Flavours of Northern Italy – Prima Parte

When I was 21, I travelled to Venice, Italy to intern at the Venice Printmaking Studio on Murano Island. I was young, unaware of language, directions, and cultural normalities, it was amazing. (Luckily, I kept a blog while I was there.)

I worked with international artists-in-residence who travelled to a labyrinth located in the Northern part of Italy. Their work reflected the unique views of a city that has a relentless hold on heritage and culture.

My days were spent soaking up the sun with a glass of white wine in one hand and a freshly lit Camel in the other. Venice taught me how to slow down and take everything in. It also taught me a very important lesson, food is everything.


Wine is like currency in Italy. Give someone wine and they will teach you to make risotto!

Although I was gluten free and pescetarian at the time, that didn’t stop me from enjoying every bite. Creamy Italian baccala, prosciutto wrapped melon (sans prosciutto), grilled radicchio, fresh mozzarella, sweet cherry tomatoes, polenta, and of course, gelato every night.

The ingredients were simple, the flavours were incredible.


Since then, I’ve travelled back twice. The Vaporetto rides never get old, the smell is the same (I quite like the smell), and grabbing a glass of wine at any hour is encouraged. Luckily, my stomach settled and I started eating a bit more meat which means every other meal is pizza, so much pizza and of course homemade, pasta!

There’s something very special about the sound of wine being poured into a glass (often in plastic to-go cups because it’s legal to carry open alcohol in Venice) and the clatter of a fork and knife meeting in the middle on a plate. Venice encouraged me to admire that perspective and truly celebrate what I am about to enjoy.

To read Part 2 of Flavours of Northern Italy, click here.


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