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The Rialto Bridge Venice - Amazing History and Facts

by Charlotte
(Leeds)

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is one of the most exquisite sights in the whole of Venice.


The oldest of the four bridges spanning the city’s Grand Canal, it is situated in the heart of the bustling commercial area and easily competes with the stunning architecture for which Venice is most famed.

Those staying in Venice Hotels may be interested to know that the bridge was designed in the sixteenth century and was born out of a competition to create a stone structure to replace the wooden versions which had existed here since the 1100s.

Some of the best architects of the day, including Michelangelo, submitted designs for this project but the eventual winner was Antonio da Ponte, whose idea combined simplicity with striking beauty.

Da Ponte’s design is an architectural marvel, consisting of two sloped ramps leading to a central portico. The ramps are covered and contain a range of different shops, reflecting the commercial aspect of this district. The bridge itself eschews fancy design and elaborate decoration but is a stunning structure to view, particularly at night.

The view from the Rialto Bridge along the Canal is something not to be missed if you're staying in one of the city's hotels as it gives you a unique aspect of the bustling nature of this city.

Boats can be seen charging up and down Venice’s lifeblood as you can imagine what it would have been like to have lived in one of the most prosperous cities of the sixteenth century.

There are also many tourist attractions around the bridge, including the famous fruit and vegetable market where local life is guaranteed to be sampled. The Fondaco dei Tedeschi – a German trading house which is now the central post office – and the Chiesa di San Giacomo di Rialto – the oldest church in the city – are also nearby.

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