Discovering Venice's Farmers Markets: the Lido Friday Market experience
Many cities have beautiful central markets, but not that many markets have the same view as the one on the Lido of Venice. Located in the Sant’Antonio area, precisely in Riviera di Corinto, the Lido’s general market takes place every Tuesday, while every Friday there is the COLDIRETTI market (one our local farmers markets), smaller and offering exclusively local and organic produce. Here is where we’re doing our shopping today!
The view alone is a good reason to take a vaporetto and visit the Lido market, but if to this we add the quality of the food…well, you really have no excuse! For me it would be much easier to just cross the Rialto bridge and do my grocery shopping there, but I love going to the Lido and every time I shop there I spend a lot less for a lot more! It may sound strange, but what I like about this island is its dimension of normality and tranquility; living in central Venice can sometimes feel a little bit overwhelming, some days it doesn’t even seem like a normal city…so I need these small escapes to recover a feeling of normal everyday life.
As usual, I got up early and got out of the house at about 8. The heat was still bearable, so I walked all the way to Sant’Elena along Riva degli Schiavoni. The view is always amazing and never tires me… whether I look at the lagoon on my right or are the side canals on my left, I see pure beauty.
Even taking the vaporetto is nice, especially now that it’s so hot, I just stand outside and enjoy the breeze. Once arrived on the Lido, instead than taking the right and going straight to the market I stopped for a coffee and a croissant at Canton del Gallo and proceeded through the inner streets. The beautiful villas in Liberty style, the kiosks, pizzerias, the lovely small shops and the islanders on their bikes will make you feel very laid back and definitely on vacation!
In case you don’t feel like walking, you can take a B (directed to Alberoni) or C bus and get off at the same stop where all the ladies with their trolleys get off (believe me, you’ll figure it out by yourself…you won’t even need to ask the driver!), or just walk along the lagoon and in less than 10 minutes you’ll be there. If you walk, at the third bridge turn right. This is the view…
Every stall has excellent food, obviously I have my usual stalls but you can shop really anywhere, I can give you my word. I immediately went to the Vignole stall, these are my guys! Vignole is an island in the North lagoon, so I’m shopping at less than 0 km!!!! And wow…the veggies taste so good! The farm is small, managed by two brothers and the wife of one of them and it's possible to buy their products in Lido twice a week.
Everything is hand picked (extra washing is required, but if you want real food…this is the price to pay) and organic. They don’t pay for the BIO label, but I saw their farm and I can tell you they use a chicken manure fertilizer! Unfortunately they don’t sell eggs… I think they keep them all for themselves! I packed my bag with aubergines, bell peppers, tomatoes, plums, pears, small peaches, cucumbers, basil, parsley and half early pumpkin. All for less than 8 euros… BRILLIANT!!!!
For cheese and yogurt I stopped at the Nardini truck. Their speciality is GOAT and SHEEP’s milk cheese and yogurt, truly special. Their company is located in Cavanella Po (Adria) and the animals are very well kept, in fact the sheep and goats graze in the flood plains of the river Po like in the past and once you get used to the taste of this type of milk… there’s no going back. They always offer little tasters… so you can even try more cheese before buying! I tend to get ricotta and yogurt (perfect for tzatziki!!!!), but the seasoned cheese are to die for too.
The last stop was at the Dal Bo Tarcisio truck, a farm located in Cimdolmo, in the province of Treviso. They are specialised in stone ground flours and apple production, in fact this is where I buy organic apple juice and apple vinegar (I tend to replace white vinegar with apple vinegar, which is much healthier and natural) and also….biscuits! They also sell bread, which is delicious, but their biscuits…oh my! It’s always the tasting that tricks me, he looks at me, offers me one and then…I buy! This week they were with walnuts, raisins, rice milk, olive oil and brown sugar. It was also possible to buy walnuts, a particular type of asparagus that grows late in the season (thinner and perfect for risotto) and plums.
I was done with the shopping, but I just wanted to tell you that you can also buy meat, cold cuts, fish and flowers. The Coldiretti market isn’t only great for us who do our weekly shopping here, it can be a great (high quality and very affordable) street food experience, you could taste different local products and meet our virtuous farmers! They are so nice…
They will be happy to make you a sandwich and make you try different things, but what I would do is buy a few things and go to the park that is literally behind the market (3 minutes walk), comfortably sit on a nice table under the shade and have a picnic, not forgetting to throw away the trash in the bins once finished (thank you in advance for helping us keep our city clean).
I highly recommend this small trip from Venice is you are the type of person who loves farmers markets, likes to discover new realities and enjoy nature. I am sure you will feel relaxed and happy, but mostly you will have the chance to really learn more about our local food and see how lovely the people involved in this industry are.
In the afternoon, I recommend going to the beach (my favourite place is Macondo Alberoni) for a refreshing swim and a glass of hazelnut milk. If you want to dine on the Lido, my favourite places are Ponte di Borgo in Malamocco and L’Essentiale, right beside the vaporetti, for other suggestions have a look at my LIDO FOOD GUIDE. Enjoy and talk to you soon!