Rialto Bridge, Venice

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  • View from Rialto Bridge at sunset
    View from Rialto Bridge at sunset
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    Ponte Rialto from Vaporetto number 1
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  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by DEBBBEDB Updated May 18, 2009

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    From the water bus
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    We walked (via Mc D's - yuck) to the Ca D'Oro bus stop, where we rode the boat one stop to Ponte di Rialto (the bridge with all the shops on it in Venice).

    The other pictures are from the boat and they were taken by Barb's son

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    Rialto Bridge

    by suvanki Updated Apr 26, 2009

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    Rialto Bridge Venice
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    SAN MARCO to SAN POLO AND SANTA CROCE

    Another of Venices most famous landmarks

    This was the only crossing point for those on foot over the Rialto until 1854, with the addition of the Accademia Bridge!

    As an important commercial centre, bridges of various constructions, usually wood, have lasted varying amounts of time at this point. One such wooden bridge was destroyed by the army of Tiepolo, escaping from San Marco on the night of June 15th 1310 (see my earlier tip on the Old Lady and the Mortar). The wooden bridge that replaced it collapsed in 1444, due to the weight of the crowd gathered there to view the wedding procession of the Marquis of Ferrara float below them. Subsequent bridges continued to perish, so the decision was made in 1524, for a stone bridge to be designed
    The bridge seen today was designed, following a competition (lasting 60 years!) by the State to find a suitable design, (which had many of the days finest architects, including Michaelangelo, competing for the honour) Antonio da Ponte (what an appropriate name!) won, by submitting a plan for a bridge with slanted arcades, that housed rows of shops, and which blended in with the splendid buildings lining the Grand Canal built during different eras and in different styles. There's always a critic though! One Edward Gibbon, was quoted as saying "A fine bridge, spoilt by two rows of houses upon it"

    Visitors to Venice flock to this bridge, day and night, to walk over its well trodden pathway, to admire the views of the bustling Grand Canal below, with its vaporettas, gondolas and small boats weaving up and down. Lining the Grand Canal are many distinguished buildings, intermingling with the busy pavement cafes and walkways.

    Check out the carvings of angels and saints on the facades (see my off the beaten track tip for their significance)

    Be aware of your possessions, as with most crowded tourist attractions, this could be a prime pick pocketing spot

    My favourite memory of my first Christmas visit to this bridge is of finding myself here in the dark on Christmas Eve, and just standing enjoying the scene and atmosphere, then again on Christmas Day morning phoning family and friends to wish them Happy Christmas as the sun glistened on the water below.

    Listening to some good buskers, particularly a saxophonist on Christmas night 2008, and an elderly guitarist on a previous visit have been happy memories, and just enjoying the bustling scene on the Grand Canal, with the changes of the sun on the water and the different colours of the skies

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  • abi_maha's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by abi_maha Written Feb 2, 2009

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    Rialto Bridge
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    Being a canal city it is but obvious that Venice has many bridges to boast of but what was more interesting was how different each bridge was from the other. let me try and write about some of the bridges I remember about:
    The Rialto:
    This is the first thing that you see or hear about in Venice is the rialto bridge. The history as we read up on wikipedia says the following: The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge. So it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge.This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. The connection with the market eventually led to a change of name for the bridge. During the first half of the 15th century two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. The rents brought an income to the State Treasury, which helped maintain the bridge.Maintenance was vital for the timber bridge. It was partly burnt in the revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310. In 1444 it collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade and it collapsed again in 1524.
    The idea of rebuilding the bridge in stone was first proposed in 1503. Several projects were considered over the following decades. In 1551 the authorities requested proposals for the renewal of the Rialto Bridge, among other things. Plans were offered by famous architects such as Jacopo Sansovino, Palladio and Vignola, but all involved a Classical approach with several arches, which was judged inappropriate to the situation. Even the great Michelangelo was considered as designer of the bridge.The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was finally completed in 1591. It is remarkably similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico the covered ramps carry rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice. Even today there are so many shops around the bridge- painters, fish vendors, curio sellers and the like. It makes for a great evening hang out!

