Venice Markets / Mercato
(Venice, Veneto, Italy)
Full of character and real life, the busy markets in Venice, Italy are an integral part of local life. They provide a great place to find bargains or just to browse around the wide variety of stalls and enjoy the exciting atmosphere and local market banter. Venice's bustling markets range from the very large to the small, discreet collection of stalls, situated in small squares. They are held in many districts of the city and provide a fun way to shop, for both experienced and novice bargain hunters alike.
Rialto is the main area in Venice where markets are held, and Venetians have been coming here to purchase their food for almost 1,000 years. From Tuesday through to Saturday there are spectacular food markets, with fruit and vegetable stalls spreading from the west of the Rialto Bridge and the Pescheria. There are many local specialites to sample, such as 'baccala montecato' (stockfish with garlic, parsley and olive oil), 'moleche' (small, sautéed soft-shell crabs) and 'pasta e fagioli' with 'risi e bisi' (rice and peas).
Nearby there is also a large and popular fish market that is held next to the Grand Canal, with an enormous selection of fresh fish and seafood, in all shapes and sizes. The markets start coming to life at dawn, often being set up as early as 04:00. Rialto markets are full of character and can become very busy, so it is worth arriving early, especially as many of the stallholders start packing up by early afternoon. This is truly one of the greatest markets in the world.
In Via Garibaldi at Castello district, there is another lively and exciting food market that is held on weekday mornings. Popular with both tourists and locals alike, there is plenty of fresh produce available, at typical bargain market prices.