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May 23rd, 2017

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With its hidden squares and its sublime architecture, this Italian city is like no other. Beautiful, gentle, magical, and lilting, there’s much to love about this place.

With its hidden squares and its sublime architecture, this Italian city is like no other. Beautiful, gentle, magical, and lilting, there’s much to love about this place.

But, even in amongst the wonderful architecture and the excellent wine bars, there is one part of Venice that still manages to stand out: the Bridge of Sighs. Known as a place of sadness, and of love too, here’s the Avventure Bellisime guide to the Bridge of Sighs, a stunning Venetian landmark.

The Story

Designed by Antonio Contino at the start of the 17th century, the Bridge of Sighs spans the Rio Di Palazzo (Palace River). Its original purpose was to connect the Old Prison and the Doge Palace interrogation rooms, with the New Prison directly across the river. It’s an enclosed construction, white on the outside with small windows.

There are two main backstories for how the bridge got its name. One suggests that condemned prisoners, whilst crossing the river, would gaze wistfully out into Venice and sigh at the thought of never seeing the outside world again.

Another theory is a touch more romantic, and it goes that if a couple travelling on a gondola kisses under the bridge at sunset, they’ll find eternal love together. The sighs in this story come from the lovers, overcome by the romance of the bridge, Venice, and their love for each other.

Both of these stories show that Venice creates an atmosphere of wistfulness, sadness, tragedy, and love – a truly Italian concoction.

Book your very own gondola tour and experience the romance of Venice yourself!

Visiting the Bridge of Sighs

Stretching high above the canal, the Bridge of Sighs is considered to be one of the finest examples of bridge architecture in the world. Built with limestone and designed in the style of Italian Renaissance architecture, there’s a truly romantic aura to this Venetian landmark.

Due to its popularity, the Bridge of Sighs is often best viewed from afar. A good option is to enjoy a gondola ride under the bridge. Look out for the numerous mascarons, sculptures of angry and sad faces, on the façade of the bridge. Keep your eyes peeled for the one happy face carved on the Bridge of Sighs.

Or, if you’d rather view the bridge from land, head to the next bridge down river, the Ponte della Paglia. Of course, in the height of summer getting a good view of the Bridge of Sighs will still be difficult so be sure to find a tour guide to help you get the very best glimpse of this famous Venetian icon.

On your Italian vacation to Venice, make sure you visit the Bridge of Sighs. Sneak a kiss at sunset with your true love and you just might find eternal happiness. When booking your trip to Italy, why not consider some of the excellent tours of Venice we have on offer?

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