June 1, 2022
Fish Market and Stomach
It is now known as the Rialto Market, but it has long been affectionately called "Pescheria" (fish market, fishmonger).
It has evolved as a place for buying and selling fish and seafood caught in the lagoon and the Adriatic Sea.
Today, in addition to fish, there are also vegetable and fruit stalls, meat shops, cheese shops, specialty stores for prosciutto, and bars, making it a bustling place.
The Rialto Market was established in the 12th century.
It is known as the oldest market in Venice.
Locals and restaurant owners shop here, so it offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the people in Venice.
Unlike Ueno's Ameya-Yokocho, the shopkeepers here don't shout loudly, but they warmly respond to customers' orders.
In the past, it is said that the waste from fish and vegetables in this market was thrown into the canal from the Rialto Bridge.
You'll find signs saying "gastronomia" scattered around the fish market.
For a doctor like me, anything related to "gastro-" brings to mind words like gastritis, gastrocamera, gastric cancer, all related to the stomach.
However, gastronomia doesn't sell stomachs.
It means "cooking methods" or "fine cuisine," essentially referring to "grocery stores" or "delis."
The Greek word "gaster" (stomach, belly) has evolved in meaning via Latin to something entering the stomach, food, delicious things, cooking, and so on.
Words like gastronome (gourmet, culinary expert), epigastrium (upper abdomen), gastralgia (stomach pain), gastroenteritis (gastrointestinal inflammation) all derive from this root.
Speaking of which, in Japan, there is a stomach medicine called "Gaster" and a restaurant called "Gast."
Both seem to be named after the stomach.
With this, we conclude the Venice edition.