There’s ONE place in Venice where I lose my way – have always done so. Three sotoporteghi in a row, one will make you walk straight from Campo San Lio onto Campo San Zanipolo. Chances are I’ll miss the right sotoportego and will end up on Campo Santa Marina.
Over the years I’ve come to love this quiet campo. There’s an unsual arco – l’arco di Santa Marina that distinguishes the area, while the church was demolished in 1820, exactly in the place where the four-star hotel Santa Marina is located now.
Even though I publish this post – almost – on the first “official day” of autumn, it doesn’t mean that the longest summer ANY Venetian can remember has yet come to an end. You can still enjoy your breakfast outside. In Campo Santa Marina, you could try the breakfast menu at one of the most popular pasticcerie in Venice. They proudly maintain tradition – but they look beyond – and offer a sort of array of breakfast sweets, desserts and egg dishes from neighboring countries or other regions of Italy sweets as well.
What astounded me is their fine selection of Viennese – Austrian pastries. Of course there’s a connection between Venice and Vienna, and I know of no other place where you can taste recipes that Venice integrated from Austria, during the Austrian occupation of town in the 19th century. Krapfen – or krafen as they are called in Venice, and Sachertorte are such examples. Also Schaumrolle – a puff pastry roll filled with whipped cream, or rather with cream made in the Italian manner, crema pasticcera. Take a look at the classic sweet breakfast trays as they are shown off on their trays to passers-by, every morning.
They also heat some pastries before serving it, another special offer for Venice – these are called paste calde.
In these pictures, you can see the selection on offer a few weeks ago, when I showed a guest around in Venice. I went with her to see and taste a Venetian breakfast in an (almost) secret location, Pasticceria Didovic. In this pastry store, they rely completely on clients from the neighborhood and on tourists in the warm season. It’s one of the few pastry stores with no website, no social media presence at all, with the exception of their Tripadvisor mentioning.
My favorite sweet here is the fluffy chocolate cakelet with chocolate frosting, tasting a bit like Sachertorte, and a cappucino. But then, it’s hard to choose from the magnificient array of sweets – of Neapolitan and Viennese origin, next to staple Venetian sweets.
Below you can see orange-flower flavored pastiere mignon from Naples / Campania. Mignon choux pastry, filled with whipped cream, or Schaumspitz (Austrian origin), again with the Neapolitan / all-Italian filling crema pasticcera (made from cream, milk, flour, vanilla sugar). -The choux pastries you can see in the foreground covered with dripping chocolate frosting are called Liebesknochen – another Viennese / Austrian dessert.