What’s a Bacaro?

vini rossi | cantina do spade

According to one of the many legends about it, the term bàcaro comes from a gondolier’s exclamation: one day, when tasting a new wine from Southern Italy, he cried out “Bon, bon! Questo xe proprio un ‘vin de bàcaro” (“Very, very good! This is a bàcaro’s wine, indeed”). The Venetian phrase far bàcara means going on a drinking bout, in honour of Bacchus. And this is how, following the high wake of the “good wine”, the typical Venetian taverns were born.

Where does the word

The city is bursting with such osterie: some of them are mainly frequented by tourists, whereas others, hidden in narrow, almost untrodden lanes of this city on the lagoon, are certainly cosier and more genuine. This is why Venetians like them better and are used to take a giro d’ombra (literally, a “shadow tour”), i.e. to go from bacaro to bacaro and have a good glass of the tavern’s wine with their friends. And Cantina Do Spade undoubtedly belongs to the latter group. Its fame, though, is far from being a recently acquired one, given that it has been – literally – feeding the city’s history by hosting famous people, both from Venice and from elsewhere. One if them was Giacomo Casanova, who apparently was fond of something else, besides women: the ombra.

The origins of the word

There are countless legends on the origins of the word ombra, as well. Anyway, the glass of wine seems to be called “shadow” because it was originally sold by itinerant traders, who followed the shadow of Saint Mark’s bell tower in order not to let the wine get warm. The Cantina, though, offers a wide range of wines from all over Veneto, that perfectly go both with cicheti and with our delicious dishes, inspired by our region’s cooking traditions and prepared with local products, bought every day at the nearby Rialto Market.

This is how Do Spade keeps a centuries-old tradition – which is, though, still full of life – going, in that hidden lane, behind the Rialto Bridge.