Rialto Markets – San Polo, Venice

Rialto Markets are working markets where Venetians Come to Shop:

Rialto Markets - San Polo, Venice Follow Me on Pinterest

Fresh artichokes at the Rialto Markets

The food markets are always a good place to visit on any holiday – they give you an indication of what foods are in season, what are in the kitchens and on the dining tables of locals and what foods you can expect in the restaurants.

Historic Working Markets

The Rialto Markets are working markets and this is where Venetian housewives and restaurant chefs have been coming to do their shopping for hundreds of years. If you’re  here really early in the morning, you’ll see the loaded barges arriving to deliver their day’s cargo at dawn.  We arrived late in the day and although the frenzy of the market day was over, there were still some stalls open.

There are two markets, both to the north of Rialto Bridge:

  • The Erberia sells fruit and vegetables.  The wholesalers arrive early to distribute their produce and by mid-morning the retailers have set up their stalls.  If you want to mingle amongst the local shoppers or if you’re looking to buy some fruit and vegetables you have to get here early because by noon most of the action is over.
  • The Fish Market is in the building with arches that overlooks the Grand Canal, just adjacent to the Erberia. In the Pescheria or fish market you’ll see all kinds of fish, octopus, squid, clams and other seafood.

If you are interested in learning more about the San Polo area and the workings of the Rialto Markets, you can do a Walking Tour of San Polo where your local guide will unlock the many secrets of Venice’s oldest district.

To get to the Rialto Markets on your own is easy as they are just at the foot of the Rialto Bridge.  Most visitors to Venice will find themselves crossing this iconic Venice bridge a few times during their Venice holiday.  The centre of the Bridge is a fantastic place to stand and soak in the atmosphere of Venice as you watch the activities and traffic on Venice’s famous Grand Canal.

San Polo is a nice shopping precinct so even if you’re not in the market for food, it’s an interesting area to explore and shop for some Murano glass jewelry, Venetian masks, leather goods, etc.

Seeing Venice through Travel Signposts photos.

If you think of anything I left out of this post, please feel free to put that on the comment.


  1. avatarCharl says

    Nice article – I think it’s much more fun to cook for yourself than eat at a restaurant when visiting Venice 😉


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