Venetian Traditional Carnival Food / by Marco Secchi

Where to taste and how to cook them

Are you coming to Venice during Carnival? Then you cannot visit the city during the long celebrations of Carnival and don't try the traditional Venetian Carnival food and may you even want to make these pastries at your own place once you’re back.

The Venetian must-to-eat sweets are: the so-called "frittella", a couple of "castagnole" and some "galani".

Don’t feel guilty if you can’t stop eating frittelle once in Venice, is part of the trip in this period of the year!

Here a small list of our favourite places where you can taste these sweets:


1. Nonno Colussi

Since 1956 Nonno Colussi has been making his desserts (including the famous "fugassa", the Venetian focaccia which is a sort of Pandoro thousand times more genuine and good, soft like a feather pillow), exclusively in the open laboratory in his shop. The sweets of the "grandfather" Colussi are very popular and, according to the Venetians, this is one of the best pastry shops in Venice.

Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2867A

2. Pasticceria Tonolo

Since 1886 one of the most famous and renowned pastry shops in the city. Frequented by Venetians, and of course tourists (recommended by locals), is always assaulted not only for the delicacy of pastries and brioche but also for the low price and for the generous portions of desserts.

Crosera San Pantalon, Dorsoduro 3764.

3. Laboratorio Castelli

One of the last real pastry laboratories still existing in Venice. For over 30 years, clients have been delighted with: Venetian bars, pastry shops, restaurants and hotels. Bake daily brioche, frolle, pies, muffins, cakes, pizzas, pretzels and much more. Mythical (and almost unobtainable in the Venetian bars where nowadays many use to buy frozen ones) its brioches with custard and chantilly cream as well as its Venetian pancakes, prepared both classic and with zabaglione, and / or with delicate chantilly cream.

San Marco 3994

4. Rosa Salva

A name, a guarantee. The legendary Ermenegildo Rosa Salva produced the fritoe in the old way, with the buso (with hole), baked daily are then distributed in the various Rosa Salva stores in Venice and Mestre. The classic version, with raisins and pine nuts, supports the production of those with custard and zabaione.

San Marco 950. Calle Fubera.

5. Pasticceria Marchini

The activity of the Vio Family has been present in Venice for over 40 years. Since 1974 he has been producing and selling his collection of high quality traditional sweets: the "Antichi Golosessi Venexiani". Wide selection of desserts and savories for aperitifs and lunch breaks.



Here you can find the basic recepies for cooking at home these 3 tipycal sweets of Carnival. Enjoy and let us know how good you made them!


If you’ve been to Venice before during Carnival, you’ll probably have already tasted the frittelle, in all their variations, in fact, there are cream frittelle, frittelle with raisin, frittelle with zabaglione or chocolate but we are sure you don’t know the recipe yet.

250gr flour

30gr sugar

1 glass of milk

30gr pine nuts


1 egg

30 gr raisin

Lemon peel

Peanut seed oil for frying

In a large bowl mix the yeast with a glass of warm milk and 50gr of flour, then let it rest for a while, at least until the mixture has doubled its volume.

In the main time, allow the raisins to soak in warm water for a full 30 minutes.

Take the mixture you’ve prepared earlier, and add the rest of the flour, an egg, 30gr of sugar, then the raisins, the lemon peel, and the pine nuts.

Work the mixture adding a pinch of salt, then use a spoon to make small balls you’ll fry in a pan full of hot oil. Before serving, sprinkle a bit of icing sugar, above the frittelle.


Venice is not the only city in Italy where you can taste galani, but they probably have a different name. The galani recipe seems to date back to the Roman Empire, which means that they were born before the Venetian frittelle. Let’ see the recipe.

500gr flour

100gr sugar

40gr butter

2 eggs

Lemon peel

1 spoon of rum

A pinch of salt

Some icing sugar to decorate

Making galani it’s easy. First of all, mix all the ingredients into a bowl and let them rest for a couple of hours, then stretch it until it becomes very thin. Now it’s time to give the galani their typical shape, using a cutting wheel.

Fry them all making a small cut on the top of each galano, then serve them with some icing sugar.


Castagnole are a very typical Venetian Carnival food and the recipe is really easy. Let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need.

400g flour

50g sugar

80g butter

2 eggs

A pinch of salt

Baking powder with added vanilla flavoring

Lemon peel

Oil for frying

Icing sugar

Soften the butter and put it in a bowl with the two eggs and the 50gr of sugar. Stir everything and add the flour, the lemon peel, the yeast and a pinch of salt. Then make some small balls from the mixture, helping yourself with a spoon, and put them in a pan full of hot oil.

Let them fry and then serve them with some icing sugar.