Rimini is a sea town and therefore it has its own fish market.
The culture, the tradition and the tourism of Rimini have a strong bond with its cuisine and, in particular, its local products, including the fish.
Since the 1980s up until today, many tourists from Italy and around the world have chosen Rimini as their destination attracted by the pictures of the numerous seafood restaurants in town where to taste the delicious local fish.
Fishing is a very important business in Rimini since it is related to many sectors: beside restaurants and catering, there are fish processing and trade through fish wholesalers and fish shops.
The meeting point is at the fish market where the fish trade takes place with the participation of about 100 people including fishmongers, street sellers and wholesalers.
The fish arrives at the market at 3 a.m. and it is unloaded in the arrivals room, a refrigerated room from where the fish will be loaded on rollers to proceed to the auction, which starts at 4.30 a.m.
The auctioneer in the fish market is called the “evidenziatore” (the marker), a person who examines the fish determining species, size and quality. Every box of fish then receives a tag with transaction number, weight, fish species and buyer’s name. The auction is a “unique bid auction” with an opening bid which is gradually decreased until someone makes an offer. This system is also called Dutch auction because it is used at the flower market in the Netherlands.
Today, the auction is carried out with the help of technology: two digital screens show the name of the boat where the fish was caught, the fish species, size, weight and the buyer’s name.
In the past, the auction happened with the use of a big clock (later two clocks were used) and this system was used in Rimini for the very first time.
Until the 1960s the auction was based on whispering or shouting in the area of the Old Fish Market, Vecchia Pescheria in Italian, situated in the main square of Rimini, now famous for the well-known pubs and bars called Cantinette by the locals.
Rimini’s Fish Market, one of the most important ones in the Adriatic Sea, sees more than 30 fish boats coming during auction days (from Tuesday to Friday). The fish arriving in Rimini undergoes a meticulous process and quality check: the product is eviscerated to eliminate any bacteria, cleaned and processed to ensure a safe and high-quality product for restaurant owners and families. The process involves approximately 300 workers.
Rimini’s Fish Market is an interesting and picturesque place for a city built by the sea.
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