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Rialto Bridge: the thrill of walking on one of the oldest and most famous bridges in the world

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

The Rialto Bridge is one of the most important symbols of Venice. It is also the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. Its imposing architecture and long and fascinating history make it famous all over the world. For many years it was the nerve centre of Venice's economy, the meeting point for merchants and traders and the place where goods were exchanged and commercial transactions were carried out.

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge

A bit of history

The Rialto Bridge was built between 1588 and 1591, designed by architect Antonio da Ponte, to replace the old wooden structure, which had failed twice and been destroyed by various fires. The new bridge structure, similar to the old one, consists of two inclined ramps that join into a portico in the centre.

Regardless of the time of day, the Rialto Bridge is a fascinating place to visit. During your visit, you can take panoramic photos of the canal and the surrounding architecture, and you can also see many tourists like you doing the same..

Interesting facts:

The name 'Rialto' comes from the word 'Rivus altus', which means 'deep canal' in Latin, indicating that it is an area protected from flooding.

In 1514, a fire destroyed much of the Rialto area, so most of the buildings there were built in the 16th century.

The narrow streets surrounding the market have names related to the various trade guilds that operated in the area, which creates an interesting and unique combination of the city's history and economy.

One of the most iconic experiences is to pass under the arches of the bridge in a private water taxi to enjoy with your family, partner or friends in peace and quiet one of Venice's most viewed works.

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