The Sestiere San Polo is in central Venice, around the upper bend and central part of the Grand Canal. The Rialto market is in San Polo.
The name San Polo
The name of the sestiere comes from the main church dedicated to St Paul (San Polo).
The Campo di San Polo is one of the largest in the city, and was once the location of bull fights and other popular events.
The Rialto market
The Rialto market was the central part of Venetian commerce.
Goods came to Venice from the Levant by ship to the main harbour in front of St Mark’s. After customs they were sold at the Rialto market, and much of it taken to the river harbour in Santa Croce for the further journey towards the rest of Western Europe.
San Polo today
The Sestiere San Polo has many of the same problems as the rest of Venice, too many tourists and ever fewer residents.
The market place at Rialto, especially the fish market, is a magnet for photographers, but still fewer people actually buy the fish, more and more stands are closing.