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Moments of not negligible happiness

A dinner in the Venice lagoon, away from the madding crowd...
di Fabio Marzari

The islands of the lagoon offer places where excellent restaurants open up to the curious visitor, for unrepeatable moments in the name of beauty.

This very, very hot summer seems to test the best of us, as we scramble to look for a place outside the home that is pleasantly cool and where we can have a nice dinner. Your best bet is to venture a bit out of Venice and pick one of the beautiful islands just outside of the main city.

You’ll start to cool down on the way there, and nice natural breezes have that extra something that power-hungry air conditioning just cannot give you. The first address I’ll share with you is the closest to town. Actually, it is exactly one boat stop away from the Zattere quay. We are talking of Harry’s Dolci, obviously, the summer house of Harry’s Bar and a guarantee of exceptional food and delicious cocktails and desserts. A bit further off, the Lido Island will surprise you with the Nicelli restaurant. The Nicelli is the airport at Lido (before the 1950s, the main airport of Venice) and the tangible sign of a time when air travel was glorious, almost heroic, and mass tourism had yet to come. Nicelli offers fresh seafood, zero-mile vegetables, and beautiful décor from the 1930s. There’s also open-air seating, if you feel so inclined. On to the next island, the Certosa, which has become the place to be for our glamorous summer thanks to Hostaria in Certosa by Alajmo. The Hostaria (inn) will welcome you at any hour of the day with amazing service and food that is “easy, immediate, understandable for all tastes, and will tell the story and the beauty of our territory” says owner Massimiliano Alajmo.

Lastly, an icon of tempering silence and natural rhythms: the Locanda Cipriani in the island of Torcello. The Cipriani is a tangible example of what Michelangelo meant when he said that beauty must be revealed little by little. Right after your first step, a world opens before you. Simplicity, and the randomness of natural beauty pairs with traditional, perfectly-executed cuisine, no excesses, and consistence with the small universe that surrounds this amazing place.

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