Dinner in a classic trattoria in Burano (to get you in the mood watch Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode in Venice).
Day 3: After breakfast, a visit to the Rialto markets and a look at all the wonderful late spring produce. We will have a walk with Venice historian Rosa Salzberg through the backstreets of the Rialto, where you can find some of the most ancient osterie, and of course plenty of stops for cicchetti along the way. We will have free time for shopping, coffee and pastries in a wonderful campo, or perhaps you’d like to pop into my favourite museum, and we will end the evening in a charming neighbourhood osteria for natural wine and a locally sourced meal before heading back on the vaporetto to our island bed.
Day 4: After breakfast we check out and glide back over the lagoon to Venice for your next adventures.
- Accommodation at the beautiful Casa Burano in either a superior room or junior suite
- Breakfast every morning at Venissa
- Coffee, lunch, aperitivo, dinners, including a Michelin-star dinner at Venissa
- Wine tasting of the one of the most sought-after white wines in the world
- Cicchetti tour and photo walk with cookbook author Emiko Davies
- Walk with Venice historian Rosa Salzberg
- Ticket to Palazzo Grimani
- Vaporetto pass to get around the lagoon
- Boat ride around the lagoon with a three course meal and aperitivo cooked on the boat
- A signed copy of Cinnamon and Salt!
This Lagoon Workshop costs 2,000 euro per person in double occupancy (450 euro single supplement and a supplement of 180 euro total for an upgrade to a junior suite). There are only 8 rooms available in this workshop.
To book your spot with a deposit, head right here.
We require a deposit of 50% upon booking; the remaining 50% should be paid by 1 May 2022. When booking, please specify if there is a room you prefer (I will do my best to update the website with those that have already been booked, but please select a second preference too incase your first is unavailable) and whether you would like single occupancy (paying a supplement fee) or double occupancy.
If coming with a friend or partner, please let us know so we can match up the bookings otherwise let us know if you are happy to share with any roommate.
Please let us know of any dietary requirements when you book. Note that seafood is an integral part of this tour so please let us know if you can’t have it!
The booking is non-refundable but if you need to cancel, we can accept someone to take your place.
Important: You must have your own travel insurance and a Green Pass to participate (indispensable in Italy now, even have a simple coffee at the bar).
A note on Green Passes:
At the time of writing, a Green Pass (proof of vaccination or recovery from covid-19) is necessary to eat at restaurants indoors or outdoors, enter shops and do many activities in Italy such as going to swimming pools, traveling long distance on trains and public transport etc. We also require that you have a Green Pass to attend the workshop — be assured that the hosts are vaccinated and boosted and those involved in the workshop will also have a Green Pass too.
Venice has its own international airport, Marco Polo Airport which is on the mainland and from there you can get a taxi to Venice’s Piazzale Roma Terminal (less than 20 minutes drive) or public transport (bus or taxi to Piazzale Roma or a water taxi!). If you’re coming from a major Italian city you can get to Venice by train — for schedules check the Trenitalia website.
Venice in late May:
Expect beautiful weather, cool evenings, sunny days but the weather can be unpredictable in late spring too so layers are always a good idea, especially for the vaporetto rides across the lagoon. If you’re game enough to go for a swim in the lagoon, bring swimmers too!
Things to note:
The retreat will take place with a minimum of 5 and maximum of 12 participants. The itinerary is a guide; we reserve the right to make changes as necessary, such as where we may need to change the order of activities or replace some of the activities with something equally wonderful.
Keen to know more? Or would you like to be on the mailing list for 2023 (I already have a growing list for The Lagoon Workshop next year)? Email me at email@example.com with your interest and I will put your name down for more information!