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A Garden in Venice

Garden art & lifestyle

Mid-summer dining in Venetian garden restaurants

Dining in Venice, framed in by lush flowers, in what is referred to as "Venezia minore": places that look like the pictures illustrating the book "Venezia scomparsa": Here we are in the "small world of Venice", taking a trip in time. You will discover, this is a small intimate world where public and private space overlap, and where you can look out for the characteristic architectonical elements of our town: from pozzi to barbacani, finestre bifore, etc: A lived-in Venice, il mondo in miniatura, that you can touch and feel only, to my mind, if you sit here and take in your surroundings for quite some time. You will come across campi and campielli lined with buildings of scuole, which at the times of the Venetian Republic were associations assembling the representatives of a mestiere (profession or trade) in Venice. Usually, parish churches are also at the center of a campo. Sometimes, though, a campo looks more like a "campazzo" which means that a grassy area is also present. This is where Venice looks what a small town in the midst of the campagna veneta must have looked like 200 years ago ... Further ahead in this blog, I will present two campazzo locations to you that look exactly like that, but today we start with your dining experience. My first recommendation is for a trattoria in the midst of public space, but still intimately located on a small campo, the second is tucked away behind a curtain of plants from public space, in the house where doge Enric Dandolo lived, and the third example is a restaurant situated away from everything - in a secluded courtyard palace garden.
Venezia minore-building elements: Barbacani, dark green window shutters, beige bricks, facades painted in the rosso veneziano shades ...
From the end of April, it is pleasant to sit outside for dinner as the night air can be so balmy. And in sunny locations, in principle, you can have lunch outside all year round, also in winter. But in summer it is so pleasant and relaxing to sit down for a lunch or dinner amidst flowers and shrubs, and here I have chosen three restaurants where you can do precisely that. The locations differ one from the other, but all are located away from more crowded areas of Venice. 
Venezia minore is full of flower details, a white hydrangea for example, stylishly planted in a fake plastic bag, with its typica grey and white Istrian stone background
But let us start with Dorsoduro - Campo San Tomà. As Venice this spring and summer seems to focusing on white flowers, here is Trattoria San Tomà adorned with white hydrangea, where you can sit down for lunch in the midst of the quiet campo. 
Campo San Tomà at noon, the trattoria is situated next to the scuola
And of course, there are huge white sunshades available. If you come here in the evening the scent of the blossoms can be felt all over the warm air.  
The typical Venetian pozzo (well) in the midst of the campo ..
White hydrangeas and false jasminum decorate the decked-out dining area, in the background you can see the Scoletta dei Calegheri  building (the association of the calzolai  = shomakers). They also have a restaurant garden in the courtyard behind.
View into the direction of the Chiesa di San Tomà
The Campo San Tomà, behind the church, opens up into the Campiello del Piovan, beautifully described by Alloggi Barbaria Blog by the way ...
Here you can experience a small world where you have readily available everything you need, including half-private, half-public corners and still intimate surroundings.
Campiello del Piovan is a quiet corner where aralias, oleander and lots of green foliage plants are lined up along one wall, protected from the hot midday sun
Next to the Casa di Carlo Goldoni, this bridge leads into Campiello di San Tomà, a smaller twin square behind Campo San Tomà
If you want to visit the House of Goldoni, follow the dark-green sign
My second recommendation for you is a restaurant, half-hidden, half private and half-public area. Al Colombo is situated in the San Marco district. This restaurant is even registered as one of the locali storici d'Italia: An osteria had been opened in this palazzo in the 18th century. And - what is more, it is part of what is now left of the former Palazzo Dandolo. At exactly this spot the palace belonging to the family of the Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo was located. Doge Dandolo organized the forth crusade that was routed via Byzanz, and which marked the end of the Byzantine empire in 1291.
Un arco di rose welcomes its guests
Aralie, velvet-colored roses and laurel make up a lush hedge, dividing the restaurant terrace from the passers-by
Rose jungle
Entrance
The sun is filtering through the leaves at noon
Here you can discover a bit of Venezia Minore, that exists in even such a crowded area as San Marco is- Round the corner, you find quiet places like the Ponte della Verona area or even Campo San Benedetto and its nearby (opening) sbocco sul Canal Grande ..
Ponte della Verona - by the way, from this area you can see the facade of Palazzo del Bovolo, opening up upon the rio della Verona
Chiesa di San Benedeto
My third recommendation for you is to visit one trattoria totally hidden in a palace garden, located in Castello. Take a look at il Giardinetto, which is one of my favorites. You can read more about it in a post I wrote last year. It is located near our home, in a courtyard of a palazzo built in the 15th century.
When I come back from photo shooting walks all over Venice, I can pop in whenever I want during the afternoon and get served my favorite dish of tagliolini ai granchi within 15 minutes ...
Al Giardinetto, heavenly lunch on an early summer afternoon
Tagliolini ai granchi
Panna cotta and caffé espresso
A leafy garden decked out with American wine and uva fragola ...plus a corner for artists to show off their paintings
Aralia plants are used to create garden rooms
... but also with uva fragola grapes, aralie, and lots of flowers in the typical Venetian colors - all shades of purple and white
Like most green courtyards in Venice, this green refuge is a haven for birds

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