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April 2011

March 2011

Spizzico and Burger King abandon Campo San Luca

Spizzico and Burger King in the Campo San Luca

ABOVE: The windows of Spizzico and Burger King are papered over, and their signs are gone from this building in the Campo San Luca.

Campo San Luca street sign in Venice For years, the large building with arched windows on the Campo San Luca has been shared by Spizzico (an Italian pizza chain owned by Autogrill) and Burger King. Before that, its tenants included McDonald's and another hamburger chain.

Spizzico and Burger King signOn Thursday, we were suprised to see that the Burger King and Spizzico signs were gone, and the windows were papered over. Two small signs on the doors that advertised "400 seats available upstairs" were the only reminders that the premises housed Venice's largest fast-food restaurant until recently.

Venetophiles tend to be snobbish about fast food, but we think it's unfortunate that Spizzico and Burger King are gone. In the handful of times that we stopped in (usually after arriving on a transatlantic flight when we were too tired to go anywhere else), we saw a clientele that ranged from teenagers to hotel workers to military cadets on tight budgets.

With 400 seats upstairs and free restrooms for customers, Spizzico and Burger King offered a place where locals and tourists could eat cheaply, rest their feet for a few minutes, and use a toilet without paying the outrageous €1,50 charged by Venice's municipally-operated facilities.

We hope the restaurant's premises haven't been leased by a clothing retailer (Venice already has more than enough of those), but we're not optimistic. After all, Benetton is taking over the city's main post office, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a Banana Republic or a Jack Wolfskin occupying the former Spizzico and Burger King.


Italian Unification Day in Venice

Tricolore t-shirts for Italy's Unification Day

ABOVE: Our favorite Unification Day tricolore: red, white, and green t-shirts pinned to an apartment balcony's railing.

Thursday, March 17 was Unification Day in Italy, and it it wasn't just any old date on a calendar. This year, Unification Day was declared a public holiday because it celebrated the 150th birthday of modern Italy.

The Italian tricolore has been displayed all over town this week, and not only in the form of flags: One creative apartment-dweller made a tricolore out of t-shirts, and in many cases, retailers came up with their own clever twists on the red, white, and green theme.

Here's a random selection of photos that we snapped while walking around Vnice over the last several days:

Tricolore on palazzo in cannaregio

Tricolore over canal

Tricolor Unification Day poster

Italian flags in Campo San Silvestro

Italian tricolor at the Accademia public toilets

Tricolor wristwatches in a San Marco shop window

Finding your way around Venice on foot

Calle de Mezo in Venice

ABOVE: Don't be fazed when Venice destination signs point in two directions. (In such cases, either route will work.)

We've just published a four-page article at Venice for Visitors, our travel-planning site, titled "Finding Your Way in Venice." It offers advice on using maps, directional signs, and street signs to get from point A to point B with the least possible frustration and fuss.

The article is also packed with photos, so--if you're planning a trip to Venice soon--we suggest taking a few minutes to peruse the article by clicking here.