Venice Rialto Fish market to close down?


Rialto Fish market

Rialto (one of the most famous areas of Venice) risks losing one of its symbols: the fish market. It could be the result of the announced transfer of the wholesale market from Tronchetto to Fusina, in the former Alumix areas. Situated well away from the “live” lagoon, almost inaccessible to fishermen and traders in Venice.

This is more than a hypothesis, given that the drawings and plans of the Port Authority on the new structure to be built on land are already running amongst the experts. The operators of the Fish market, fifteen companies that supply fresh fish for retail throughout the city, are on war footing.

“We have requested an urgent meeting with the city mayor Giorgio Orsoni,” they say, “I told him that the wholesale transfer means decreeing the death of the fish market and the Rialto market.”


The project is entering its operational phase. For some time the Port Authority, owner of the area where there is the structure of the wholesale market, ahas been claming its possession. The parking in front of the market will serve to implement the new roundabout to the exit from the Maritime. And the area now occupied by the fish market will be transformed into new facilities for large cruise ships, given the proximity of the docks. A project which could be “devastating” for the city and in particular to the fish market, which has been present for centuries in the Pescheria.

“The reason for this is quickly explained,” say the operators of Rialto.

In Fusina you could hardly get the fish from the lagoon. Can you imagine the Burano fishermen arriving by rowing boat across the lagoon, perhaps during the winter when the Bora wind and the Garbin wind blow?

The first consequence is the increase of fish from abroad and even frozen one over the total of the native species fished in the lagoon. Fusina would be impossible to reach, even for retailers from the city center. Today they go with their boats from Tronchetto to Rialto, to go to Fusina they would have to use in addition the trucks as well as boats. More time and prohibitive costs.

Finally Fusina, near the industrial zone, is not an ideal place for trading fish, an activity that is taking place for centuries in the lagoon waters and Rialto.

Perhaps more convenient for those coming from Padova, but prohibitive for the Venetians.

Finally it’s another productive activity evicted from the lagoon, again through the work of a public institution (the port) without the opposition of the City.

This is why Rialto operators are planning to give battle. “We want to explain to the mayor that this really means the death of a tradition and the closure of the Pescheria,” they say.

The wholesale market of Tronchetto is the second largest after that of Rome, Italy.

It has been hosted for more than half a century in the metal structure across from the river port. Perhaps in need of restoration and to be “modernized”, not to be removed and transferred 15 miles away. Protest mounts. And this time it will not stop at Ca ‘ Farsetti. “We are prepared to continue indefinitely,” say the retailers, “after the rules imposed by Europe, the discharges, the new stalls, now they send us away. We want the city to rule on this: do you prefer to have the wholesale market in Tronchetto or in Fusina?” A meeting to finalize the final draft is expected in the coming days.


  1. The Rialto market is a must see for any visitor to Venice


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