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Rialto Bridge

Your turn to cross Venice's most ancient and evocative bridge

Venice's Grand Canal is crossed by four bridges. Starting off from Venice’s Santa Lucia railway station, and following the canal, the first bridge is the Ponte della Costituzione (the most recent), followed by the Ponte degli Scalzi, Rialto and Accademia bridge.

Yet, Ponte di Rialto bridge is the one that mostly strikes the imagination of delighted visitors to Venice, who come from all over the world to photograph the genuine bridge -monument which is a landmark of the Lagoon of Venice (and have their snapshots taken on it as well!). 

The origins

Of course early Venice was neither a tourist destination, nor one of the most sought-after towns worldwide.  Hence, Rialto Bridge was not originally designed to be a tribute to Venetian culture but simply as a passage for reaching Rialto market, which was then the town's trade centre.

In the beginning it was basically a pontoon bridge, bearing a name different from the current (Ponte della Moneta), but later the growing importance of Rialto market promptly called for a more substantial feature.

Therefore the pontoon became a proper wooden bridge to be finally named Rialto Bridge.  As it crossed Venice Grand Canal, it had to be designed with a movable central section to let large vessels through. A remarkably unusual feature!

Fab Budget Hotel
Perfect location on the main road on the Lido. 5 min walk to the water bus to Venice. Rooms clean and freshly decorated. Beds very comfortable. Breakfast good with lots of choice and fresh pastries. Staff very chatty and helpful.
A Family hotel
Easy vaporetto trip into Venice and also a short walk to a great swimming beach. My 8 year old daughter loved it. Staff were very helpful.
Portland, OR, United States of America
Perfect location
Great hotel in a perfect location on Lido di Venezia. Good breakfast, bread rolls, speck, cheeses, yogurt, cake, coffee, juices. Overall an excellent choice. The two Andreas are wonderful. Ask for restaurant recommendations--they will put you off the beaten path to places only locals go, which will keep you away from the tourist traps and you will eat very well.
Just Great!
Just great, central location at the Lido, 5 minutes to the Vaporetto that takes you to Venice and 5 minutes to the historic beaches at the Lido. Wonderful breakfast in a room with access to a small garden, courteous staff and clean rooms, clear value for the money  
The stone bridge

As Rialto Bridge quiclky achieved the status of landamark of Venice it also became the venue for extremely popular events.  As a consequence, a series of collapses occurred, inducing the Republic of Venice, in early 1503, to provide for a stone structure.   Outstanding masters were called to propose designs, among them also great names such as Andrea Palladio and Jacopo Sansovino, but it was Antonio da Ponte who favourably impressed the competent bodies. 

The strong point of his design was that of retaining the structure of the former wooden bridge while preserving the shops lining it.  Rialto Brigde shops are still a great favourite with tourists and beneficially contribute, with the rent paid by their owners, to maintain this true gem.