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Rialto Market

A historic market where Venetians buy fresh frutti di mare from friendly fishmongers.

TravelCurious Tip

It’s best to arrive early to the markets, especially the fish market – the barges start unloading the catch at dawn, and many vendors are closed by midday.

Sitting proudly in the central Venetian district of Rialto is a superb collection of markets that are nearly as old as the city itself, having been in continuous operation since 1097. Here you can find an enormous variety of excellent-quality fruit, vegetables, meat and especially seafood. The age-old hustle and bustle of these thriving mercantile centres is a Venetian institution in itself, and even for those who aren’t looking to buy anything, simply watching the daily goings-on is quite a spectacle.


Cornering the Market

In the 16th century, a large swathe of Rialto was destroyed in a fire, and an extensive rebuilding project was initiated. This included creating a dedicated, more permanent market area that would be divided up into sections, to replace the more haphazard placing of stalls that had preceded the fire. Evidence of this plan can be seen in the names of the small streets and campos: Erberia (fruit and vegetables), Speziali (spices), Naranzeria (oranges) and, most famously, Pescaria (fish).


The Freshest and Best

Here in the fish market you can find gleaming sardines, anchovies, skate, octopi, squid, sea bream, lobster, crab, mussels and many more, all freshly caught and mouth-wateringly delicious. They are brought in from far and wide, but locally caught produce is specifically labelled “Nostrano”. If you’re feeling peckish, there are plenty of nearby eateries where you can grab seafood cichetti (small traditional sandwiches) made with fish caught that very same day.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Venice
Marco Polo's House
Believed to have been the residence of the world famous explorer and his family, the ancient Corte del Milion is a must see for adventure lovers.
Rialto Bridge
Venice’s busiest and most iconic bridge, the Rialto gives visitors a wonderful view of the Grand Canal.
Ca’ d’Oro
Commissioned in 1428 by the family who gave Venice eight Doges, the 'Golden House' is now open to the public as an art gallery.
Tapas (Cicheti)
In many ways distinct from other Italian regions' food, expect polenta, seafood and sweets.
Wine (Ombra)
The residents of Venice have been drinking wine for centuries, including Pinot Grigio and Prosecco.
Gelato
The Venetian take on ice cream - not to be missed!

Related Tours

Private Tour of Venice in a Day inc Tickets
Discover the architectural and artistic highlights of Venice on this full day tour!

  • Commence your tour at the iconic St Mark's Square 
  • Snap pictures of St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace 
  • Learn about Venetian architecture 
  • Walk to Marco Polo's House  (entrance not included)
  • Cruise through Venetian's city squares, head towards the Church of San Zaccaria 
  • Visit the famous Rialto bridge 
  • Stroll around the Rialto Market, famous for its fish and vegetables 
  • Conclude at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Venetian Highlights

Begin with a walk around the world famous St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. We will make a visit to the Doge’s Palace, built in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another superb building that will be sure to capture your attention. St Mark’s Basilica is deemed to be an icon of Italian art and culture and the city’s top highlight. 

Bridging 118 Islands

You will walk on to discover more about the iconic house of Marco Polo, Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo and Campo S, as well as marvelling at the beauty of Maria Formosa and eventually the Convento di S. Zaccaria. We will then head towards Venice’s most iconic bridge- Rialto. Famous as the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place to buy beautiful Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you will conclude our tour admiring dozens of Tintoretto Paintings in the breathtaking building of Scuola Grande di San Rocco, named after St. Rocco, the saint protector against the devastation of plague.
Private Tour of Venice in a Half Day inc Tickets
Enjoy a whistle-stop tour of Venice, which is particularly useful for those short on time or new to the city.

  • Commence your tour at the iconic St Mark's Square 
  • Snap pictures of St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace 
  • Learn about Venetian architecture 
  • Walk to Marco Polo's House 
  • Cruise through Venetian's city squares, head towards the Church of San Zaccaria 
  • Visit the famous Rialto bridge 
  • Stroll around the Rialto Market, famous for its fish and vegetables 
Iconic Locations

The itinerary will begin with a walk around the world famous St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space; this square is enclosed by the stunning St Mark’s Basilica and the absolutely magnificent Doge’s Palace. You will make a visit to the palace, originally built in 812, and celebrated as one of the best examples of Venetian Gothic architecture in the city. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is St Mark’s Basilica, deemed as an icon of Italian art and culture; it is indeed one of the city’s top highlight. 

Onto the Rialto Bridge

You will then walk on to discover more about Marco Polo’s House, Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo & Campo S. Maria Formosa and eventually the Convento di S. Zaccaria. You will then head towards Venice’s most iconic bridge - the Rialto. Famous for being the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place in Venice to buy Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you will then take a leisurely stroll around the bustling Rialto Market, a picturesque shopping area primarily selling fish and vegetables to the Venetians for more than seven centuries.
Private Tour - Unmissable Venice inc Tickets to St Mark's bell tower
Trace the city’s fascinating beginnings, learn about its failed defense against the plague and unearth its dark secrets. Focusing on the neighbourhoods of San Polo and San Marco, your journey will take you through Venice’s grandest central district. The architecture is sublime, the excitement rejuvenating and the atmosphere totally unique. 

  • Begin at the Mercato di Rialto (an ancient food and produce market)
  • Explore the Grimani Palace, a lesser known Venetian treasure
  • Climb the Basilica St Mark’s bell tower, take in the breathtaking views across the city
  • Visit St Mark's Square, and see the outside of the beautiful Doge’s Palace
You will begin your tour walking towards Venice’s pre-eminent bridge- Rialto. Famous for being the oldest bridge on the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place to buy beautiful Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you’ll stroll around the bustling Rialto Market, a picturesque shop primarily selling fish and vegetables that has been in existence for more than seven centuries.  Here, you will be able to take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the market! Venetians have been trading fish, vegetables, meat and spices here for 1000 years. 

Next, explore the San Polo district and the Grimani Palace. Following this, cross the Grand Canal and ascend St Mark's bell tower. Enjoy breathtaking views over the city.

 Venture through the most magical streets and canals of San Marco, and pass the iconic St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. You will see the Doge’s Palace, built in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another superb building that will be sure to capture your attention. St Mark’s Basilica is deemed to be an icon of Italian art and culture and a top highlight of the city. 
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