The (sweet) taste of tradition

Ice cream in Venice? Nico's gianduiotto
by Fabio Marzari

A symbolic place, an unmissable stop to make the memory of the passage in the city unforgettable.

We are Venice-obsessed and we know that. We own it, in fact, for we think the city deserves a better future than being a kind of propped-up Pompeii – a dead city if there ever was one. As far as small pleasures are concerned, we are happy to say that there are a few places around town where to experience tradition in uncomplicated fashion. One of these is certainly Nico’s ice cream shop. Giovanni Nico Causin set up shop in the 1920s and created the reason that is worth the trip: the gianduiotto – a brick of hazelnut and chocolate ice dumped in a cloud of whipped cream, served either at the table or in a plastic cup to take away. Obviously, all other gelatos and fruit sorbets on offer deserve a tasting, following the advice of generations of Venetians and college students from the nearby liberal arts school. The gianduiotto and the other gelato variants on offer are all fresh and proudly simple, as they have always been. Is it sinful? I mean, as long as it is just one, I find it absurd calling it that. And it stands to reason that you’ll find a way to absolve yourself should you ask for a second helping…

An ice cream, a symbol of Venice and culinary tradition