Rialto Bridge: Venice and the magic of a city on water

Venice, capital city of Veneto, region of Northern Italy, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is romantic. Magic. Unique. Why? Because it is built on water and presents many historical and artistic bridges crossing its channels. Water and bridges. This is the key of Venice’s huge fame around the world.

The most important bridge in Venice is for sure Rialto Bridge, followed by the Accademia Bridge and the Scalzi one. Rialto Bridge is located in the old fish market area of Venice, and crosses the Gran Canal in one of the most crowded and busy areas of the city.

In the past, Rialto was not there, but since 1180, the channel has always been crossed by a wooden bridge that had the ability to open and make boats navigate in that point. Unfortunately the bridge structure collapsed in many occasions, and it was decided to build it again in stone.

The current Rialto Bridge was built between 1588 and 1591, and it is a masterpiece of the famous Italian architect Antonio Da Ponte.The construction of the bridge has been very arduous and took a long time, giving some problems for the normal navigation of merchants on the Grand Canal. The bridge is nothing but a stone arch, recreating the shape of the old wooden one. It is formed by two inclined ramps and a portico covers it. Moreover, there are three walkways crossing it from side to side. A wide internal one, and two smaller external.

In the last centuries, the bridge was destination for all the big cargo ships full of merchandise coming from many other countries in order to unload and sell. Nowadays the area is famous for his typical shops located on each side (in particular Murano’s glass shops).

For young people in Venice, the market area next to Rialto, is today a common meeting point and centre of the Venetian nightlife. Furthermore, the waterside looking at Canareggio, is also one of the most loved spots where to go for “aperitivo” (aperitif). Locals enjoy meeting there and drink a Spritz in good company (Spritz is the typical drink of the region, made of seltz, prosecco and aperol).

Rialto Bridge is nothing but pure beauty. It is real magic, especially by night, when the surrounding lights give it a special fairytale atmosphere. It is a destination that really can’t be missed for all the beauty and architecture lovers out there!

Photo by sownak

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