Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)
Rialto Bridge or Ponte di Rialto was the city's first bridge over the Grand Canal. Connecting the highest points on the lagoon islands settlement, the first bridge was built in 1180 and this more solid marble one in 1588-92. The bridge is an elegant arch with steps and shops, a mass of water traffic passing underneath, and huge numbers of tourists and Venetians heading across it.
The area around the bridge was, and still is, full of important city functions. Nearby are the city's markets: the fresh produce and the fish market. They have been there for 700 years. This area was also where the first banks were established, where the traders who made Venice rich set sail from and sold their goods on return, where courts met, prisoners were held and punished, and new laws were declared.
The Rialto Bridge is halfway along the Grand Canal. Vaporetto (ferries) 1, 4, 82 and N call there; stop: Rialto. As you walk through Venice's confusing maze of streets, look up and on the walls at regular intervals will be painted arrows pointing to Rialto.
Tours & Tickets
See the top Venice attractions in a short space of time on this comprehensive Best of Venice walking tour! With an expert guide, see sights like the Rialto ... Read more