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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Vegetable boat at Campo San Barnaba closing

If you have ever been in Venice and spent any time in Dorsoduro, you'll hopefully have some memories of walking by a boat moored at Ponte dei Pugni, just down the canal from Campo San Barnaba. The boat -actually it's a produce shop- is closing  on December 24.  Run by 3 brothers, the shop has been in the family for 63 years. I'm sad today at this discovery, because this is a part of Venice that can never be replaced. I'm feeling sorry for myself, because I'll miss this Venice landmark, I walk by it nearly everyday. I'm feeling sorry for the countless numbers of people who from December 24 on won't know what they've missed when they walk by this bridge on their way to and from Accademia.  A piece of Venice is gone for good.


Rob C said...


That's dreadful news, a part of the old Venice gone forever :-(

I'll have to try and get a photo on Friday or Saturday before it goes.


Marisa said...

Ciao ancora Karen!
Thank you for responding to my post. I am excited about our communication. You are now the third "Venetian" I know! I will have to tell you about my friends there and maybe you can visit them. One owns and operates a paper shop and the other I mentioned in last night's post who owns the resturant. Yes, the next time I am Venice I would love to meet for a cappuccino! I am saddened also to hear of the news about the fruit boat. I have seen it myself and have always thought how unique it was and would say, "only in Venezia can one find this!" What is the reason for the discontinuation? I assume financial situations or the family's younger generation does not want to continue the business. It is too bad :-( So many things in Italy are being lost. Especially the artisan skills.
Well, got to go for now.
Buon Natale a te e alla tua famiglia!
A presto

Nomad said...


This is a tragedy indeed. This has been a fixture of the Ponte die Pugni (even though it was a little further along the canal in 'Summertime'). The locals will surely miss it, and even a visitor like me will feel its absence.


Nomad said...


This is a tragedy indeed. This has been a fixture of the Ponte die Pugni (even though it was a little further along the canal in 'Summertime'). The locals will surely miss it, and even a visitor like me will feel its absence.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember this boat from my trips to Venice. This is sad indeed.
Every good wish and Blessing for Christmas.

Lulu said...


That is truly sad. I have known this charming and unique Venetian landmark for many years, indeed I bought great produce from the brothers, my painting group have painted the barge and its' colourful displays of produce set against the Bridge with the church towers in the distance. Che tristezza!!

Thankfully there is still plenty to get excited about in the world's best city....Baci


Fabrizio said...

What a sad news, Karen. I will surely miss them, anyway I've heard several times in the past that they were closing (it was more than 10 years ago when I attended Ca' Foscari University), I hope they would reconsider their decision...

Andrew said...

So sad. There was a rumour earlier this year that it was going but that proved to be false. Let's hope there's a final reprieve.

Anonymous said...

Another little piece of Venice history, silently slipping away. There will be quite a gap there.

karen said...

Happy Holidays, Ann!!!

karen said...

Rob, you probably will see me there too, getting my last photos as well!!

What's your day looking like on Tuesday? Possible meet up in the afternoon?

karen said...

Ciao, Marisa!

Please let me know where your friends are, I will love to go meet them too!

As far as I can tell, it's not a financial situation that is closing the vegetable boat. These brothers are getting old, and it's tough work to keep it going, they have to get up at 3am everyday to go get the produce. They don't want to pass it on to a non-Venetian, so they are closing. It's been rumored on and off for awhile now, I suppose the time has come for them.


karen said...


Grazie for your post! I'm missing the boat already, and it hasn't left yet. I get this sadness for things changing here, wishing it could always stay as it was. Unfortunately, life isn't like that. We'll just have to have great memories.

Buon Natale!

karen said...

Louisa- Ciao, bella!

I'd love to see your paintings of the vegetable barge someday!

Yes, I agree, there is still plenty left in this incredible city!

Buon Natale a tutti!!!

karen said...


Grazie! I also keep hoping there will be some sort of extension or the brothers will change their minds, or someone will say it was just a joke and I'll wake up next week to find the boat exactly in it's same familiar spot. This time I am afraid that won't be the case. We can hope, though!

Buon Natale!!!

karen said...

Ciao, Andrew!

Unfortunately, for us "locals", this will leave a huge gap. Venice changes all the time. A shop that was here is overnight gone, replaced by a another souvenir shop. I have huge worries about this, but must learn to live with what comes day by day.

When are you next in Venice?

Buon Natale a tutti!

karen said...

Ciao,Yvonne! At least you and I have 2 more days to go see the brothers and grab some last photos of the boat. I have been wondering whether they will leave the boat there - now that would be a really sad reminder for me, or if it I will feel worse if the boat is moved away permanently. Neither would make me very happy, I'm afraid.

Buon Natale!!

Alexa said...

Oh no! Well, at least I've bought from them when I had a kitchen to cook in while in Venice, and have taken many many pix of the very photogenic "Mario" boat.

La Venexiana said...

Wow, I am behind the times, this is indeed sad. I often shop there since it is on my way to and fro. Are they closing the fruit shop across the walkway as well? The brothers have been there forever -- maybe they deserve to be pensioners as well. It's true that things change all the time, and not often for the better as far as locals are concerned.

karen said...

La Venexiana- yes, the brothers have closed up lock, stock and barrel. The boat is still there, with tarp over it looking forlorn. Makes me sad every time I walk by it. Just another example of the changes Venice is faced with every year as more locals close up shop.

Dianne said...


Unfortunately has been some time that I checked into your blog. This is so sad. Luckily on my several trips to Venice, I got a number of pictures of the boat. I too remember it from the movie Summertime. A little bit of heaven is leaving Venezia. Quella tristezza (if my Italian is correct).


Anonymous said...

Just got back from spending 2 weeks in Dosudoro Venice our appartment was 1 minute walk from the famous vegetable boat we shopped there very often in the 2 weeks we stayed in February 2013 was pleased to see it after reading it had closed in December

karen said...

Yes!! The entire neighborhood was thrilled when a young family decided to lease the boat and the business from the owners and keep the vegetables on the boat. So glad you got to shop there too! Hope you had a fantastic vacation!! Next time, let me know you are here, we could meet for coffee. Ciao!!!

Anonymous said...

Would love to come back to Venice again would only stay in Dosudoro we had a wonderfull time still talking about the trip miss my daily visit to Grom managed to bring back some masks from ca , macana and furlane slippers from dittutra it so important to support the shops who sell authentic gifts got a print of dosudoro from BAC art wish I could have found one with the vegetable boat although not in Dosudoro got some good leather items from il Guff Artigiano would love to get some more items later but the webbsite we have says not available if you know if they are online would appreciate any new contact details also we found a shop not far from fannys glove shop selling lamp shades with Venetian land marks on we should have purchased when first saw shop couldn't find it again