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Mercato di Rialto: The Rialto Fish Market in Venice

You’ve taken the obligatory photographs. The view of the Grand Canal in Venice from the top of the Rialto Bridge is certainly a classic sight.

You’ve meandered your way past the Mercato Turistico with souvenir stalls selling anything from Venetian masks to Murano glass jewellery. The Rialto Mercato di Frutta e Verdura, or produce market has lured you with a colourful array of fruit and vegetables you don’t find at home. Now you find yourself face to face with an exotic fish.

Rialto Fish Market Venice

This is the Mercato del Pesce, or the Fish Market. Located along the Grand Canal just behind the Rialto Bridge, it is dubbed as Cuore della Città, or the heart of the city.

Rialto Fish Market VeniceRialto Fish Market Venice

Through the arched entrances, the market is buzzing with life.

Rialto Fish Market Venice
There are tiny eyes staring at you,

Rialto Fish Market Venice
and yawning shells with shy scallops or cappesante.

Rialto Fish Market Venice
Fish are pouting beside a giant octopus,

Rialto Fish Market Venice
one that is almost throbbing with life.

Rialto Fish Market Venice
Little crabs, or masanette, are eager to crawl out of their basin.

Rialto Fish Market Venice
Crab claws make friends with a lonely fish.

Rialto Fish Market Venice

Venetians are set about their daily lives and the merchants do not mind the odd inquisitive visitor with a camera.

Rialto Fish Market Venice
They call their John Dory fish S. Pietro.

Rialto Fish Market Venice

Whelks are sold by the bagful,

Rialto Fish Market Venice
while the shrimps await their turn.

Rialto Fish Market Venice
The range of calamari and squid is enticing,

Rialto Fish Market Venice
as are the red-tinged barbounia you find in the Mediterranean.

Rialto Fish Market Venice

Rialto Fish Market Venice

According to a recent report, the Rialto Fish market is in danger of being closed. So if you’re planning a trip to Venice, take the opportunity to visit this historical market before it is relocated.

Rialto Fish Market Venice

Rialto Fish Market Venice

The Rialto Fish Market Useful Information

  • Mercato del Pesce, or fish market, is located along the Grand Canal just behind the Rialto Bridge.
  • Mercato di Frutta e Verdura, or produce market, is located adjacent to the food markets.
  • 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 markets are open Tuesday to Saturday.

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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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