Rialto bridge (Ponte di Rialto)

Address: Ponte di Rialto, Venice, Italy

- Free


This symbol of Venice is hopelessly romantic.

The Rialto bridge has spanned the Grand Canal in its current form since 1592. (An earlier wooden bridge can be seen in the 'Miracle of the Cross at the Rialto' in the Accademia Gallery). Until the 19th century, it was the only bridge linking the two banks; even today, there are only four.

Designed by Antonio da Ponte, it was conceived as a continuation of the market at its north-western foot, hence the double row of shops which lines this instantly recognisable symbol of the city.

Though I generally give the shops which line the central stairway of the bridge a miss – they are full of tack – a walk up either of the exterior flights, with their views over the bustle and beauty of the Grand Canal, is always a moving experience. There are few more romantic places on the globe from which to watch the sun set.

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Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • First-time travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Great views / scenery
  • People watching
  • Romance
  • Sightseeing
  • Design and architecture