Time to share another item from my collection of gondola stuff! This is, I believe, an ashtray; as you can see it’s from Ristorante Pizzeria Fuin. I picked it up at an antique store in Venice, though I can’t remember which one. (I think it was the shop near Santi Apostoli, run by the diminutive guy with crazy hair. The shop is rarely open, and last summer when I was there, it had a sign saying he was closing his doors forever. Very sad news, as I had found some interesting treasures there.)
Anyway, Venetian restaurants and bars used to make ashtrays that they’d set out on their tables. Most I’ve seen are the traditional circular or square dish. My friend Bob has quite a good collection of them from the many years that he and his wife Norma visited Venice. This one from Fuin stands out for its unique shape. Perhaps it’s not an ashtray, but knowing that many restaurants followed this practice, I’m guessing that it is. I love the simple gondola lines, not asymmetrical, but with a lovely ferro, and a strangely large popa di ferro on the stern.
You can see from the phone number on it that it’s quite old, from the time that Venetian phone numbers were only six numbers. I’ve never seen Pizzeria Fuin, so I googled the name and found that there’s one on Cavallino-Treporti, part of the Veneto region. The TripAdvisor reviews say it has a good pizza oven and also fish dishes. I wonder if any of the current employees remember a time when the pizzeria used these ashtrays? I wonder if they have one themselves? This ashtray also says “Da Lili” on it, meaning that this was Lili’s restaurant. Is Lili still around? Does anyone know anything about Lili?
If you’re in Treporti, perhaps you could pop in and see?? Let me know!