You could be forgiven for thinking that Venice – outside the carousing tourist crowds in the Piazza San Marco – goes to bed at 9pm. But there is evening entertainment in the lagoon city if you know where to look – and if you learn the Venetian approach to a good night out.
It all kicks off earlier than you might be used to with the aperitivo ritual, which for locals means a post-work ombra (small glass of wine) or spritz (or two, or five…), taken with a cicheto (tapas-like snack) for sustenance. Join the throng of young-ish creative types at establishments at the north-west foot of the Rialto Bridge, such as hole-in-the-wall Al Mercà or Bancogiro. Alternatively, opt for a student-oriented crowd in Campo Santa Margherita (called ‘Il Campo’ by those in the know), where things get going early in the evening and carry on well into the night at bars such as Caffè Rosso and Orange.
Immediately around the Campo, a somewhat more mature clientele frequents bars such as El Sbarlefo and Estro in trendy San Pantalon, and friendly Osteria ai Pugni. Here too is the lively Venice Jazz Club, which offers up live performances on most evenings.
Up on the northern fondamente – the long canalside walks in the Cannaregio district – the scene changes yet again: this is where you’ll find the boho-chic crowd, in venues such as Santo Bevitore and Al Timon.
And if you’re dying to dance? Head across to the mainland, where you’ll find the Area/Beast Club or TAG in Mestre.
Chefs are using more fresh local produce and, with a little effort, it is still possible to find reasonably priced meals costing about €15 a head all over town. The best deals are definitely on offer at lunchtime, while in the evening, more and more informal bàcari (bars) are opening up alongside the more traditional ones, where you can try cicheti, small snacks or “Venetian tapas”.
The music scene in Venice has always been both rich and dynamic, but more importantly it boasts great quality. In fact, in recent year there has been an increase in the number of restaurant that have decided to offer live music. This is a statement in itself as not only in Venice a hard location to organize events in logistical terms, but it also prices itself on being one of Italy’s least noise-polluted cities – and intends to keep it that way.
Attending a show at the Venice Theatre is truly a experience you should enjoy.
The time and talent put into each show is truly amazing!!!! Go and check it out!