Cicchetti and Bàcari: a never-ending story.
The word “cicchetto” comes from “ciccus” meaning “a very small quantity” in Latin, while “bacaro” derives from a figure of speech commonly used by wine connoisseurs to describe a wine made from top quality grapes “è proprio un vino di bacche” (“it’s a real berry wine”), but there is also an obvious resemblance to the name of Bacchus, the god of wine and drunkenness.
A “bàcaro” is another word for an inn, once a simple genuine place where noblemen and gondoliers met to chat, drink a glass of wine, eat a “canocia” (mantis shrimp), and perhaps enjoy a game of cards.
A “bàcaro” did not serve “real” meals, but you could eat something fast, accompanied by a good glass of wine.
In recent years, the bàcaro has been rediscovered and presented in an “updated” version, while “cichetti” have become an authentic gastronomic ritual for both Venetians and tourists who can discover a different way of eating and drinking as an alternative to the usual restaurant.
We recommend two guides to the bàcari of Venice: