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April 25, 2020: Five fun ideas to celebrate the Patron Saint of Venice at home! #stayhome

Local Traditions

April 25, 2020: Five fun ideas to celebrate the Patron Saint of Venice at home! #stayhome

April 25 is a day of great celebrations in Venice: not only is it Liberation Day, but it is also the Feast of St. Mark, patron of the city, and the day of the 'Bocolo', a red rosebud that Venetian men give their girlfriends (read this story here).

For obvious reasons, this year there will be none of the traditional celebrations in St Mark’s Square, with live performances and the flags of Venice flying, but we at Venetoinside still want to celebrate! So, we’ve thought of five fun ideas to do even while staying at home!

Here are our suggestions:


1. Treat yourself to a nice spritz and toast in San Marco!

Spritz, a typical Venetian aperitif, which you can discover all about on this blog post, can be made both in the sweet version with Aperol, and in the more bitter one with Bitter Campari. There are several recipes, but here’s the easiest and fastest to make for those who aren’t aspiring bartenders or don’t want to rummage for dosers buried in your dispensers.

Here are the ingredients:

  • a third of Prosecco
  • a third of Bitter Campari or Aperol
  • a third of soda water or, if you don't have it, just sparkling water

Mix everything in a glass, add ice and serve with an orange slice!


2. Listen to a song that tele-transports you to Venice

There are lots of songs that speak of Venice. We’ve selected three: choose the one that best suits your mood at the moment:

  • 'Pin Floi' by the Venetian band Pitura Freska: it’s an original take on the famous concert that Pink Floyd held in 1989 on a floating stage in the center of the St Mark’s Bay, on the evening of the Redeemer;
  • 'Tua cugina prima (Tutti a Venezia)' by Paolo Conte: it describes with subtle irony the scene of a couple having their picture taken in St Mark’s Square to spark the envy of a cousin who had boasted of having been there before them.
  • 'Le Glorie del Nostro Leon': popular folk song that in these days we hear echoing among the Venetian palaces in the Castello area where, every Sunday, a Venetian prepares original playlists to entertain and bring a little joy to the whole neighborhood.


3. Have fun preparing a typical Venetian dish

Even when it comes to typical Venetian cuisine, we’re spoilt for choice. We’ve narrowed it down to quick and easy three dishes to prepare: after a month and a half of quarantine, we’re all tired of all this cooking! Buon appetito!

  • For lovers of fish and strong tastes we suggest the famous bigoi in salsa. For about four servings you will only need: a 100g jar of anchovies in oil, 1 large white onion and 500 gr of bigoli. Start by cutting the onion into thin slices and put it on a very low heat pan with a drizzle of oil. Then add the anchovies to the onion, stir occasionally and let the anchovies melt, making a creamy sauce by pouring some pasta cooking water. Then add the bigoli (cook them al dente!). A little pepper and, if you wish, sprinkle a handful of breadcrumbs previously toasted before serving the dish and voilà, you're done.
  • For lovers of seasonal vegetables and culinary traditions, we propose Risi e bisi, a dish that was offered to the Doge on April 25, in honor of the Feast of St Mark, as we talked about here. To prepare it you will need: 350 g of Vialone Nano rice, 1 kg of peas, 1 onion, 60 gr of butter, 50 gr of pork belly, about 1 liter of vegetable broth, parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and oil. First take the pea pods, wash them, add them to the vegetable broth and cook them for 1 hour. Then blend them with an immersion blender and pour everything into a bowl, first passing it through a sieve. In the meantime, sauté the chopped onions with half the butter and a drizzle of oil in a pan for about ten minutes. Add the diced bacon, the chopped parsley, then the peas and the broth created from the peas. When the broth starts to boil, pour in the rice and add the salt. Towards the end of cooking, add the rest of the butter, Parmesan and pepper.
  • Finally, for those who love meat dishes and strong flavors, we propose this other traditional Venetian recipe, the Venetian liver. The ingredients you will need are: 500 gr of veal liver, 6 sage leaves, 15 gr of butter, 2 white onions, a spoonful of white wine vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and water. Cook the sliced onions in a pan with the butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Add a little water, cook for 5 minutes, add the chopped sage and the white wine vinegar. After a few minutes, add the slices of liver and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking.


4. Watch a film set in Venice

If you really can't stand staying at home and are dreaming of strolling through the narrow Venetian streets, we have thought of three films, all very different, that will transport you to the beauty of the lagoon city, at least with your imagination...

  • For those who prefer lighthearted and fun films watch 'Pane e Tulipani', the story of a housewife who is forgotten in a motorway service station and decides to go on her own to Venice, where she will be hosted by the waiter Fernando, at least until her husband, overwhelmed by household chores, starts looking for her...
  • For fans of action films, thrillers and sentimental plots, we recommend, instead, 'The Tourist', with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. It tells the adventures of an American tourist who, traveling to Venice, meets a charming and mysterious woman, lover of a wanted man by the government ... there will be no lack of twists!
  • Finally, anyone who is a great lover of the classics cannot miss 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'! In the third film in the series about the well-known archaeologist, Indiana Jones is in charge of searching for the Holy Grail, the chalice used by Jesus during the Last Supper and which, before him, was looking for his father, Henry Jones, mysteriously disappeared into thin air.


5. Unleash your artistic side 

In this period, all parents are desperately looking for fun activities to do at home to keep their children busy and away from screen. In solidarity with them (and their mental health!) we have thought of three creative and easy activities, you only need material you already have at home or can find easily. Choose the one that seems most suitable to the hands of your children, to the artist who is in you and to your dose of patience and ... get to work!

  • Draw and color in a beautiful rose in honor of the feast of the Bocolo or the Winged Lion, symbol of the Serenissima! It will be an opportunity to tell children about the traditions of this day in a fun way. To have a ready-made drawing, to print and color in as you prefer, click here for the winged lion; and here for the Bocolo;
  • Create a mask and pretend it is still Carnival, this activity is always a lot of fun! Here you will find a template that you can print and decorate as you prefer. You can simply color it, or add silhouettes created with colored cardstock, glitter, feathers or anything else you have at home. Unleash your imagination!
  • Try making a beautiful rose shaped origami out of a square piece of paper! Put your patience and manual skills to the test, and take advantage of this tutorial, you will see it’s not that difficult ;-)


Venice, 23rd April 2020

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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