It’s considered to be the true heart of Venice, since it connects the San Marco and San Polo districts. It’s a sight you can’t miss on an Italian Vacation or a visit to Venice.
The Rialto Bridge is potentially one of the most visited bridges in the world - and is definitely one of the most photographed sights in Venice Italy! Here’s a little insight into why so many people, including ourselves, the Italian tours and Italian holiday experts Avventure Bellissime, find it so special:
There has been a crossing at the current site of the Rialto Bridge since the 12th Century. The current Rialto Bridge was originally opened in 1591. It replaced the previous wooden structures that had spanned the waterway. amazingly, the Rialto Bridge crossing was the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot for 300 years!
Now of course, the bridge has company with the other three (and sometimes four) bridges in Venice. These include the Ponte della Costituzione – a glass span which opened in 2008, the Ponte degli Scalzi – the barefoot bridge which current stone version dates from 1934, Ponta del’Accademia that links San Marco to the Accademia gallery. Then of course, there’s the annual temporary structure that’s in place around the Festa della Salute.
The history of the bridges at the site of the current Rialto Bridge Venice is quite a colourful one and it points to the eventful nature of Venice’s back-story.
1181 - The first dry crossing was built
1255 - The bridge was replaced due to the increased usage for people getting to the Rialto market
1310 - The bridge was partly burned down during the revolt led by Tiepolo
1444 - It collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade.
15th Century - two rows of shops were created on the sides of the bridge and the rents paid for its maintenance