Visit: 23 September 2023, dinner for 4 people
Trattoria Antiche Carampane is a popular family run seafood restaurant located in the San Polo district of Venice. It is hidden away on a side street between Venice’s famous Rialto Fish Market and Campo San Polo. It occupies the ground floor of a 14th century building that was once home to a tavern, famed for serving wine and sustenance to customers of the local brothels.
In 1983 Giovanni “Nani” Battista Bortoluzzi, the son of a fish wholesaler for the Rialto market, took over the vacant building and opened Antiche Carampane along with his two siblings, Guido and Piera. In 1999, Piera took over, and five years later she was joined by her son Francesco Agopyan, who runs the establishment today.
The restaurant focuses on the freshest Venetian fish and sea food sourced daily from the Rialto Fish Market, and vegetables from Sant’Erasmo. In 2021, thirteen Venetian restaurant owners (Al Covo, Antiche Carampane, Trattoria Anzolo Raffaele, Rioba, Riviera, Testiere, Trattoria Vittoria da Aldo, Marciano e Marcianino, Vini da Gigio, Covino, Trattoria da Ignazio, Da Guido (in Jesolo).) signed a lease for a plot of land on the Venetian island of Sant’Erasmo to cultivate vegetables, spices and seasonings – all the raw materials which they use in their dishes. The Osti in Orto project garden is four hectares and is dedicated to cultivating organic food, including cauliflowers, Savoy cabbages, courgettes, radicchio, chicory, and artichokes.
At Trattoria Antiche Carampane you can expect the freshest fish served carpaccio, grilled, steam and fried. Pasta dishes include a very good tagliolini with a spider crab sauce. The deep-fried shrimps with calamari main course was exceptionally good, and my favourite course of this trip to Venice.
Starters cost from 25 to 29 Euros, primi piatti pasta dishes 24 Euros, main course secondi piatti from 25 to 29 Euros, and desserts from 9 to 13 Euros. This is extremely reasonable considering typical Venetian prices, and the quality of the ingredients and level of cooking.
The wine list had a good selection of Italian wines. The service was brisk.
If you enjoy fresh fish and sea food, then this is a restaurant that should be very high on your list when you visit Venice.