on July 17, 2013
The Rialto Market is a part of Venetian culture which all visitors can be a part of. Most mornings, farmers bring crates of their best garden produce, fishermen display the catch of the day and chefs and housewives come out in their numbers to fill their baskets with the very best of the lot. The Rialto Market has been in existence for centuries, and I was really pleased at the chance to encounter a live part of Italian history.The market area consisted of many small tents or large awnings beneath which countless tables were aligned. On these tables were hundreds to thousands of colourful crates, packed to the brim with the local harvest of the day. Everything from dark eggplants to vibrant bananas were creatively exhibitioned to attract as many buyers as possible.Netted sacks of bright red tomatoes hung from the tops of the tents, successfully drawing my attention like a moth to flames. Below the nearest table, ground provisions such as white potatoes spilled out of burlap sacks, their numbers to great to remain contained. Walking through the Rialto Market was akin to being visually and audibly assaulted. It seemed as though every colour of the rainbow was present, and the sound of hawkers advertising their goods in a foregin language was a fascinating experience. The myriad of fragrances which tickled my nose was somewhat comforting. I could make out the sweet scent of pineapple and the tart aroma of fresh onions and leeks. It was pretty hard to miss a whiff of citrus fruits such as limes, lemons and ripe oranges, and I felt the resultant pang of hunger in my middle.However the most compelling smell was that of fresh seafood as they were displayed on beds of ice. Rows and rows of Snapper, Salmon and Tuna were laid out for easy viewing, while stacks of shrimp and other shellfish were being sold by the pound. The fishermen stood nearby, and some were engaged in animated discussions with their prospective customers. I found the prices to be quite reasonable, with most seafood being priced from 6 euros upwards for a pound.Aside from seafood, other meats were available for sale. Cuts of lamb and pork were obtainable, as well as animal byproducts such as milk and cheese. Sweet treats such as chocolate and candies were also for sale, which my inner child could not resist. I ended up buying a scrumptious chocolate bar which temporarily sated my sweet tooth.Since the market is situated near to the Rialto Bridge and along the Grand Canal, crowds are common as flocks of tourists join the local shoppers. Within no time, the market place was transformed into a large melting pot of race, culture and languages. I heard conversations being held in several foreign tongues with English not being heard as often as the others. I think that the Rialto Market is one of the best attractions which Venice has to offer. Everything about the market is genuine, and that's the greatest draw of all.
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