It’s true, Pane Vino e San Daniele only arrived in Venice in the early 2000s. So what’s so historical? Let’s take a step back. Whether you already know us or not – just in case, nice to meet you! – we are an osteria that for about twenty years has found a home in the spaces of another osteria. With a past much older than ours, that we tried to preserve as much as possible both in form and in substance. And in warmth, which always distinguishes this place and never misses.
The art of botteri and their school
Before talking about the origins of the osteria, let’s make a brief digression. It has to do with the art of bottèri, that is, of the builders of barrels, vats and bottles at the time of the Serenissima. In those years the artisans had their own School in front of the Jesuit church, in the Cannaregio district. A plaque engraved with the year 1290 testifies to its historicity. However, their shops were located somewhere else, in a specific street – or, as we say in Venice, in a calle.
Let’s move then near Rialto, in the San Polo district, where many of those bottlers already worked since the 13th century. A curious custom wanted the botteri to work for free for the doge of Venice, in exchange for barrel hoops and also food. The barrels could be intended either for oil or wine, and, depending on the size, different types of wood were used. All this happened in calle dei Botteri, in fact. And it is precisely here, in this street with an ancient commercial tradition, that in the last century the osteria Agli Amici was born.
Trattoria Agli Amici
The first documents bearing witness to a commercial activity at this street number date back to 1950. Already in that year there was the osteria Agli Amici – it remained so until 2003, when it became Pane Vino e San Daniele. With its long tradition, it was a reknown meeting place for many Venetians, from this area and beyond. Here they ate, they drank but above all they had some good times, just like now.
Among the regular customers of the time there are those who remember how this tavern was a meeting point for recreation and spending the afternoon in a different way. A glass of wine, a game of cards, a chat with friends and, from the 1950s onwards, even a TV to watch entertainment programs. It was the only place to have it in these parts of the city.
“In the osteria you eat, drink, and feel good.”
Some archive photos depict the open patio of the restaurant, at that time characterized by large plant pots. The images dates back to 1980, and are included in the book “Osterie a Venezia” by Agostinetti, Catullo and Lagomarsino, published in 1992. Here are collected testimonies and photographs of the historic Venetian taverns, taken some years before. Among these also appears the trattoria Agli Amici.
From 2003 to today
All these years we have tried to preserve as much as possible the soul of the tavern, starting with the interiors. The style, the arrangement of the furniture: overall, everything has remained almost the same. Just the back room has changed a bit, as well as the details on the walls and those objects we put here and there for a more personal touch. The wood that has always characterized it, as in the classic taverns of Venice, continues to do so today. You can find it everywhere – in the tables and the chairs, in the exposed beams, in the long counter at the entrance.
However, there is another detail of the restaurant that does not go unnoticed. It is an engraving. If you look closely at the ground, on the Venetian floors, you can see a number, or rather a date: 1928. It is the sign of a past that perhaps even precedes the restaurant, who knows. A past that always remains there, in plain sight, within everyone’s reach. Our Venetian history that we never want to stop telling. What do you say, come and discover it with us?
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