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Sep 1, 2013 03:42 PM

Christmas Day recommendation in Venice?

Spending the holiday in Venice with family, two teen sons 16 and 18. and would like a nice recommendation for Christmas Day. Yes, I presume many are closed, but surely something is open.

We are staying near the Accademia Bridge, but can go wherever. Would like a special place, good food, an atmosphere condusive to the day. Doesn't have to be 5 star, and would prefer not over the top expensive. but realize Venice is expensive. Budget? IDK, not over $300 for 4 (no wine). Would like to explore the Ghetto area sometime, and surely things are open there? ANy ideas are appreciated!!

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  1. Just about all the family owned restaurants will be closed Christmas night. A few will be open for lunch. It is too early at t his time to know which ones. You won't starve as those cater exclusively to tourist will be open. So are the hotel restaurants and the few Chinese places. You can certainly explore the Ghetto but there aren't many Kosher restaurants (one) there or anywhere in Venice. "Special place, good food, an atmosphere conducive to the day", maybe da Pisis at the Bauer. Expensive but at least the food is very good.
    Below is a link on Christmas in Venice. It is couple of years old but it is still relevant.

    1. Pbsf, I'll investigate da Pisis, and other hotel offerings. I am not surprised most family owned spots are closed! Also downloaded Katie Parla and Elizabeth's apps, so that will generate more input. And thanks for the link, I had not seen that one. Cafe florian might be a nice spot to have a light breakfast! I know expensive, but we will do it surely one day, just to see it, and what a memorable Christmas morning!

      Of the hotel late lunch offerings, any better than any others? I presume the $ will be similar. Oh. I see da Pisis is at a hotel....da der!

      Thanks for your input!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jill4137

        My experience with hotel restaurants are limited. Based on my two dinners at Da Pisis, the food is definitely better than the Monaco or the Danieli which I have not been in a number of years. The Bauer has the most beautiful terrace and a great view of the Grand Canal. They are all expensive (probably around 100 euro for 3 course or tasting menu. And drinks are way up there. Personally, I would not spend that kind of money (the da Pisis dinners were gifts from friends). You might check if Ristorante Wildner is open since is located in a hotel, the Wildner, on the Riva Schiavoni. It is less expensive than the above with pretty good food and nice view to the Lagoon San Marco, etc. The terrace is rather simple compare to the luxury hotels, not quite the glamour. Might check if some of the recommended places on this board about serving lunch on Christmas day; then a light dinner at one of places around San Marco. Aciugheta and Vino Vino seems to be always open and if it is, should be crowded with fellow travelers, not a bad way to do Christmas evening. Or better yet, rent an apartment and cook simple dinner in. Regardless, Venice is really magical around Christmas, the eve is the big Feast of the Seven Fishes. And then St Stefano the day after.

      2. We had memorable Christmas lunch one year in Venice - at Corte Sconta. As PBSF notes, many places are closed for a day or period over these holiidays but there will be a few open. this means that resevations are more important than usual - we got our table, all those years ago - because someone with a reservation was late, and the host took pity on us.

        Closer to the date (maybe November at earliest) you may want to email places you are interested in. One list of traditional venetian restaurants is this, with email links to many

        1. I'm pretty sure Gam Gam in the Ghetto is open Christmas Day, and while the food is both excellent and reasonably priced, I doubt it would meet the atmosphere requirement.

          1. One thing you need to watch out for before you drop a huge amount of money is that even if a recommended restaurant is open, the key personnel of the restaurant may be off for a holiday.

            Something else to consider before committing to splashing out for an iconic view is that for the entire time I was in Venice over the Christmas period one year it was mainly socked in with fog and mists. That heightened the mystery and charm, but it did cut visibility.

            My recollection is that dining on Christmas Eve was simple -- almost everything on my wish list was open, including family-run places -- but finding anyplace open for all of Santo Stefano (the 26th) and for Christmas dinner was quite tough. I was surprised to find Florian's open until 2pm on Christmas Day, and delightfully near-empty. I ate smoked salmon and drank bubbly, and enjoyed their glorious coffee.

            But my point is that you might want to psyche yourselves for having a celebratory blowout Christmas meal on Christmas eve, and then enjoy Venice after that in special ways other than memorable dining. (We went to concerts, which were plentiful.)

            Now that there are so many cruise ships, I don't know if Venice still empties out on the immediate days of Christmas like it did when I visited at that time. However, if it does, and if my choices for revisiting came down to eating crusts of bread in a blissfully silent Venice vs. eating a knockout restaurant meal amid tourist hordes, I'd go back to Venice at Christmastime to experience the silence and the scarcely populated alleyways, not the food.