When returning from any big trip (you know, the kind that takes months of planning and hundreds of dollars), I find it’s often the smallest of activities that are the most meaningful. See? Size DOESN’T matter!

Let’s go back about a month and a half, shall we? The scene is Venice‘s Rialto, one of the most heavily trafficked parts of an overly toured city. Tucked behind an unassuming store front, directly across the street from the frenetic (and pungent) fish market is Pronto Pesce, a local fish market selling local delicacies that were most likely swimming just a few hours prior to your purchase.

I discovered this little gem on (where else) No Reservations. Knowing Tony would never steer me wrong, I knew that this must be a stop on my own itinerary to Venice.

Oh goodness.

The display case, upon first glance, isn’t really all that impressive – especially if you don’t know what it is you are looking at. Fortunately, the people behind the counter speak English relatively well and are more than willing to explain what it is you see before you.

I asked for a sampling of everything. Best decision I have ever made. Smoked swordfish, squid eggs, salted cod spread, sardines, shrimp, shark, tuna. Add to that crusty, rustic bread and tiny glasses of Prosecco, which are filled generously and often. (Prosecco, to Venetians, is like morning coffee and completely acceptable to be consumed before 11 a.m.)

The patrons that wander in and out are undeniably local. Not a Nikon or a fanny pack in sight! If you are on a trip to Venice this is a perfect spot for a light lunch, an afternoon buzz and a peek into what Venice would be like without anyone but Venetians.