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Mercato di Rialto: The Rialto Food Markets in Venice

Si mangia prima con gli occhi. It means, you eat with your eyes first.

At the Rialto Food Markets in Venice, or Erbaria as it is known, you feast on the colour, texture and scent of the fresh produce. With an abundance of fruit and vegetables, some of which is unfamiliar, you no longer wish to be merely an itinerant, but a resident or a visitor on a longer stay.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

I am drawn to the fiery red colour. These peperoncino piccante, (hot chilli peppers) can bring tears or joy to the palate. I rather feast on them with my eyes.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Or camera lens.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Arance (oranges) look as if they have just been picked off a tree.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Marroni (chestnuts) are plentiful in autumn. Hard, plump with a shiny outer skin. I am tempted to sink my teeth into one as I normally do before roasting chestnuts at home.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Radicchio di Treviso Precoce is the pride of the Veneto. With dark red leaves and white centres, these seasonal vegetables are perfect for salads and ideal for grilling or baking. I ate my first radicchio in Mazara del Vallo, in Sicily.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

But any time you wish to compliment someone from Treviso, tell them that their radicchio is unlike any other.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Castraure, a type of carciofi or artichoke, is also native to the Veneto region.I like how theproduce is labelled with the place of origin.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

You can find the more popular varieties of carciofi (artichoke). These are displayed like an arrangement for a still life painting.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

I watched this man turn artichokes into beautiful discs of artichoke hearts, ready to buy.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Bags of porcini with gold ribbons beg for a purchase. I can almost smell the aroma from a creamy and fragrant risotto.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

A field of chiodini covers this stall. Earthy temptation in a wooden box.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Frutti di Bosco (fruits of the forest) trigger images of summer and desserts.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

These Fragole (strawberries), look perfect for feeding one another in between sips of Prosecco, no?

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Cavolo Nero, (Kale) is a type of leafy cabbage with dark green leaves that can be used in soups, salads and as well as accompaniments to meat, fish and pasta dishes.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

Strands of white garlic hang like ornate chandeliers.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

And the humble red tomatoes complete the Italian tricolore, the green white and red colours at the Mercato di Rialto.

Rialto Food Markets, Venice

The Rialto Food Markets Useful Information:

  • The Erberia, or produce market, is located along the Grand Canal just behind the Rialto Bridge.
  • You can access it from the vaporetto stop, Rialto Mercato.
  • You can also reach it from the Rialto vaporetto stop by crossing the canal over the Rialto Bridge.
  • The best time to visit is very early in the morning or before lunch.
  • The Mercato del Pesce, or fish market, is located adjacent to the food markets.
  • The markets are open Monday to Saturday and closed on Sundays.
  • The fish market is also closed on Mondays.

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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

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