Posted by: Brad Nixon | October 12, 2016

Mangiare … a Venezia!

Regular readers know that when I say it’s time to eat, you’re likely to get a recipe from the Under Western Skies Kitchen, or perhaps photos from a meal I enjoyed on a trip somewhere. It could be anywhere, because I enjoy food, and traveling works up an appetite.

What better place to enjoy eating than in one of Italy’s innumerable regional culinary capitals and perhaps my favorite city in the world, Venice?

The Veneto is home to countless delicious specialties. Treviso is known for radicchio, that red chicory familiar to salad-lovers, and one can have risotto con radicchio like this:

Verona risotto Brad Nixon 6430 (640x470)

When I described our visit to Treviso, I mentioned the tasty linguini and clams we had in a restaurant situated in an old mill spanning one of the city’s canals.

Treviso pasta Brad Nixon 6591 (640x480)

I can’t attempt to represent the scope and diversity of the food of Venice in a single post, or I’ll leave out someone’s favorite. Instead, I’ll write about one of my favorite food adventures on any trip to Venice: Mercato Rialto, the Rialto Market.

Rialto Market Brad Nixon 6346 (640x480)

Rialto has been Venice’s market and shopping area since the 11th Century. Every traveler, even armchair ones, is familiar with the famous Rialto bridge, the primary landmark. Cross the bridge (red circle, below) into San Polo, and you’re in a welter of shops and stalls. A few steps take you to the Erberia the open air fruit and vegetable market (red flag).


For reference, St. Mark’s Square is the blue star in center right.

Whenever we reach Venice, The Counselor and I can’t resist visiting the Erberia  —  packed with fresh, colorful produce, one of the continent’s longest-established places of commerce, and a delight to all the senses. Here she is, considering what’s for lunch.

rialto-market-brad-nixon-6342 (640x470)

The Erberia sits right on the Grand Canal, visible just beyond the stalls in the next photo.

Venice market Brad Nixon 6337 (640x480)

As they have for 10 centuries, boats dock to unload goods bound for the shops of Mercato Rialto.

Venice boat Brad Nixon 6339 (640x480)

Whether you get an apartment in Venice and can cook for yourself, want to pick up some fresh fruit to carry as you tour Venice or you’re simply a fan of luscious food, a visit to the Mercato Rialto is a treat.

The radicchio used to create that risotto pictured above is a specialty …

Venice radicchio Brad Nixon 6353 (640x480)

… seasonal fruit, including here, in July, cherries and strawberries …

Venice produce Brad Nixon 6351 (640x480)

… and berries and vegetables in great variety…

Venice produce Brad Nixon 6350 (640x480)

Here are more scenes from the market. (Click on the first and use the arrow to view the sequence in larger format. Escape to return.)

Immediately beside the Erberia is the Mercato del Pesce, the fish market, packed with vendors selling fish and shellfish taken just hours before from the lagoon and the Adriatic (click on an image for larger view).

A couple of tips: to my knowledge, you’re not bargaining; prices are established and marked. Don’t pick up the produce. Indicate what you want, and the vendor will put it in a sack for you.

For however long you’re there, exercise your Italian (a good opportunity to learn the names for fruit and vegetables), drink in the sights, smells and sounds, listen to the conversations and the cries of the vendors. For at least that time, you’re no longer a tourist, you’re a local … you’re Italian! Avanti … mangiare!

N.B. The individuals in the photos are wearing jackets. The photos were shot late one July. Venice is often extremely hot in summer, but the Adriatic can deliver chilly weather any time. 

Many of the photographs in this post and select images from Under Western Skies are available on CLICK HERE to view the Underawesternsky photo portfolio.

© Brad Nixon 2016, 2017


  1. Those pix remind me of our wonderful joint adventure there 16 years ago. But that top photo looks like a creation by you and The Counselor!


    • We have some good photos of that earlier visit to the Erberia, when it was truly cold, but I didn’t get them digitized for this time around. So glad to have seen it with you … and eaten the results of our search in a very chilly outdoor picnic.


  2. […] Mangiare … a Venezia! […]

    Liked by 1 person

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