All along this canal, across from the pescheria, the shops spill out onto the fondamenta to create a bustling street-market atmosphere.
I love this way of shopping – flitting from one stall to the next, for fruit, vegetables, cheese, patisserie – all local – and taking the time for a coffee against this magical backdrop.
Giovanna has spent the best part of 70 years expertly peeling artichokes down to the heart – by the crate-load! – every day, here on the Fondamenta Vena. Her energetic and ebullient son, Ennio, runs this thriving fruit & veg shop, just over the bridge from the public fish market.
I just love this woman, who not only does all the donkey-work for me, but continually gives me tips on different ways to use them!
Probably Chioggia’s premier seafood restaurant, it is run by Tiziano and his brother Daniele (the chef), ably abetted by Imran Khan, their flamboyant sous-chef.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited into their kitchen, where they shared some of their secrets. This is the first place I ever tasted violet potatoes, which they purée – as a colourful and subtly-flavoured bed for some of their spectacular seafood creations.
Accessed through this very curious gateway, the pescheria is an institution in Chioggia.
The energy exuded by the colourful stall-holders is infectious and I never leave without a new snippet of inside knowledge – and far more fish than I need!
This busy canal is often referred to by the locals as the main street of Chioggia. You can see the cathedral (Chiesa di San Domenico) in the background.
If you stand on the fondamenta or on the bridge when the fleet comes in, you can watch the spectacle of these big trawlers manoeuvring in this tight space as they tie up to off-load their catch at the wholesale fish market.
Very much off the tourist track, Pelestrina is one of the long outer islands closing off the Lagoon from the Adriatic.
We sometimes anchor off here, either to barbecue on deck or to eat at one of the great restaurants – da Celeste in Pelestrina, or Da Nano in San Pietro in Volta are both excellent – each with unique views of the lagoon and its extraordinary fishing huts.