We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Friday, October 24, 2014

If it's Tuesday, it must be Mercatino Day on the Lido!

Recently I discovered the weekly market (mercatino) on the Lido.  While I love shopping at the Rialto market, this is something completely different. Vendors bring their trucks over to the Lido on the ferry boat early every Tuesday morning and set up outdoors along the lagoon.  Some of the trucks are designed to somehow magically unfold to become a shop, and other vendors set up tables alongside the truck and unpack everything onto the tables.  At the end of the morning ,every thing is packed back up again and the trucks leave the Lido.  It kind of reminds me of the circus coming to town!

There's no fish sold at the weekly mercatino, but there is plenty of just about everything else you can think of. It's become my go-to happy place now.  Besides the variety of merchandise to choose from, I am surrounded by only locals. No tour groups milling through the Lido mercatino!

I thought I'd give you a taste of what my Tuesday mornings are like.

I buy my fresh eggs from this guy now. I love that I can buy any number of eggs I want, even just one.  Large size eggs are 20 cents per egg. Well, 20 centesimi.

The linens truck sells towels, rugs, sheets, pillowcases, pillows.

There are several shoe stalls, with tables full of shoes for men, women and children.  Now you know where to find those green wellies at a good price if you need them when we have high water.

We're right smack in the middle of mushroom season here in Italy, and there has been a great selection to choose from at the mercatino. 


This is zucca (pumpkin), which is just about a staple in local vegetables. In Venice you will find pumpkin soup, pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin with pasta, even roast pumpkin. It's all delicious, something you should add to your "must try" list next time you are here.
The olive guy is one of my favorite stalls. 

Tomatoes was the focus of this photo, but look at the view behind the tomatoes. It's the lagoon, looking back towards Venice.  Who gets to shop in a place like this?  It's heavenly.

One of the more popular stalls are the flower vendors.  They sell not only potted plants but also a huge variety of vegetable plants.  My shopping cart always has some new plants in it to bring home each week.

The rosticceria is another of my favorites.  I have a tough time not overspending when I get to this stall. He sells  roast chicken,  roast pork, turkey, chicken legs, sausage, lots of varieties of lasagnas, fried shrimp, fried calamari, roasted potatoes, bacala and tons of other things. Locals are queued up at this truck all morning long. waiting to take home their Tuesday lunch.
Yes, this is the sock truck. They just sell socks. Kids socks, mens socks, womens socks, winter socks, hunting socks.  Socks. I love it.

While Venice is overrun with trinket shops selling 2 Euro masks and 1 Euro glass souvenirs, a little bit of the old traditional Venice still exists, just a few minutes away on a vaporetto. Tuesdays are one of my favorite days of the week. 


Anonymous said...

What an excellent mercatino! No wonder you like it.

I suppose they have a never ending circuit of places in the surrounding towns and cities where they stop and set up.

Andrew H said...

Oh those mushrooms!!.

Rob C said...

This could be interesting at Christmas!

karen said...

Yvonne- that is correct. Tuesday it's Lido, and I know 2 days they are in Mestre and 2 days they are in Marghera. I have no idea how they have the energy to set up and take down every day of the week. One day of it would be plenty for me-- but I sure am happy they do it. I get some great bargains there. It's now my Tuesday ritual!

karen said...

Andrew- the mushrooms have been fabulous this season. We just came from our favorite vegetarian restaurant on the Lido, today the chef made a fungi and radiccio lasagna that was to die for!

How about a quick trip over for some mushrooms?? You could do it!

karen said...

Rob- let's plan on a mercatino trip while you are here. Has to be a Tuesday morning.

Andrew H said...

When we came with our vegetarian friend, I bought three large porcini for the exorbitant price of €9 to make risotto. I prepared them over the sink and had to make sure Cheryl and our friend couldn't see what I was doing. They had a lot of small maggots in them which I was pinging out with the point of a knife. I THINK I got them all. I wasn't going to waste delicious porcini!

Susan Nelson said...

Karen, what a wonderful place to shop! I would go nuts to be able to mill around all these various vendors. That sock cart is amazing....so cute!! I love your blog. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

do they run the market during the winter?

Anonymous said...

These market folk are the same ones who show up every Friday morning at Sacca Fisola (the west end of the Giudecca). Only yesterday here in my little New England town, someone admired a pashmina I bought off one of the trucks for 7 Euros. You did not show any "dairy" trucks but they were great with cheese, ham, butter, mascarpone and all manner of goodies. You know we always are so envious of you in Venice but when I think of that Friday market, I almost weep with jealousy. Buon apetito.

karen said...

Irishitinerary- I am fairly certain it's all year long. The locals need vegetables in winter too!

karen said...

Andrew- Thanks so much for the maggots info. Hope you did get them all :)

Kaye said...

Hi Karen, where on the Lido is the market? Is it near the Vaperetto stop Lido S.M.E.?

karen said...

Kaye- it's a good 10 minute walk from the vaporetto stop down V. Sandro Gallo to the market. Or you can hop on a bus and it will let you off close to the market. Very easy to get there, and worth the effort.

Dianne said...

I've been away from your blog for a while but have been thinking of you and hoping your Venice life is still wonderful. I will have to check out this market when I next come to Venice. Not sure when that will be but I know I will be back.