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    Sunset at Ponte di Rialto

    by Tijavi Updated Nov 15, 2008

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    Ponte di Rialto is arguably Venice's most famous bridge, an icon of the city, even. The bridge was built in the 16th century by Antonio da Ponte, winner of a design contest that included architectural heavyweights such as Palladio. The area surrounding the bridge remains the commercial heart of the city with tourist souvenir shops and restaurants battling for space with banks and market stalls of the Erberia (fruit and vegetable market) and the Pescheria (fish market).

    One of the best times to see the bridge is during sunset when passing gondolas and boats make for a perfect picture against the backdrop of the setting sun. Be there a bit early before sunset as demand for good vantage points become increasingly intense as sunset approaches.

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by lina112 Written Sep 4, 2008

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    Inside the bridge

    Is oldest of the three bridges that cross the grand canal and the most famous. Built between 1588 and 1591 by Antonio da Ponte. Its covered by three stands yan hused under its vault the shops that show to the central steps of the bridge.

    Es el puente mas antiguo de los tres que cruzan el gran canal y el mas famoso. Construido entre 1588 y 1591 por Antonio da POnte. Está recorrido por 3 gradas y hospeda debajo de sus bovedas las tiendas que se asoman a la escalinata central del puente.

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    The Rialto Bridge

    by mallyak Written Sep 2, 2008

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    'Till thirteenth century Venice was built on a groups of islands separated by channels. To get on the other side were laid down wood boards connecting opposite sides of the channels. Later many bridges were built in Venice but no one of them joining the Gran Canal's banks.
    This was a big problem for the Establishment so that population was always teasing him about this promise.
    To solve this problem Serenissima's Establishment decided to call some of the best architects of that period:Andrea Palladio e Vincenzo Scamozzi.
    Commom idea of both famous architects was to build a bridges with three big arches finishing in the central part of it with a kettledrum substained by huge columns. In spite of the great fame of both architects won a project by Antonio da Ponte who thought a unic arch bridge, 48 meters long and 22 meters wide, that was immediately distinguished by Palladio's majestic project.
    The Rialto Bridge presents two shops lines included in the three stairs cutted by the central kettledrum substained by doric columns.
    Foundation was started in 1588, and it took some years to finally join the opposite part of the Gran Canal and subsitute the previous wood bridge that many times collapsed before. To get an imagine of this previous bridge look at the famous painting by Carpaccio "Guarigione di un ossesso").

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  • kmohandas's Profile Photo

    FAMOUS RIALTO BRIDGE

    by kmohandas Updated Jul 16, 2008

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    RIALTO BRIDGE
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    Ponte de Rialto (Rialto Bridge) is one of the icons of Venice. There are 3 bridges spanning Grand Canal of Venice. Rialto Bridge is the oldest and most famous among them. The construction of this was planned in 1551. But the construction began in 1588 only. The bridge was completed in 1591. The architect was Antonio de Ponte.
    This is a stoneacch bridge meant for pedestrians only. It has a span of 28.8mtrs., width of 22.9 mtrs., and a height of 7.32 mtrs. The bridge rests on 12,000 wooden piles.
    Even today, the bridge looks beautiful and attracts lot of tourists. You can,t miss this historical bridge during your visit to Venice.

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  • tuff's Profile Photo

    The most famous bridge in Venice

    by tuff Written Jun 18, 2008

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    Rialto Bridge, this bridge was built in 1588 by Antonio da Ponte. It contains shops and double loaded walkways on both sides of the bridge, the view around Rialto Bridge was incredible, with the restaurants and shops close by. The surrounding area is a commercial hub, with open-air vegetable, fruit and fish markets close by.

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  • msbrandysue's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge: Ponte di Rialto

    by msbrandysue Written Jun 1, 2008

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    From the gondola or boat

    The Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) is one of the three bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal and probably the most famous in the city.

    The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri. It was called the Ponte della Moneta, presumably because of the mint that stood near its eastern entrance.

    The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge. So it was replaced around 1250 by a wooden bridge. This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. The connection with the market eventually led to a change of name for the bridge. During the first half of the 15th century two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. The rents brought an income to the State Treasury, which helped maintain the bridge.

    Maintenance was vital for the timber bridge. It was partly burnt in the revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310. In 1444 it collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade and it collapsed again in 1524.

