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My Escapes Italy Venice Floating Worlds - Venice, Murano, Burano, Torcello The Bridges of Venice

The Bridges of Venice

December 6, 2013
July 19, 2014

"Floating" Venice is full of bridges - lots and lots of small ones connecting streets and several larger ones, but only a single major historic attraction - the beautiful Rialto Bridge!

In Venice, there are 4 major pedestrian bridges today. But the small ones vastly outnumber them... There are 409 bridges in the entire Venice (according to this Italian source)!

Let's explore together, see a few photos and admire the architecture together, shall we?

Bridge in Venice

One of the smaller bridges...

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Rialto Bridge

It's the oldest and only ancient bridge across the Canal Grande and it's situated approximately at the center of the entire city.

The stylish old pedestrian bridge spans 22.90 m (75.1 ft) across the Canal Grande and it's among Venice's top attractions of the city. Its height is 7.32 m.

Rialto Bridge was constructed between 1588-1591, at the spot where a pontoon bridge once stood - built in 1181 (which was known as Ponte della Moneta).

Before Rialto Bridge, there were several wooden bridges. One was burnt during a revolt in 1310, the other one collapsed in 1444, when a huge crowd gathered on it to watch a boat show on the Canal Grande... Then it collapsed again in 1524!
How much harm can curiosity inflict! (Ah well, people are people, right?).

One thing deeply disgusted me: Rialto Bridge is full of graffiti! its interior walls are covered by the ugly writings of closed minds wanting to leave their mark on a public piece of art.

This reminds me again about how important responsible tourism is! But the filth just runs down the drain in this modern World... how disgusting!

I hope the bridge will be restored, fully cleaned. It really needs work to be done!

When I was there, it was almost impossible to take a good photo - it was so full of tourists. I felt like in an American theme park, with all that chattery all around by American tourists.

Rialto Bridge would be on my top 5 "not to miss" Venetian attractions, but if I'd force myself to shrink the list, it would even get into the top 3. Don't you dare miss the ancient Ponte Rialto!

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge in late afternoon

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Ponte degli Scalzi

This one was very close to my accommodation, but it's more of a viewpoint than an attraction by itself.

You can use the Ponte degli Scalzi to get a good glimpse of the Canal Grande.

The very first thing that I did in Venice was to walk up to the middle of this bridge and watch the traffic on the Canal Grande.

Ponte degli Scalzi in Venice

Ponte degli Scalzi with the Chiesa degli Scalzi (church) to the right

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The name of the bridge literally translates to "Bridge of the Monks".

The bridge was completed in 1934. Quite new... Despite its ancient looks. Blends in with the architecture. Unlike Calatrava's modern glass-steel-concrete bridge.

Ponte degli Scalzi from the other side

View of Ponte degli Scalzi from the other side

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Ponte dell'Accademia

It's one Venice's 4 major bridges crossing the Canal Grande. This one is situated in the southern part of the city.

What's interesting about this bridge is that it's made of wood!

The first Ponte dell'Accademia was built from steel in 1854, although there were plans as early as in 1488 to build one at that particular location.

Oddly, the steel bridges was demolished and an entirely new wooden one replaced it in 1933.

That bridge wasn't spared either! They totally rebuilt it (identially) from wood in 1985. And it's projected that they will build a newer, more resistant (most likely concrete) bridge in the future!

Ponte della Costituzione

It's the Contitution Bridge - in English. Modern, built in 2008. Designed by Santiago Calatrava. It's a glass, steel and concrete bridge.

Locals often refer to it as "Ponte di Calatrava".

Spans 17.68 m across and 9.38 m above the Canal Grande. It connects the train station with the Piazzale Roma, where the bus station is found.

I'm trying to imagine how it was back then, before the bridge was built. I suppose it was far more adventurous for the arriving travelers to get from one place to the other.

I don't suppose swimming across was an option (?).

As for getting across it with my heavy roller bay... phew! It took me probably around 5-7 minutes!

The bridge has steps almost all the way. A step-less slope at the sides would have been useful. But no, the steps cover full width!
Mr.Caltrava, shouldn't you have created a slope with the traveler to drag his bag on? And how about the people in wheelchairs?

I think this bridge would look better in a modern city quarter. Not in Venice. Not like this.

Ponte della Costituzione

Calatrava's modern Ponte della Costituzione.
The guy in this photo simply didn't get out of the way for long minutes...

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The Smaller Bridges

As I explored Venice, I effectuated hundreds of bridge crossings. Although I didn't cross all 409 of them, I came across dozens and dozens of small bridges, some more interesting than the others...

Small bridge in Venice

Small bridge across a thin water channel

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I loved exploring the quiet residential areas of Venice, where people still live. Those places felt serene, peaceful and somehow more natural than the commerce-exploited crowded and noisy central areas.

Small bridge in a quiet area

Small bridges in a quiet neighbourhood of Venice

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Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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