Venice always provides an unforgettable backdrop, but the life around markets is truly special. Fresh and local food is an everyday prerogative here in Italy and the bulk of the action takes place right here in Venice’s markets.
Fishermen bring in fresh seafood from the Adriatic every day to Rialto market, Venice. The islands surrounding Venice produce some of the best artichokes and asparagus in the world.
Whether you’re searching for the freshest seafood, or just fancy treating yourself to some home-made delicacies, Venice markets offer a fantastic taste of the city, as well as a unique shopping experience where you can often find a good bargain.
Here’s our guide to the best markets for your food shopping in the city.
Rialto market, Venice
It’s open every day of the week except Sunday. It’s the best way to see the city’s vibrant social life, especially on Saturday mornings when everyone comes to do their grocery shopping.
This is the heart of Venice, where vendors sell fresh seafood as well as produce. The location of the Rialto market is at the north-west of the Rialto Bridge in the district of San Polo.
Even more impressive for most tourists is the huge fish market (Pescheria) next to the fruit and vegetable market of Rialto. Fresh fish from the Adriatic is offered in all possible shapes, colours, sizes and price ranges.
Besides fish, there are also seafood, crabs and the like. When visiting the Pescheria Market it’s best to arrive early in the day when the food on offer is at its best and before the crowds descend – this is a well-loved Venetian institution!
From famous chefs, to locals, everyone in search of the best seafood in the city heads to the Pescheria Market. It’s highly likely that the fish you enjoyed at a Venetian restaurant was sourced from here. In this area, you can spend without knowing 2-4 hours… A must visit!
Fresh produce market (7:30am-1pm Mon-Sat)
Pescheria market (7:30am-1pm Tue-Sat)
Did you know? This historic market started way back in 1097 and is still running today.
Mercatino dell’Antiquariato -Campo San Maurizio, San Marco
Large, well organised and rich with treasures, professional dealers from all over Italy come to this market to sell their precious wares.
Cheaper than antique shops, it’s the place to come to bag genuine old mirrors, paintings and furnishings, as well as rare books, superior leather goods and unique glassware. There’s no junk here – everything’s the real deal – so it’s perfect for finding that heirloom-with-a-story to take back home. Check the dates on the website
Rio Terà San Leonardo Market
This small market is held in Strada Nova, off the Ponte delle Guglie bridge. It mostly has fruit and vegetable stalls, as well as smaller stalls that sell fish, and sometimes clothing and household goods. Open Monday through Saturday. The opening hours are the same as those of the local stores.
Santa Marta Farmer’s Market
Every Monday, Calle Longhi in Santa Marta hosts a bustling farmers market, with stalls run by around 20 family-run farms from the surrounding islands and villages.
It’s a wonderful place to stock up on local food products such as honey from the lagoon, regional cheeses and fine wines from Veneto vineyards, as well as asparagus from Giare and the famous purple artichokes from the island of Sant’Erasmo. Every Monday from 10 am – 7 pm
If you visit Venice during winter:
Christmas markets (For the three weeks before Christmas)
Campo Santo Stefano
The biggest Christmas market of Venice uses to be held in Campo Santo Stefano near the Palazzo Grassi. Campo Santo Stefano is transformed into a Christmas Village, entirely filled with craftsmen and food producers, whose displays are housed in 30 little wooden cabins.
The square is lined with a backdrop picturing Venetian palaces, giving the whole scene a festival atmosphere.The market’s festive atmosphere is heightened by musicians, concerts and entertainment, with some programs designed especially for children.
Campo San Polo
On the largest piazza of Venice, Campo San Polo, there is a picturesque skating rink. Along with it, you will find a small Christmas market with traditional Venetian products: lace and glass from the islands of Burano and Murano, carnival masks and other local crafts.