The Rialto Market: the quiet and the bustle of Venice
The Rialto Market is held in one of the oldest parts of Venice, on the East bank of the Grand Canal. Locals crossed the water using a floating bridge in the 10th century, then a wooden structure, then finally the Rialto Bridge – the oldest and most famous bridge in the city on the lagoon – was built in the end of the 16th century.
The market was there all along: it started in 1097, and to this day fills up the early morning hours with the voices and bustle that build up around fish stands, inside the Neo-Gothic buildings designed by Domenico Rupolo in the early 1900s.
Then, once the fruit and vegetable bazaar shuts down for the day, everything is quiet again, and – quoting Antonia Pozzi’s “Venezia” – “the step / of a barefoot child / on the foundations / fills the channel / with echoes” (“il passo / di un bimbo scalzo / sulle fondamenta / empie d’echi / il canale”).