The Pescheria (fish market) is well worth a wander, not least because of he huge variety of fish/veggies/fruit on the surrounding stalls.
And because it's full of ordinary Venetians doing ordinary shopping, and there aren't so many tourists (the 'tourist tat' talls are nearer the Ponte Rialto, in the main).
And because the colours are wonderful (especially for someone from grey UK).
It made me wish I was self-catering!
There are brilliant cheese stalls around the Ruga degli Orefici, and some very dimly-lit, male-dominated porter's bars in the Calle do Mori/Calle do Spade (I didn't dare go in, just peeped as I went by!).
But the best bit for me, apart from the food (obviously) was the smiley fish-heads carved into the market structure. Do have a look for them: they are very happy fishies (see photos)!
SAN POLO and SANTA CROCE
Venetians all gravitate to the markets of the Rialto, for their daily shopping and socialising.
As more local shops close in favour of souvenir shops to appease the hoards of tourists, these markets remain the stronghold for the tradition of Venetian trading.
Each housewife will have her favoured butcher, baker, grocer, fishmonger etc, but woe betide them if they offer a sub standard item, or try to give short measure!
The Fish Market (Pescaria) was built in 1907, and sells fresh fish and shellfish to the local restaurants and shoppers.
The Butchers street (Calle dei Beccarie) heads into Campo Beccarie, from which a maze of tiny alleyways lead.
This is the area where valuable commodities such as sugar, pepper and spices were sold, (Sugar was once equal to gold weight for weight!!)
The Fruit and Vegetable Market - The Erberia is probably the largest area of the market, stretching nearly from the corner of the Rialto Bridge, at the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, to the Campo San Giacomo.
Barges arrive at dawn with their crates of produce to be unloaded. The best time to see the market is early morning, it is usually closing around 12 noon. However, remember that this is where the Venetians are carrying out their daily lives, it's not a good idea to be barging the shoppers out of the way to get a photo!! However, it's a good place to buy food for snacking on, and a chance to practice Your Italian.
When I visited at Christmas 06, the stalls were all empty, a slight whiff of fish, and the various discarded boxes and crates, giving a clue as to what would normally be sold from the deserted stalls. I enjoyed wandering about the market stalls and the maze like lanes, and it didn't cost anything!.
UPDATE Christmas Eve 2007, I spent a pleasant few hours wandering around the atmospheric market stalls - then enjoying the bars here at night
Alright you may have read my intro to the fishmarket on the hotel reccomendation i posted. But for those of you who didnt, here is a sum up. I am from a landlocked place, the Great Lakes dont have a fishing industry or cuttlefish for sale in bulk fresh quantities. I have never seen so many fish outside of an aquarium! It was a very interesting and unique thing for me. It is worth a look if you have never seen a fishmarket before, or just want a taste of local life. And ok, I bought some peaches at a produce stand nearby. I love fresh fruits and vegtables! The produce may have had to be shipped in by the grand canal, but it was still fresh and tasty.
The Rialto Fish Market is known locally as the ‘Pescheria’. The current high arching building was built in 1917 on the site of a working fish market over the last 600 years. I have been to Venice 3 times and never seen it fully in operation. If you want fresh fish, you need to get up early!
Opening Hours are:
7.30am to 12:00pm - Tuesday to Saturday
this is the shop of the masks that have been done for the film 'eyes wide shut'.There are lots of mask shops but you can also mention in that shop that the owner women are not just painting the white masks but also building up new mask shapes at the back of the shop. You can find masks about 50-80 euros but be sure that the ones you fall in love will be at the prizes 150-300 euro:)
ON YOUR TRIP TO VENICE A TRIP TO THE RIALTO MARKET IS WORTH A VISIT.
A MARKET HAS BEEN RUNNING ON THIS SITE FROM ABOUT 1097, FRESH PRODUCE IS SOLD FROM 7.30 AM TO 1PM MON - SAT ..PESCHERIA 7.30AM-1PM TUE-SAT.
THE FRESH PRODUCE IS GOOD TO SEE BUT I REALLY LIKED THE PESCHERIA WITH ALL THE EELS CRABS AND EVEN A HUGE SWORD FISH.
WITH THE MARKET RUNNING MOST DAYS OF THE WEEK IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO MISS THIS GREAT VENICE TRADITION.
Opposite Ca'D'Oro on the Grand Canal is the Rialto markets, a collective name for Pescheria (a busy fish market that has been here for more than 600 years) and Erberia (fruit & veg). The fish market itself now takes place in the 1907 neo-Gothic hall, but the surrounding streets are a confusion of vegetable stalls and noise. Or at least until around noon - the vendors start to pack up around then.
What an experience - 6am and the fishermen just bring in their catch --- all filled in ice-crates and set on display.
You probably need a private boat to get over to Burano THAT early in the morning--- or maybe even ask a fishermen to take you - that's what I did :)
FISHY BUSINESS indeed ... you will find it by the smell - mostly ...
The Rialto Market is on the Santa Croce side of the main Island, straight across from the Rialto bridge.
Initially there a number of gift and craft stalls, and then by the waters edge are the fruit and fish markets.
The whole area is a hub of activity and it great fun walking around checking out the produce.
There is also a traghetto which is only E0.50 to cross to the other side on which is a bargain.
Definitely worth a visit before carrying on to wander around San Polo or the Cannaregio districts.
Caught this guy making his living on this boat, and the fruit&veg looked absolutely yummy !
No artificial colourings here !
Not sure how long he'd been there, all day perhaps, but he was still selling well after 5:30pm
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