A mere 2 minutes walking distance from the Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), Il Milion is the oldest Osteria (restaurant) in Venice still in existence today.
With a tradition extending back more than 300 years and a location near the rear of San Giovanni Crisostomo, this restaurant is named after the book written by Marco Polo, Il Milion, describing his travels. In fact, it occupies a town house once owned by members of the explorer’s family. The bar, incidentally, is a favorite with some of the gondoliers.
At Osteria Il Milion, a simple, nine-table restaurant set in a tiny courtyard across from the home of Marco Polo near the Rialto Bridge, you will find some of the finest local seafood. One of the city’s oldest dining establishments, its name is derived from a story about Marco Polo, who was said to exaggerate the millions of things he had seen and the millions of miles he traveled, earning the ironic nickname, “Il Milion.” The food here, most notably the tagliolini with spider crab, risotto with scampi and zucchini, and John Dory and grilled polenta, has clean flavors that are not masked by sauces, butter, or cream. The ingredients are so fresh and intense that there is no reason to hide them. “I eat here every day,” says owner Roberto Bocus, “so it has to be good.” -Scott Haas, Robb Report