Caorle fish market

Caorle is famous all over Europe for its magnificent beach and its colourful old town centre, where historic landmarks such as the cathedral never fail to make a lasting impression on visitors. One of the many people to have taken away fond memories of Caorle is Ernest Hemingway, who featured the town and the surrounding area in more than one of its works.

Caorle blends traditions, values and knowledge of the sea and its bounty dating back hundreds of years. It all adds a unique touch to the modern, welcoming 21st century tourist facilities that make the resort such a wonderful place to go on holiday.

No description of Caorle would be complete without a mention of the fishers who head out to sea at the first light of dawn or even when it’s still dark, then bring in their precious catch every day so that it can be sold at the Caorle municipal fish market on Riva delle Caorline.
Visitors to the town are greeted by the sights and sounds of the boats moored in Caorle harbour, where the reflections of the water lapping against the sides of the vessels help to create a magical atmosphere.

The municipal fish market: traditions

Before the advent of tourism in the 20th century, the little town’s economy had mainly revolved around fishing for decades. Caorle is renowned for the wealth of exceptional products that come from the sea off its coastline and the inland waters of the lagoon.

Caorle fish market’s long-established home was closed in September 2008 so that the entire building could be renovated. The market moved to temporary premises in the Via Sansonessa area and then its current location on Riva delle Caorline, which was partly funded by contributions from the Veneto Region and was built on the former site of a dye works for the sails of fishing boats.

Caorle fish market

The fish are sold using a traditional, age-old local whispered auction system. The buyers examine the catches in the boxes and then whisper their bids in the auctioneer’s ear. The latter listens to all of the bids, then turns to the buyer who made the highest one and asks him/her to repeat it out loud so that nobody is suspected of any dodgy dealings.

As well as sales of this kind to various types of businesses, there are direct retail sales to the public. You can find outstanding fish that is masterfully processed by the fishers themselves. They clean them thoroughly and put them in polystyrene boxes covered with ice flakes or crushed ice. It’s all part of an approach that’s been handed down through the generations and adds a unique touch to visits to Caorle’s fishing harbour.

Caorle fish market

Which specialities can you find?

The fishers and the people of Caorle in general are very proud of the freshness and variety of the seafood on sale. The products that are most in demand are clams, “moscardino” (musky octopus) and queen scallops, but you can find many other delicious items at Caorle Fish Market, including:

  • Gilt-head bream
  • Cuttlefish
  • Squid
  • Octopus
  • Sole
  • Scampi
  • Striped prawns
  • European lobsters
  • Eels
  • Grey mullet
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies

Thanks to these superior products, a vast array of mouth-watering culinary creations can be found in Caorle. The restaurants serve a huge number of dishes, either following classic recipes or giving them a modern twist while still staying true to traditions.

Caorle fish market

Opening times and useful information about Caorle fish market

If you’d like to admire the stunning selection at the fish market and buy some fresh, local products, head down to Riva delle Caorline from Monday to Saturday between 8:00 am and 11:00 am and take your pick from the breathtaking range of delights that have been caught that day.

You can also see another amazing sight if you go down to the same place at around 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm, when the fishing boats return from their trips out to sea. Watch them coming back into the harbour and listen to the seagulls squawking. The boxes of fish are unloaded and then immediately auctioned in the nearby market.

Caorle fish market

If you want to be sure that you’ll find certain types of fish at different times of year, it’s best to contact the market directly:

Would you like to visit Caorle fish market or savour some of the exquisite traditional cuisine in the town? Call the Agenzia Lampo office in Caorle on +39 042184059 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help you to book a holiday so that you can discover all of the marvels that the resort has to offer!

Caorle fish market

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