Something fishy going on in Venice?
Rumours are spreading that Venice’s famous fish market in the Rialto area of the city could be closed.
These rumours prompted a demonstration on 14 March 2011 by approximately 200 people, who were mainly merchants from the market. The demonstrators sought assurances that the fish market will not be shut. The protest was organised by a Venetian citizens’ group called ‘Venessia,’ which also staged a high-profile funeral procession declaring the death of Venice as a living city in 2009.
The threat to the Rialto fish market relates to plans to close the nearby wholesale fish market at Tronchetto, which is under redevelopment. Tronchetto is about 400 metres from the Rialto market. There is a debate about moving the wholesale fish market from Tronchetto to Fusina, which is on the mainland side of the Venetian lagoon. A new port area for cruise ships is already planned for Fusina. Merchants claim it would take two hours to transport fish by boat from Fusina to Rialto compared with the short trip to Tronchetto’s wholesale market. They believe this longer journey would drive up the price of fish and make selling fish in Rialto uneconomical.
The Mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, made a statement promising “the fish market of Tronchetto will not be moved,” which was quoted in Venice’s daily newspaper Il Gazzettino di Venezia on 10 March 2011. But protesters cast doubt on this promise with one sign on Monday’s demonstration proclaiming “Mayor’s word, sailor’s word?” In Italy, sailors are often considered untrustworthy.
Do you think the wholesale fish market should be moved from Tronchetto to Fusina? Would this threaten the fish market at Rialto? Join the debate!
Further details about the protest on Monday 14 March 2011 can be found on the ANSA website at: Venice up in arms over threat to Rialto fish market