Dividing the line from the areas of San Marco to San Polo is the Rialto Bridge. It is among the four bridges and is the oldest bridge across the canal.


It is a stone arch bridge found in the Venice Grand Canal, still it is functional despite its age being the oldest in Venice.

The Ponte Della Moneta is its first known name. It was developed in 1181 for the convenience of boats, it was Nicolò Barattieri who designed this. Due to the increased traffic in the Realto market, the pontoon bridge was later on replaced in 1255. The bridge has two ramps in a platform that is movable and each side and may also be raised to allow ships to pass underneath. There are also two stores found there in order that the bridge may raise revenue. The name changed into Realto Bridge since it was close to Realto market.

Rialto Bridge photoPhoto by Artur Staszewski

Care was vital for the wood bridge’s construction. It collapsed back in 1524, during a boat parade and it also nearly burned.

The bridge’s restoration in rock was initially suggested in 1503. Repair jobs were considered over these decades. The government asked for the restoration of the Rialto Bridge as it was necessary. It includes a classical style, although famous architects offered plans, for example Palladio, Jacopo Sansovino, and Vignola. One of the designer of this bridge was surprisingly Michelangelo.

The Oldest Bridge Across the Grand Canal

The Grand Canal in Venice makes a reverse silhouette that is large through the central regions. Rialto Bridge was the only place through which one could cross the canal on foot before the Accademia Bridge was built in 1854. Rialto Bridge is constructed on the most narrow point across the canal and connects the districts of San Polo and San Marco. As of now, it’s just one among the four bridges across the Grand Canal.

Rialto Bridge photoPhoto by Sergey Galyonkin

Access to Rialto

Rialto has become the primary financial and industrial center of Venice. In 1097, Rialto became an important district as Venice’s marketplace. Link with the Rialto shortly changed its name to Rialto Bridge or Ponte di Rialto.

Relation with Two Famous Bridges at Venice

It’s interesting to remember that Antonio da Ponte was the uncle of another Antonio: Antonio Contino, the architect of Venice’s second bridge: The Bridge of Sighs.

The current Rialto Bridge is comparable in layout to its predecessor.

The layout of the marble structure of da Ponte has two sloped ramps leading to a central portico to enable tall ships’ passage. This bridge’s plan had two likely ramps which met at a central part which was movable and could be raised to allow boats to pass through.

It was Thought that the Bridge was Long

Rialto Bridge is a single span bridge, it is anchored at each end with no support in the center. The engineering of this bridge was considered audacious and it was believed that it’d crumble but of its critics have been silenced by it and is now considered an engineering achievement of the Renaissance period and an architectural marvel.

Due to some unfavorable conditions, The building of the Rialto Bridge lasted for about three years. Because it has been changed several times including a version where a lottery fund was needed. The Rialto Bridge was completed in 1591. It is 75 feet wide with the arch height of 24 feet and its length is over 94 feet.

Inspiring Artists

Rialto Bridge appears in paintings with the most famous person being Miracle of the Relic of the Cross in the Ponte di Rialto by Italian Renaissance artist Vittore Carpaccio. The painting dates back to 1496, the time once the bridge was still in the timber.

It’s laden with shops and it is among the most popular tourist spots in Venice.

The Rialto bridge has the bridge’s railings and two across three paths. This bridge’s capacity highlighted that the Venetians were one of the reasons for choosing the layout of Da Ponte. The city’s patron saints St. Theodore, St. Mark and also Annuciation are depicted in the rock reliefs found in the bridge. Rialto Bridge is one of the most visited places in Venice apart from St. Mark’s Square.

People said the view of the Grand Canal from atop the Rialto Bridge is amazing and prospective travelers traverse the crowds and stores on the bridge for just a photo. Others indicated walking along the canal to have a full perspective of the marble marvel although crossing the bridge for views is also a good idea. Others said you should take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal underneath the bridge to get a much closer look at its design.


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