Contributed by: Maurice T. Appelbaum | Last Date of Travel: August 2006
Kosher Info: Check Milan for useful websites for supermarket food and general info. GamGam is a restaurant run by Chabad and that gives free meals on Shabbos. In the summer it can be really crowded in Venice so be sure to go – it is fun to see 300 tourists in one restaurant. There is a kosher bakery and pizza shop right down the block from Gam Gam and in the Jewish Ghetto. There is also a kosher cafe in the shul museum in the heart of the Ghetto. There is indeed a kosher gelato place but Chabad won’t tell you because they only drink milk that is chalav yisrael (milked by Jews). Ask the locals or at the pizza store where it is. There is one or two flavors that aren’t kosher, but the store will tell you which ones.
Tourist Info: We only went for Shabbos because we heard that you don’t need so much time in Venice. We did a lot of walking, bought great souvenirs and Venitian glass (clearly not on Shabbos). The gandala rides are really expensive so we skipped it. San Marco is a cool, huge open square. On the walk to San Marco at night, you pass through interesting night life.
Jewish Info: The Jewish Ghetto is in an area called Cannaregio, so try to say nearby. There are five shuls, all within the Jewish Ghetto. They offer a tour, we liked it. Davening is in one of the two Spanish shuls, they switch off between the winter and summer. There is davening at Chabad, but it is interesting getting the native feel. There is an eruv. We heard that there are motels/hostels where the key turns on the electricity making it impossible to take the key with you if you want to leave the bathroom light on, for Shabbos.