The American sense of “Italian food” is derived from a limited and
commercialized repertoire ultimately derived from Sicily and Calabria.
But a mountainous land that was not unified into a single nation until
the 1860s has evolved over the centuries to offer many distinctive local
culinary traditions that survive.
Here in Venice, for the first time, I find that I fall in love at every corner turned. An architecturally perfect palazzo. A canal filled with sleek black gondolas overly decorated with bright seahorses, intricate velvets and tassels. Intricate 12th-century mosaics covering the ceiling of the Basilica of San Marco. The riot of colored houses on the island of Burano. The delightful sound of a small orchestra playing chestnuts while a couple poses for their wedding photographs in Caffè Florian. A love lock on the Academia Bridge.