Visit Venice Italy

Venetian Glossary


Everything is nice here, even words, but still it is necessary to understand the meaning and dialect of Venetian speech...

We have two Glossaries for you: Food and Drink (mentioned below) and all the rest of it, from Acqua Alta by way of Forcole, Nizioleto, the Piano Nobile or else Squero of which you will find definitions here:

Venetian Food and Drink Glossary


A
Antipasto
It is the appetizer, “before the pasta”, essential in Italy and in Venice.
Arancino
Stuffed rice balls (about the size of an orange, hence the name) that have been coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. They are most often a part of a restaurant antipasto, but you can also buy them from side-walk vendors while shopping or just taking a stroll.
Articioco
A very musical name for our artichoke!


B
Bacaro
This one is important to remember; it is the name for taverns also known as osteria here.
Baccalà Mantecato
Very Good! It is a classic recipe from Veneto cooks the salt cod that is cooked and seasoned and made into a creamed paste to serve on canapés. A specialty in good taverns on which Venice prides itself.
Batacin
It is the fried cod and it is very good also. A must try.
Bigoli
Those are big spaghettis.
Bisato
A popular Venetian entrée, it is eel!
Bisi
A “laughing” regional name for small peas, called Piselli in the rest of Italy.
Bovoletti
Forbidden to the British men, these are snails.
Bussolai Buranei
It is special; you cannot help but to like it! They are dry cakes that are dipped into a liqueur-like wine. If you really want to live as a true Venetian, they recommend you also eat it with pieces of Parmesan.
A rather unusual combination, but once you try it, you’re sure to order it again.

C
Cameriere
A name to remember, it is the waiter.
Canocia
It is the sea cicada.
Caparosoli
These are clams either praires or clams, depending on where they are found in the lagoon. Anyway these are good small mollusks.
Cape Sante
It is their good old fashioned Venetian scallop.
Capocuoco
Also known to us as… The Chef!
Castra'
What an unfortunate word! Poor animal... it is the neutered lamb.
Castradina
It is the dried meat of sheep.
Castraure
They are small artichokes which are found in the spring.
Cicchetti
These are tapas eaten standing at the bar in tavern.
Coperto
This must be remembered to avoid a shock on the bill, it is the cost added to the final dining total for place settings. It will be displayed at the entrance of the restaurant.
Crostino
It is crusty in Italian; it is the canapé or toasted bread.

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F
Fegato alla Veneziana
This is a signature Venetian dish. The first recipe was found in the book "Apicio Moderno" published in Venice in 1790. The most well known recipe is for Venetian style calf's liver cooked with onions.
Folpetto
The cuttlefish is so good. It is a small cuttlefish as you will have understood it: folpo folpetto!
Fortagia
It is an omelette.
Fragolino
A unique semi-sparkling wine of exceptional fruit with a pronounced flavor of strawberries, hence its name, Fragolino, which is Italian for strawberry.

G
Garusolo
Another mollusk: it is our whelk.
Go' Gobie
Small fish which is either served fried or in risotto.
Goto
It is the glass.
Granceola
A big and tasty crab, typical of Mediterranean Sea.
Granzioporo
Always from the family of crabs
Granzo
Last of series, it is just crab.

L
Luganega
The only entry under L of our food glossary because it is a Long sausage, seasoned with coriander, lemon and orange.

M
Masaneta
It is the She Crab whom they present at table, “dressed” with its shell.
Moeche
It is necessary to be in Venice in spring or in autumn to eat it. It is a true Venetian specialty. Soft-shell crabs are caught at molting time (spring and fall) and fried in an egg-and-Parmesan batter. Those of the spring have better flavor than in autumn.
Moleca
Moleche is the name given to crabs when they are changing their shells which, at this time, are so tender they can be eaten whole. They are served fried.
Musetto
It is a pork sausage which is often accompanied by mashed potatoes.

N
Nervetti
It is a salad of boiled beef that they serve with onions.

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O
Ombra
Literally speaking, shade. It is simply a glass of wine. The name is due to the fact that many vendors sell it in the shade of the Bell tower on the piazza San Marco.
Ossocollo
It is a sausage based on pork backbone.

P
Pasta e fagioli
It is some soup, rather thick, with beans and pasta.
Pere Cotte de Bogio
These are cooked pears.
Peoci
Return to mollusks, these are mussels.
Polenta
Not typically Venetian but it accompanies a lot of dishes; it is the famous cooked flour of corn.
Prosecco
It comes from Northeast Italy but is equally drinkable in Venice, it is a sparkling wine.

R
Risi E Bisi
A favorite of the rice-loving Venetians, the soup called rice and peas is so thick that it's sometimes mistaken for risotto. The traditional dish for the feast-day of St. Mark.
Rumegal
It is tripe.

S
Salumeria
Good to know, it is a fine delicatessen.
Sangueto
Pig blood sausage in onion.
Sarde in Saor
This delightful sardine dish was developed for sailors spending long months at sea. The cooked fish marinates in a fragrant sauce of vinegar, onions and wine for at least a day before serving and is served cold with pine nuts.
Sardea
Sardines.
Schie
Grey shrimp served with polenta.
Secondo
Antipasto starter, Il Primo is the first dish, Il it Secondo: the second dish.
But do not worry, Venice is about freedom! You can reverse the sequence, or even take only an antipasto. In brief, eat as you wish to adapt all this to your taste and to your stomach.
Sgroppino
This delightful cold beverage is a well-kept secret among Venetians, a mixture of Prosecco with lemon sorbet and some Vodka.
Sievolo
It is the mullet!
Sopressa
A large salami infused with garlic.
Spienza
It is beef spleen seasoned with garlic.
Spritz
A special Venetian aperitif based on white wine of bitter and seltzer water. It goes down nicely, often sipped on coffee terraces or cafés. It is offered three ways: Campari (bitter), in Cynar (some liqueur of artichoke what makes the Spritz still a little more bitter than with Campari) or the mild softer version, in Aperol.
Stracaganase
These are dried chestnuts.

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T
Torbolin
It is a new white wine.
Trippa
No false friends, these are indeed tripes.

Z
Zaleto
A yellow dried cake made raisins, lime and orange peels. They can also be dipped in the wine.

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