After fattening ourselves up in Paris we were ready to flaunt our bikini ready bodies on an 11 day cruise through the Mediterranean. Our port of departure was Venice, which we had been told to expect "OK" food, so we weren't as focused on finding food in this city. However in the end maybe because of lowered expectations or sheer luck we found some truly great Italian food.
We met up with my parents in Venice and for our first evening went on a gondola ride through the "streets" or rather waterways of Venice. An amazing experience made even better with a bottle of Prosecco. After finishing our gondola ride we were ready to hunt down some pizza!
Venice like many stops on our cruise was a beautiful and unique city just waiting to be explored by us. We made it our goal to eat local cuisines for every stop of the cruise. If it said "hamburgers, pizza/pasta (outside of Italy)" we avoided the place like the plague. We wanted what the locals would eat.
We went back to a restaurant my parents had discovered earlier in the day by the Academia Bridge in the heart of Venice. We started with a Caprese salad which we dressed ourselves with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. The fresh mozzarella and tomatoes were spectacular. We were soon to see the fresh cheeses and tomatoes across the Mediterranean were like nothing we had ever enjoyed before.
My dad went with the melon and prosciutto which was even better than the one we enjoyed in Paris primarily because the prosciutto was amazing.
I ordered the prosciutto di Parma pizza which came with a slightly spicy tomato sauce and caramelized onions. Emi and I discussed if we had been to Italy back when we were in grade school, (pre-California Pizza Kitchen which then turned into wood stone oven, gourmet, thin crust pizzas) we may not have enjoyed this pizza. Knowing only thick crust, greasy Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Little Caesar's, and Godfather Pizza we were not necessarily pizza connoisseurs. Good thing food has changed and improved over the years.
This pizza was not perfect, (the dough was a little chewy, even though the crust was thin) however still one of the best pizzas I've ever enjoyed. Maybe it was the environment and sitting by the Grand Canal in Venice that made this pizza memorable, but more likely it was the amazing prosciutto di Parma. I've enjoyed it before, but for whatever reason this creamy, rich, salty, melt in your mouth prosciutto was the best I've ever tasted and truly made this pizza extraordinary.