    The idea of rebuilding the bridge in stone was first proposed in 1503, and several projects were considered over the following decades. The Venetian Senate appointed three noble provveditori to oversee a design competition for the rebuilding of the bridge, which included Jacopo Foscarini, Alvise Zorzi, and Marcantonio Barbaro of the noble Barbaro family. In 1551 the provveditori requested proposals for the renewal of the Rialto Bridge, and plans were offered by famous architects such as Jacopo Sansovino, Palladio and Vignola, all of which involved a Classical approach with several arches, officially judged inappropriate to the situation. Even Michelangelo was considered to design the bridge.

    The present stone bridge, a single span, was designed by Antonio da Ponte, and completed in 1591. It is remarkably similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico the covered ramps carry rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

    Taken from wikipedia

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  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    Rialto bridge

    by ealgisi Written Apr 30, 2008

    One of the three bridges spanning the Grand Canal and the oldest one, probably even the most famous one.

    The first name was Ponte della Moneta, due probably to the mint that stood near the entrance at east.

    The present bridge was completed in 1591.

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  • hundwalder's Profile Photo

    Ponte di Rialto. All signs point the way to it.

    by hundwalder Updated Apr 29, 2008

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    ponte di rialto

    Ponte di Rialto is the most famous bridge in Venice and one of the best known bridges in the world.

    Construction on this bridge comenced in 1588, and it was completed a few years later. The bridge and virtually every structure in Venezia are supported by long wooden pilings. Building the great city of Venezia was a monumental task. The forests of the surrounding Veneto were once nearly depleted by Venetians building their city.

    I have shown the bridge up close and bathed in the early Sunday morning sunlight, so that the intricate detail of this great architectural masterpiece can be fully admired.

    At the time this photo was taken, the many shops housed under the roof of the bridge were closed and shuttered while the shopkeepers either attended Mass or attended to personal matters such as sleeping. Look closely and note the absence of tourists on the bridge. This was in mid May which is not too distant from the peak of the tourist season. Lesson: Early morning is an excellent time to visit the most popular of Venezia's tourist attractions.

    Visit the lesser known sites later in the day after the tourists have completely overrun the most popular ones.

    Back in the days when Venezia was the leading commercial center of the world, all ships laden with imports and exports passed under the close confines of ponte di Rialto. Can you imagine the excitement when the first ever load of venetian blinds passed under this great bridge ?

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  • grayfo's Profile Photo

    Ponte di Rialto Bridge

    by grayfo Updated Apr 23, 2008

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    The first Rialto Bridge was called “della Moneta”. The original was a pontoon bridge, the next a wooden structure was destroyed during the uprisings in the plot of Bejamonte Tiepolo. The next bridge collapsed in 1444 and was replaced by one, which included a drawbridge and shops. When this also showed signs of instability, it was rebuilt in stone. The bridge was completed in 1592, has a span of 28 metres.

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  • seasonedveteran's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge - The Moneyshot!

    by seasonedveteran Written Apr 6, 2008
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    What makes Venice so special is this single bridge here. lol. venice only needs 1-full day to see properly. But no traffic and congestion makes it very appealing and stress free. Areas are very shanty-like, and the people are humble merchants. Please enjoy your Venice trip, and watch lovingly upon the boats riding by... and lets your stress and any worries melt away.

    It is very lovely to see the narrow alleys, with water! Water Water Water everywhere. It was quite a funny hike through this city to reach San Marco: Crossing so many adorable charming bridges, and more charming streets and small shops, turning and climbing. I think there may be only one way through the city, with the bridges.

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  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Ponte di Rialto

    by wilocrek Written Mar 31, 2008

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    This is the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal and was built between 1588 and 1591 to replace earlier wooden bridges. Not that most people care about that, they just want to shop and Rialto bridge certainly provides that as well!

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  • olgaehr's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by olgaehr Written Nov 20, 2007

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    Venice is so romantic
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    Big and Beautiful major bridge is a center of shopping. There is a huge market set on one side of it where you can buy literally everything starting from masks ending with fruits and veggies. There are kiosk shops on the bridge itself selling all kinds of trinkets.

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