These, the two smallest sestieri, have always been the very heart of the city. In the past there were many markets and fairs, of which today the Rialto fruit and vegetable market is still teeming with vendors, shoppers, and visitors as colorful as the produce itself, demonstrating the vivacity of the area. We will also wander through secluded spots where Venetian life still follows its natural slow rhythm.
The recently restored fountain in Rialto, at the small square in front of the church of San Giacometto, one of the oldest in the city, is where we will begin. There were once markets here for precious stones, along with spices and other luxury goods imported from the East and from Northern Europe. This square was the also the seat of one of the most important financial centers in Europe.
After wandering through the Rialto food market, with its bounty of fish and vegetables (some you’ll recognize, some you won’t), we will meander through typical calli (streets), over bridges, and across small squares where few tourists venture. Here we can pause on a park bench or at a cafe before continuing along the scenic Rio Marin. Our tour finishes at the magnificent Frari Church.
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