When last in Venice your correspondent spent every waking minute either fighting of the cold – it was December – or attempting to make 20 Aussie bananas last a day (including accommodation). Unfathomable now. This place is pricy. If I remember correctly, when last here with inductee Geoff Larb, the big trick for a cheap meal was to turn up at the University Venezia cafeteria pretending to be a student. As long you handed over the exact change – 1500 lira springs to mind (about AUD1.50 back then) – and didn’t open your mouth so as to give away our Aussie strine, you got a feed. We never tried it as I reckon our smell and chattering teeth would be a dead give away – Aussie backpackers.
Given the focuses I had back then I had either missed, or forgotten, just how wonderful Venice is. Round every corner there is new view of a stretch of canal, a palace or snatch of local life. Passing alleyway openings you get a brief glimpse of a distant island, another fetching bridge or church tower. Venice is beguiling.
Sure, I’d never come in summer. Even in winter the crowds are claustrophic in parts. Sure there is a slight whiff of effluent in the canals. And as mentioned bring your money with you. All these are easily trumped by the positives.
One of these is Italian craft beer and the brewpub Il Santo Bevitore (translated it means ‘the holy drinker’). The Italians claim to have been first to start the craft beer movement. I’m not going to debate this point, just enjoy the fruits of this stance.
As always my AirBNB apartment was fortuitously close to the venue and after completing family travel duties I nicked out to give the Il Santo Bevitore tap list a good workout. The pub was off the beaten track, thru a small church square then across a small bridge. It’s cold at the moment, about 0 degrees, and the Il Santo Bevitore was small and cosy. I found it buzzing with Italian families enjoying crafties and the Venetian version of tapas. The 20 taps had a range of Italian, UK and Belgian crafties. While I have been a super Dad lately I hadn’t bought quite enough time to tick off all 20 taps.
I did however try the Ghisa smoked stout, Grunge IPA, Soundwave IPA and an Amber Shock. All Italian productions bar the Soundwave.
This place is well worth a visit both to escape the tourist horde to visit another beguiling part of Venice.
Il Santo Bevitore
Address: Cannaregio 2393/A – 30121 Venezia (click for map)