Bridge Eighty-Five - Ponte de la Pescaria

We now followed a walkway that took us, once again, to the bank of the Grand Canal. We went along the Fondamenta del’Ogio for a while, passing open courtyards with sidewalk cafes where people were sitting outside enjoying sundowners, as the day was by now fading into dusk. A few more steps further we reached Ponte de la Pescaria, gateway to probably the most colourful and vibrant spot in Venice - you guessed it - the fish and fresh produce market.

Ponte de la Pescaria

The Ponte de la Pescaria enters the fish and fresh produce market area through a short flight of stairs leading directly into a Byzantine doorway. We'd visited the market the day before to stock up on fresh greens for the week, but now the only reminder that the pillared area has been a fish market for eight hundred years was a vague maritime smell that in some corners was rather pungent. Now it was deserted, and remains so for the next ten hours. Tomorrow morning the market will once again awaken when the stall holders arrive around six to keep the city fed. But we didn't mind that it was empty right now; that made it easier to move around unhindered and examine the sculpted figurines on top of the pillars holding up the roof of the market.

Venice fresh market pillar

All them had a maritime theme; there were fishes, boats, and a bronze fisherman with a fishing net in hand. The market wasn't always housed in such a smart and artistically rich building; it's only in 1907 when the present structure housing the market was erected, based on an artwork rather than an architectural plan. It's here, more than anywhere else I realise how close the spirit of Venice is intertwined with the ocean. It's a city at one with the sea.

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