This section introduces you to the art of Venetians growing edible gardens in the midst of what seems a very forbidding environment. In a shallow Lagoon where salt water prevails over a few freshwater pockets located next to the mouths of rivers.
Growing gardens was an absolute necessity for survival. Venice and her Lagoon, and even Venice herself defined as the 118 Rivo Alto islands, are completely self-sufficient terrain that succeeded in feeding 300,000+ inhabitants in the 16th century. There’s much knowledge to be re-discovered: How could Venetians harness the strengths of such a potentially adverse environment to grow not just gardens blossoming with local fruit, herbs and vegetables but to make the most of imported spice plants.
Yes, Venetians grew spices in their secret gardens and flowers on every possible public and private space. You will only understand Venice when you know how Venetians lovingly tended their hidden gardens and Lagoon vineyards for centuries. With such a history, Venetians for 1000 years fueled and coined European taste in using natural ingredients flavored with herbs and spices.
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