Erin’s guide to becoming a Venetian 威尼斯人養成手冊

tags 分類: , , , , , , 14 Aug 2015

What do Hong Kongers usually associate Venice with? 
After living and working in Venice for 6 weeks, I became ever more curious about this question. My eyes and ears also became more sensitive to the word ‘Venice’. 

A water village? On the way home from Hong Kong airport, I heard the bus broadcasting that Tai O, a small fishing village in Hong Kong, is widely hailed as ‘the Venice of the Orient’……

2200[Tai O]
But to my eye, Venice is a far cry from Tai O both in terms of style and scale!

IMM019 copy[Venice]




Romance? Walking on a busy street in Jordon, I heard an old man talking about Venice. I turned around, only to see this sign…

IMG_3737[The blue sign reads ‘Venice Night Club’. This area is famous for night clubs with ‘special service’ so I assume this is one of them.]

Glamour? Venice has become a BRAND – I doubt if the name of any other city in the world has been used so often as a synonym of glamour. In Macau there is the world’s largest casino resort called The Venetian. In Hong Kong you may receive a leaflet from a Japanese makeup brand that for some weird reason identifies with Venetian style…

The-Venetian-Hotel-and-Ca-014[The Venetian in Macau… Image courtesy: Dan Chung/Dan Chung/The Guardian]

IMG_3772[A leaflet of cdp, a Japanese high-end makeup brand]

Granted, Venice is in many ways a glamorous and romantic water town, especially for many tourists. But what about Venice in the eyes of Venetians? How do they LIVE in this city?

Follow me in this guide to becoming a Venetian and maybe you will see a different side of Venice. 

You eat… 

For Italians, Venice is not the best place for ordering a pizza, as pizza is much more common and tastier in southern regions such as Naples where more wheat is grown. My Venetian colleagues generally recommend fresh tramezzino instead of pizza for a cheap but filling lunch. At first I had some reservations as I prefer baguette or German-style bread to soft white bread. But Italians somehow manage to make a tasty sandwich out of it!  

IMG_3347[If you are around Arsenale, try some fresh tramezzino (on the left) at Strani on Via Garibaldi. Tramezzino is usually freshly made every morning, except for the pre-packed ones at the Biennale cafe!!]

Other local favourite snacks include baccalà mantecato (salt-cod paste, usually eaten as bread spread) and frittura mista di pesce (fried mixed seafood platter) served at various feast days. Similarly, many touristy places have some kind of humble or special food that locals generally cherish much more than tourists. For instance, Hawaiians apparently love spam, while Beijingers appreciate douzhir (豆汁, fermented green bean drink) and Hong Kongers enjoy cart noodle (車仔麵).

IMG_3212 [frittura mista di pesce (fried mixed seafood platter) at Festa di Sant’Antonio in Venice]

You drink

The most popular aperitif drink in Venice is Spritz, a cocktail prepared with prosecco wine, sparkling mineral water and usually a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol and Campari. But instead of sipping it at a fancy table in San Marco Square, Venetians often have their Spritz and snacks standing in a tiny bar or sitting in a ‘campo’, a small field. 

Another shocking fact for me is that in Venice one can buy wine with huge plastic bottles, whether you are at a festival or in a wine shop with house wine. Such wine is usually just around 3 euros/litre and some taste decent!

IMG_3210[Forget about whatever wine etiquette Hong Kong taught you and enjoy the wild feast!]

You walk…  

yes you walk, instead of taking vaporetto (water bus) all the time! And you tend to walk in narrow and hidden lanes and tunnels to avoid the flock of tourists on the wide street by the lagoon. You rely on yourself rather than Google Maps as the latter is dangerious – you’d easily bump into others or be tricked into dead ends.


You never

spend several minutes taking a picture on a bridge as you understand that bridges are essential points of transportation for both pedestrians and porters.


You shop clothes and other non-everyday items

when you go off to mainland Venice such as Mestre or other cities. Venice is just too expensive!


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