Antiche Carampane – A Venice Treasure

Antiche Carampane – Introduction

Travelling to Venice is not without doubts and questioning. Should we add to the problems this beautiful city is having with the ravages of tourism? Can we “tread lightly” in the city and not add to the many problems that it is currently experiencing?

These days, even small things such as wheeling a suitcase over ancient steps can cause problems when millions of people are doing it. It is a dilemma that we haven’t resolved.

We were anxious to return. Our friend and wine producers Jean-Pierre Robinot is a great fan of Venice and he vistis there annually to catch up with friends and to take his stunning time-lapsed photographs that grace the labels of many of his wine bottles. He also recommended some restaurants that we should visit, and this is the story about one of them.

Antiche Carampane is a traditional restaurant far removed from the normal tourist haunts in Venice. It serves authentic dishes based on the freshest possible seafood and supports this with a very good wine program and very efficient service. The outside seating is perfect to catch the occasional breeze during Venice’s grueling summer heat covered, as it is, with a green and white striped awning.

You don’t just find this restaurant as you are wandering around the tourist sights of Venice. It is tucked in behind the (very good) Rialto fish markets near the Campo San Polo well off the beaten track for most who come to this city. As a result you will be sharing space mainly with locals rather than tourists.

Our first dish to enjoy while sipping our Aperol spritzes was a cone of deep fried small shrimp which were cooked perfectly enabling us to eat the shells and heads as well as the meat inside.

We then shared a plate of seafood of the day which comprised perfectly fresh slices of raw fish and nicely cooked shellfish.

We then moved on to “primi piatti” with two tagliolini dishes – one with a spider crab sauce and one with a baby octopus with its ink as a sauce. Both were stunningly good and very comforting.

Antiche Carampane

Deep fried tiny cuttlefish replaced the spider crab on the menu and this was served with nicely fresh zucchini and swords of fried eggplant.

Whole grilled fish served with a little salad of lettuce and tomato in a bowl on the side saw unadorned sea bass as the star. The fish was cooked perfectly and served without artifice, somewhat reminiscent of Rafa’s in Roses in northern Spain where they push minimalism to the extreme.

We were delighted to see that in their extensive wine list there were sections headed “Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wines” for diners like ourselves who have a strong preference for these wines and who want to exclude wines that have been sprayed with synthetic chemicals from our diet.

So we could choose between wines from Foradori in Trentino, Gravner in Friuli, our friends at Cantina Giardino in Campania and Panevino in Sardinia among others.

We ended up ordering a bottle of orange wine made with Zibibbo (Muscat d’Alexandrie) from Gabrio Bini who makes stunning wines on the island of Pantelleria (as well as some of the world’s best capers). The skins had been kept in contact with the juice for three months giving it wonderful texture from the additional phenolics in the wine. The characteristic “muscat” aroma was clearly in evidence.

Dessert of fresh fruit and ice cream was good without being exceptional.

Antiche Carampane is a place we will come back to again because they make an effort to source excellent produce and the wine selection is appropriate for the food.

Additional information

Restaurant: Antiche Carampane

Street: San Polo 1911, Rio Tera delle Carampane

Town/Suburb: Venice,

Phone number: 39 041 524 0165

Opening hours: Lunch & dinner Tue – Sun

You can read more about Antiche Carampane on their Website:

Antiche Carampane

Tags: ,