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A Wanderer in Venice
written by "Morley, Harry, 1881-1943"
... the investigator I recommend the dish called variously frutta di mare and fritto misto, in which one has a fried jumble of the smaller sea creatures of the lagoon, to the scampi and calamaretti being added fresh sardines (which the fishermen catch with the hand at low tide), shrimps, little soles, little red mullets, and a slice or two of big cuttle fish. A popular large fish is the bronzino, and great steaks of tunny are always in demand too. But considering Venice's peculiar position with regard to the sea and her boasted dominion over it fish are very dear. Even more striking is the dearness of fruit, but this, I take it, is due to the distance that it must come, either by rail or water. No restaurant that I discovered—as in the fair land of France and indeed elsewhere in Italy—places wine or grapes free on the table. As I say, I tried all the Venetian houses, small and large—the Cappello Nero, the Bella Venezia, the Antico Panada, the Bauer-Grünwald, the Bonvecchiato, the Cavalletti, the Pilsen; and the only one I felt any desire{41} to return to was the Pilsen, which is large and noisy and intensely Teutonic, but a shade more attentive than the others. The Bella Venezia is the best purely Venetian house. I cannot remember the old campanile with enough vividness to be sure, but my impression is that its brick was a mellower tint than that of the new: nearer the richness of S. Giorgio Maggiore's, across the water. Time may do as much for the new campanile, but at present its colour is not very satisfactory except when the sun is setting. Indeed, so new is it that one cannot think of it as having any association whatever with S. Mark's. If it belongs to anything it is to Venice as a whole, or possibly the Royal Palace. Yet one ought not to cavil, for it stands so bravely on the spot where its predecessor fell, and this is a very satisfactory proof that the Venetians, for all the decay of their lovely city a...

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