Cantinone Gia Schiavi, Venice

By Sarah Hyde | Posted on June 3rd, 2013


I was drawn to San Trovaso, the backwater canal on which Gia Shiavi is located by the gondolier workshop at the corner. I thought that I might find something authentic there in the Venice of the Venetians. My curiosity was rewarded in Cantinone Gia Shiavi. Peering into the shop window, I caught sight of the delicious array of chichetti.

Chichetti, are an Italian tapas and although not at all refined or fancy they are scrummy and cheap and you can try lots of different combinations. Anchovy and pickled onion are not for the faint hearted but tuna and leek are surprisingly good – the list goes on with mozzarella, basil and tomato, smoked salmon, octopus and some creamy stuff, all served on slices of bread.


These delicacies are produced by a real Italian nonna who has become something of an expert at knocking out these appetizers. Her ample bosom is covered by a crimplene button through and she overseas her sons and grandsons from behind the counter. Smiling is extra but do not let this put you off.

This is a great place for the greedy as you can have as many as you like and plenty of glasses of delicious cabernet or prosecco and come out with change for a twenty euro note. Locals pop in and out, some buying the local simple wine at 1 Euro a litre, for natives only, but the cabinet for 2 Euros a glass or 9.00 Euros a bottle to take away was very drinkable and there was plenty of great wine which I did not explore. Look out for the son who bears a striking resemblance to Robert de Niro but don’t let his mama catch you!


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