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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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by dvideira Updated May 17, 2004

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    rialto bridge - venice

    The Rialto area was always the heart of the commercial activity of the lagoon dwellers.

    Around the 12th century, the ferry-boat system was not bearing the volume of goods and people to be transported from one bank of the Grand Canal to the other, wich made necessary the construction of a bridge.

    The former wooden bridge was restored and rebuilt many times until the volume of traffic, by the 16th century, forced the government to order the construction of a new one built of stone.

    It remained the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot until the Accademia Bridge was built in 1854.

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    Ponte Rialto

    by ruki Updated Aug 14, 2007

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    Rialto bridge is the most known bridge in Venice. It was the first bridge who connected two sides of the town. It is from 13 th century and on the bridge there are many souvenirs shops with three main stairs. I think that from the top of the bridge is the best view of Grand Canal.

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    Ponte di Rialto - Rialto Bridge

    by Profsmiley Updated Nov 21, 2004

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    Ponte di Rialto

    The Rialto Bridge was originally the only permanent connection between the two banks of the Grand Canal.

    Apparently, the original bridge made from barges, which dates back to 1172, was replaced by a wooden one a few centuries later .

    The final stone version of the Rialto Bridge was built in the period 1588-1591 by Antonio da Ponte. What's amazing about the bridge, in my opinion, was the difficulty they must have had building it - especially considering the instability of the construction site and the bridge's 8m height.

    The bridge has shops, that carry mostly souvenir and jewellery. It's also a great location for taking pictures of the Grand Canale.

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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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  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by fishandchips Updated Apr 5, 2006

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    Ponte Rialto

    If you are walking from St Marks Square you take the middle road on your right with your back to the church. This road is often very narrow, especially at the end, but when you hit the Grand Canal and view the Rialto Bridge for the first time you know why it is so popular.

    The bridge is one of only three that spans the Grand Canal and is the most impressive by far - the others are by the Accademia & Train Station. Built in the 16th century, this was the first bridge to be constructed across the Grand Canal with the current stone bridge replacing a wodden version that wasn't coping with the amount of traffic using it.

    A photo loooking toward the Giudecca Canal really is a must for any trip collection. Just over the other side is the Rialto market where you can buy something to eat before carrying on around Venice.

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  • timtrina's Profile Photo

    The infamous "Rialto"

    by timtrina Written Sep 12, 2004

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    Taken at the foot of the Rialto

    We were just so lucky to be staying only 2 minutes walk from the famous bridge "Rialto" (see Accom tips for Hotel details). Although some of the romanticism of this bridge was taken away by the suspicious looking people selling "genuine" Louis Vitton bags for 30 Euros, or the others who just stood there "casing the joint". A trip to Venice would surely be incomplete without walking over the Rialto. Built some 400 years ago, it truly is a beautiful structure - it's just a pity that all the little shops / stalls / street-sellers take away some of the special atmosphere this place has.

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  • cheapskate's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by cheapskate Written Feb 18, 2006

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    Rialto Bridge
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    Okay.. you definitely can't miss the Rialto Bridge in Venice. There are 3 bridges along the Grand Canal. And this is the most famous and probably the most central since it is closest to St. Marks Sq. Lots of shops.. Lots of people..

    Don't forget to stand on the bridge to take in the sights and sounds of the Grand Canal.

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    Rialto Bridge

    by jag17 Written Oct 1, 2004

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    Ponte De Rialto

    Leave some time in your schedule to visit the Rialto Bridge. The Rialto was built between 1588-1591, to permanently replace the previous boat and wooden bridges. It remained the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot until the Accademia Bridge was built in 1854.

    The bridge is filled with stores containing Venice glass, linens, and crafts.

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    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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    Ponte Rialto 2

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 4, 2004

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    Ponte Rialto
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    The look of the Ponte Rialto from the opposite side, equally attractive as the front side. The bridge is built at the most narrow point of Canal Grande. It is 48 meters long and 7,5 meters high above the water, therefore only the small boats can pass under the bridge.

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    Ponte Rialto

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 3, 2004

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    Ponte Rialto
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    The Rialto Bridge, built between 1588 and 1591 according to a design by Antonio da Ponte, with a single span supporting two rows of shops and three pedestrian lanes, was the only bridge connecting the opposite banks of the Canal Grande until the nineteenth century.

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  • RoscoeGregg's Profile Photo

    A Great Sunrise & Sunset on The Rialto

    by RoscoeGregg Updated Oct 13, 2011

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    The energy and the quality of light from this bridge at either end of the day is impossible to adequately describe. It reminds me of waking up in the deserts of the southwestern United States. It just feels right and happy. I know because of the crowds at sunset this seems like a strange analogy but works for me.

    So brave the crowds especially in the evening. They are less packed in on the north side and the light is still great. If you come at sunrise head over when you are done and watch the fish market fire up.

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Ponte di Rialto

    by sue_stone Written Feb 20, 2005

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    Ponte di Rialto crossing the Grand Canal
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    There are only 3 bridges across the Grand Canal, the most famous of these being the Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge).

    The Rialto was the first bridge to span the canal, built back in 1592. It is a pretty garish looking white stone bridge, that heaves with tourists and vendors during the day.

    At night it is a quieter and you can take a photo without too many people in it....

    The best way to see the Rialto Bridge is to take a cruise down the Grand Canal - very relaxing and not so crowded!

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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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  • GinGinCoo's Profile Photo

    Rialto Bridge

    by GinGinCoo Updated Feb 27, 2004

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    Rialto Bridge view from our gondola

    Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) is the true heart of Venice. The current structure was built in just three years, between 1588 and 1591, as a permanent replacement for the boat bridge and three wooden bridges that had spanned the Grand Canal at various times since the 12th Century.
    The Rialto Bridge's 24-foot arch was designed to allow passage of galleys, and the massive structure was built on some 12,000 wooden pilings that still support the bridge more than 400 years later. The architect, Antonio da Ponte, competed against such eminent designers as Michelangelo and Palladio for the contract.

    The bridge has three walkways: two along the outer balustrades, and a wider central walkway leading between two rows of small shops that sell jewelry, linens, Murano glass, and other items for the tourist trade. The bridge consists primarily of steps, making it a challenge for tourists with strollers or wheelchairs.

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