How to Avoid Tourist Traps in Venice
Everybody knows: Venice is a very touristic city. It’s not that surprising if you think that there are 20 million tourists every year, and only 56 thousands people living here… As such, it’s inevitable, there are plenty of tourist traps waiting for you.
Personally, tourist traps are one of the reason we started this project and this guide in the first place. We met lots of people who fell for these traps and we think that one of the most certain way to screw up your holiday is a very bad experience in a restaurant, when you would think that since you’re in Italy you should eat well and at a decent price everywhere…
The problem is, there are seriously A LOT of traps out there, that it would be easier to tell you the name of the restaurants that are not.
Unfortunately for you, we chose to remain neutral and to avoid recommendations of specific restaurants, bars and hotels. It’s a matter of credibility: we think that if we start advertising specific places, you could never know if we’re doing it because they actually deserve it, or because they paid us.
Luckily for you, we can still teach you how to spot a trap. In the guide we’re writing there’s a specific chapter on the subject, but we can give you already here enough tips on how to avoid them.
- “Good” restaurants are rarely on central/busy roads and very touristic places such as San Marco and Rialto.
- As absurd as it may sound, good restaurants normally don’t have pictures on their menus
- Good restaurants don’t have typically touristic dishes (see below)
- Check the menu for asterisks. They usually indicate that some of the ingredients are frozen. If there are too many asterisks, something is not right.
- A good restaurant doesn’t need people outside luring people in
- Obviously if a restaurant offers a “tourist menu”, it’s a touristic restaurant
- Menu outside says “No tax”, “No cover charge”, “No service”. Nothing is for free in life and especially in Italy.
- People inside are all tourists
- People inside are all Japanese tourists (sorry guys)
List of dishes to avoid Spaghetti with tomato Spaghetti bolognese Spaghetti with meatballs Cotoletta alla milanese Tortellini al pomodoro
We could go on and on on the subject with lots more advice (that we’ll save for the guide and for other posts here) but in the end just remember the golden rule:
Just go where the Italians go!
Italians like to eat well and pay less, and they have a natural talent for spotting tourist traps, obviously even more if they’re locals.