Meet the author Anna Sardi in Venice

Anna Sardi author of the 500 Hidden Secrets of Venice
Anna Sardi

Anna was born and raised in a small town just outside of Venice. Growing up on the mainland, she always saw the lagoon as a cultural reference point, and eventually moved there for her university studies. Today she is an architect with a passion for travel and writing, perennially suspended between different worlds, with no intention of landing. She hopes her guide will not only tell the stories of many different places, but also those of the many different people she met while writing The 500 Hidden Secrets of Venice.

What Anna loves most about Venice

"It may sound strange, but what I love most about Venice isn’t just its romantic atmosphere, its many museums or the views of the lagoon. The most important thing for me is what the roots of this city represent. During the barbarian invasions, the inland populations were forced to flee to the lagoon to save themselves. There they found an inhospitable environment, which they stubbornly shaped to make it their home. On a wave of despair and the will to survive rests one of the most beautiful things that humanity has ever created. Venice is the urban expression of hope."

"Venice is the urban expression of hope."

Anna's perfect day in the city might look like this

"For me, the perfect day to visit Venice is the Sunday right before the carnival celebrations start. The party vibe is already in the air, but the city is not as crowded yet. The morning would start early, with a ‘mountain of fritoe’ at the counter of Rosa Salva, right near the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, with one eye on my cup of espresso and the other on the basilica.

I would then go to Fondamenta Nove to take the vaporetto to Burano, and there, if Domenico and Enrico are not out fishing, I would ask them to take me for a ride on their bragozzo (Pesca Turismo Nettuno). I love to immerse myself in both the chaos and colors of the old town and the peace and sweetness of the lagoon, in the same day."

fisherman on a boat in Venice
Boat trip with the fishermen

I would probably head back to Fondamenta Nove just in time for the first ‘cichetto’, or Venetian tapa, of the day. To find the best one, I would go to Fondamenta de la Misericordia with its many 'bacari' and locales. My favorite is Vino Vero, with its refined ‘cicchetti’. Since I’m passing right by it, I would surely also make a visit to Sullaluna and I probably couldn’t stop myself from buying a couple of ‘fumetti’, or Italian comics. For lunch, I would continue on to the Osteria Bea Vita for an excellent plate of pasta with fish.

a plate of cooked shrimps
Osteria Al Mascaron

After lunch, seeing that I am in the area, I wouldn’t miss a visit to the Jewish ghetto or, if I had thought to make a reservation, to the incredible Orsoni furnace, where they still make Byzantine mosaic art, and its ‘Library of Colours’. The island of La Giudecca is another destination that is indispensable on a perfect day; the Casa dei Tre Oci museum houses the best Venice has to offer in terms of photography.

Then I would end the day with an aperitif at the Skyline Rooftop Bar of the nearby Hilton Molino Stucchi, which has what I consider to be the absolute most beautiful view of Venice. And finally, for dinner I would definitely choose the Osteria al Mascaron with its amazing wines and delicious risottos.