Where to feel at home in Venice
Spring 2021 – one year on and we are in lockdown again here in Venice!
If we only had known what terrible hard times lay ahead for us all.
I honestly have no idea if here in Venice we will ever recover. Most of us (at least everyone involved in tourism and everything related to it) have not actually been working since November 2019, since the big Acqua Granda.
Help from the government is practically inexistent and we are all putting our hopes into the vaccines!
Many of us do not want to get back to how things were: we want a different Venice; one which will welcome long stay visitors, people who are willing to spend more time in the city and discover its people: its artisans, its food and all the cultural offer there is in the city.
But, unfortunately, Venetians do not take well to changes. So whilst a big part of us want to get rid of mass tourism, another part is more than happy to get back to the old ways, because it means making money. What a conundrum!
But this post is not about negativity and complaining.
No, this post is me talking about someone I was long overdue to tell you about: my friends at Vineria All’Amarone.
Why? – you are probably asking. Well, let me explain the reason, but to do that we need to go back to 2013!
Vineria All’Amarone: where to feel at home in Venice
1st February 2013, to be exact.
A few days earlier I had received a message inviting me to the opening of a new Cicchetti Place in Venice.
I immediately got very excited about that for many reasons: first of all, nine years ago I was just at the beginning of my career as a food & travel blogger and as a food guide, I was not as known as I am now, so it was very strange for me, back then, to be invited, out of the blue, to new openings; second, I love Venetian food and Veneto wine, as many of you know, so for me to know that there was a new place in town, well, I simply loved the idea; third but not least, I love to go out!
So on a very cold February evening, I headed out to Vineria All’Amarone to see what the fuss was all about.
The Vineria is located in between two very typical narrow Venetian calli (alleyways) near Campo San Silvestro. When I got there the lights were on and the windows were all steamed up (it was freezing outside), but I could see the place was packed.
Still feeling a bit uneasy, thinking the invitation came by mistake, I pushed the door and walked in. And then something amazing happened!
Above all noise, a man’s voice shouted: “Here she is!!!” – I turned back to see who was coming in behind me, but no one was there.
So I turned and saw Johann Depietri coming towards me with a big smile!
“You made it!” he said. And he proceeded to introduce me to everyone in the room, telling them I was a famous blogger from Venice. I nearly dropped dead in laughter, feeling a bit of a fraud (I think that was the moment when Johann introduced me to the phrase: Fake it till you make it!).
He then introduced me to Alfredo, his father, one of the most famous Venetian restaurant entrepreneurs in the city.
And just like that, I fell in love with the place and with the family who runs it!
Skip to 2021!
For many years now, I have been going back, over and over, with my friends as well as with my Venice food tour clients. I spent many hours at their tables tasting their amazing food and their great wines, laughing a lot, learning a lot.
And every single time I go there, it is like going to have lunch or dinner with part of my family!
Because that is what is so special about Vineria All’Amarone: it is not only about the food or wine, it is about the special atmosphere; it is about the way they pamper every single client who walks through the door making each one feel unique!
Unfortunately Alfredo passed away a few years ago (he was always so full of stories to tell, we laughed a lot), but his legacy is still carried forward by his wife Nicole and his son Johann, exactly the same way he used to.
And I feel I owed Alfredo to tell you all about this special place in Venice and in my heart.
But let’s allow Johann giving us some more insight into this little food gem in the heart of Venice!
Johann, what is Vineria All’Amarone?
Vineria all’Amarone is a Wine Bar in Venice city center. If we could define it in three words, mmm, well, we can’t, let’s say eight, it is “An Easy Going Valpolicella Food & Wine experience“. That’s right, this is what you can expect once you sit down at our place. Easy going because our service is attentive but informal (and so it is our kitchen); Valpolicella since we are madly in love with that region and its products (yep! That’s where the Amarone wine comes from!) and “experience” because well, we would like to make it a relaxing & sweet memory you can take home with you.
When was the Vineria born?
It was born in 2013 from the very creative mind of Alfredo! After having sold the Bacaro Jazz in 2009 he grew tired of his retirement and got back to do what he loved the most! That is, to create restaurant concepts and surround himself with plenty of beautiful guests & friends from all over the world.
Why a restaurant totally dedicated to Amarone?
