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Discover the Venetian dialect

Discover the Venetian dialect

Here is a small glossary of the most commonly-used terms:

Biso:  pea. Risi e bisi:  risotto with peas, typical recipe of Venice.

Bricola:  group of poles which define the navigable canals of the lagoon.

Bussolà:  doughnut. Bussolà buranello:  doughnut-shaped biscuit typical of Burano.

Cale, caleta:  street, alley; typical Venetian name for a street or thoroughfare.

Campo, campielo:  these terms indicate town squares; they are derived from agriculture (“campo” means “field”) because originally the squares were grassy fields. There are only two squares in Venice: Piazza San Marco, with its small lateral squares, and Piazzale Roma.

Canocia:  Mantis shrimp.

Corte:  courtyard.

Creme frite:  pancakes made from milk, flour and eggs; an age-old Venetian recipe.

Fondamenta:  road constructed along a canal.

Fritola:  pancake or sweet and fluffy fritter. Fritola venessiana:  carnival fritter, typical recipe of Venice.

Galan:  Crunchy ribbon-shaped carnival pastry, made of flour and eggs, fried in oil and sprinkled with sugar.

Palina:  pole for mooring a boat. Historically, the poles were painted with the colours of the city’s most important families.

Peocio:  mussel. Peoci saltai:  sautéed mussels.

Ramo:  no-through road or a road leading to a courtyard.

Rio:  minor canal. Rio terà:  road made by filling a canal with earth.

Schia:  grey shrimp from the lagoon.

Sestier:  district; there are six districts in Venice, hence the name.

Sottoportego:  interior of a portico.

Tecia:  pan or oven dish. Carne in tecia:  pan- or oven-cooked (stewed) meat.

Vera da posso:  typical Venetian name for the decorative stone (puteal) on a wellhead.

(with the kind permission of Sara Masiero)


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