Address: Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Bridge Type: Arch bridge
The Grand canal of Venice has four bridges that span across it. Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four.
The first bridge that was designed to help cross the grand canal was in 1181 and was a pontoon bridge. In 1255 the pontoon bridge was replaced with a wooden bridge. It was built near the Rialto market and helped increase traffic to the market.
The bridge collapsed in 1444 due to weight of the crowd that had gathered to watch the boat parade. It was rebuilt as a draw bridge but collapsed again in 1524.
In 1551 the city requested design for a new bridge. Many designs were submitted but all were rejected by the city.
Finally, a design submitted by Antonio da Ponte and his nephew Antonio Contino was approved by the city. And construction of the new bridge initiated in 1588 and was completed in 1591. This design was in line with the original bridge that was built in 1255; which may have helped its approval.
Fun fact: One of the designs that was submitted and subsequently declined to the city was by Michelangelo.
Rialto Bridge has also made some appearances in famous movies. From Casino Royale, To Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Spider-Man Far from home.
While going on the Rialto Bridge is free of charge, there are two ways you can enhance your experience of the site.
Visit the Rialto Market and enjoy a tour of the Food and Wine that Venice has to offer
Enjoy a private Gondola Ride and experience Rialto Bridge from a different point of view
Join a local historian and explore Venice and its neighborhoods including Rialto Bridge