It is dedicated to the Amarone wine yes, but not exclusively, as we also offer mouth-watering Italian wines from all Italian regions. Dedicated to it because… well, try naming another wine which is as powerful and elegant as an Amarone can be? I #WineChallenge you!
We actually love its region as well, the Valpolicella, which is about 1 hour and a half from Venice, close to Verona.
I lost count of how many times we go there each year. The fact that Valpolicella is in the Veneto region also adds a “local” flavour to our offering, as we only offer Italian wines and food. We are reaching around 100 wines from Valpolicella on offer & regularly adding more!
What makes All’Amarone different from other wine bars?
We won’t compare ourselves with other places, but I will just mention what we love to do and what we continuously work on, to make our clients’ experience worthwhile!
First and foremost, we are #winelovers and we try to make it contagious through our “Wine Flight” selection – remember, we want to offer an easy-going experience so no technical and no Uber geeky stuff is involved!
First, we ask our clients to choose their Wine Tasting, then we bring a placemat, five glasses (tasting glasses, i.e. 0,7) of their choice, a brochure with the organoleptic description of each wine and a pencil to scribble some notes on it. Want to dig into it? Yes sir! We are at everyone’s disposal for any question people may have! Wanna get geeky with us? We will gladly bring our collection of aromas (mostly spices, herbs & essential oils of all kinds) if asked! We change our Wine Tastings on a regular basis & oh boy! How much do we taste them before making them official… it’s a tough job but.. 😉.
We love our food too! We have a small kitchen, so nothing too contemporary or complicated comes out of it, but good and tasty stuff? Yes indeed!
You can start with a couple of our “Cichetti”, for example a Gorgonzola and Mascarpone cheese one or one with Quail Egg and “Pancetta Coppata” with some truffle on it. Getting hungry? You can order our “Valpolicella Platter”: premium Italian cold cuts & cheeses, aged in Amarone & Recioto wine. Still hungry? Try our braised beef in Amarone sauce! Amarone, again?! Well, yeah, check out the name of our place. 😉.
And for Dessert? Glad you asked. Our homemade Tiramisù is highly recommended. Had one too many in Venice? Then try our fresh Panna Cotta with berries! Nom nom!
Other things we love? We love the fact that you can sit either outside in a very typical & sunny Venetian calle or inside in our cozy and modern interior design restaurant, where you can see us pour glasses of wine, cooled in a vintage red bathtub, right in the middle of the bar! You are more than welcome to visit also our Wine Shop next door, so you can take home your favourite wines with a 20% discount (or we can now ship them to you, more on this later).
We also love the fact that we get to meet so many people from all over the world and we get to help you choose the most suitable wine and food for your taste, discovering what you love about Venice and Italy at the same time. It definitely makes our job more fun & interesting!
What is new for all lovers of All’Amarone?
Let’s make it a list, ok? Because trust me, we never ever stop coming up with new ideas and it could get too long!
– We recently launched our eShop where we sell and ship our Valpolicella & Amarone wine (for now shipping is to EU & Switzerland only, but we plan to add more soon).
– You can now purchase one of our online Amarone Tastings! so, in case you didn’t have enough about us talking about Amarone, we can now connect via Zoom and we can taste the wines together 🙂 – I will be glad to guide you through the experience!
– Liked the wine you tasted with us, but don’t want to carry it in the luggage? No problem, we will ship it to you with pleasure!
– This year we are launching our “Cheese menu”! A collection of 10 delicious Italian cheese that you can choose from!
– We are introducing some artisanal craft beers from Valpolicella
– You’ll soon be able to taste & purchase olive oil & grappa from Valpolicella.
– Oh, and new regular & organic wines we are adding to our menu. Pheww! Too many to
list here for sure?
– Want to get fancy & make a private wine tasting in our Wine Room next door? Happy to oblige, just get in touch with us with your details.
Guess that’s about it for now. Oh well, in case we will let you all know once you come visit us! A presto! ❤️
The real Venice
Do you understand now why I go back there over and over?
I sincerely hope you will too when you finally are all able to get back here to Venice!
This is part of the real Venice I would love you to discover!
Thank you Johann and Nicole for not letting go, for hanging in there even though times are hard! And thank you, Johann, for having believed in me so many years ago and still believing in me now!0