Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge of Venice

  • The Rialto Bridge, known in Italian as the Ponte di Rialto, is one of the most famous spots of the sinking city of Venice. It is the oldest of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, and it is also the most beautiful thanks to its stone arches. It was built in the 12th century and originally called Ponte della Moneta (Coin Bridge), and it was an important place from day 1 thanks to the Rialto Market. However, that wasn’t the Rialto Bridge we all know nowadays: It was built of wood, and it was partially burnt in 1310 and it collapsed in 1444, overcrowded with people that were observing a boat parade.
    The current Rialto Bridge was built between 1588 and 1591 and designed by Antonio da Ponte, who got his inspiration from the old wooden bridge. It is definitely a breath-taking spot in the city of Venice – don’t miss out on the opportunity of enjoying the sunset from there.
  • Did you know that the charming city of Venice used to be one of the most important cities in Europe during the High Middle Ages? Nowadays, however, it is quite small compared to other famous cities of the Old Continent, since it only has around 300.000 inhabitants. But the city receives so many visitors that it will sure feel like more people live there! The area around the Rialto Bridge is specially crowded and busy, since it is one of the main landmarks of the city. However, it is a privileged place to experience the real atmosphere of Venice.
  • If you stay in the apartments near the Rialto Bridge, you will be very close to many unique little shops located in the picturesque streets that surround this famous landmark. Most sell souvenirs and traditional items like the exquisite Carnival masks typical from the Carnival of Venice – and most of them are artisanal products! The surroundings of the Rialto Bridge are one of the best places to buy souvenirs for your loved ones. If you cross the bridge to the southern bank of the Grand Canal, you will be in at the busiest part of the city centre, which means that you will be able to find many other shops in there, as well as some haute-couture fashion brands such as Gucci. And, if you’re travelling with children, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Disney Store, located just a few steps from the Rialto Bridge. And there is something else that you can’t miss out on: The beautiful Rialto Market, where you will be able to enjoy the colourful fruit and vegetable stalls.
    Besides all this, you can always take a vaporetto that will take you to the island of Murano in just 15 minutes, which is one of the main crystal and glass manufacturers of Europe. There, you will also be able to shop for unique crystal beauties!
  • In Venice, the Grand Canal could be considered the equivalent of any other city’s central avenue. The Grand Canal could be to Venice what Gran Via is to Madrid, or Avinguda Diagonal to Barcelona, or the Champs Elysées to Paris. But there is an essential difference: It’s a “water avenue”! Hence the traffic is formed by boats instead of cars, and around the Rialto Bridge you will be able to choose from different kinds of boats to travel to the rest of the city: You can choose a vaporetto, which is the fastest and largest but perhaps the less charming, you can cross the Grand Canal with a beautiful traghetto or, of course, you can navigate below the Rialto Bridge in one of the romantic and traditional gondolas. The closest vaporetto stop to the Rialto Bridge is Rialto.
    But if you don’t really get along with boats, you can always walk around. Venice is quite a small city, and you can easily walk from one side to the other. However, make sure you know where the bridges are if you want to avoid the boats at all costs, because there are only four that cross it!
  • The best thing you can do around the Rialto Bridge is to do a cruise along the beautiful Grand Canal, so you have the opportunity of passing below it. The best option to do that is in a gondola, of course – the ultimate romantic moment that all visitors of Venice are longing to do!
    And very close to the Rialto Bridge you will find some beautiful and charming little churches that sure are worth visiting. One of them is San Giacomo di Rialto, which is said to be the oldest church of the city and has a beautiful Gothic portico. But there are many more beautiful churches and other religious buildings in the area, such as the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, known as the Marble Church, or Santa Maria Formosa.
  • The area surrounding the Rialto Bridge is one of the most visited, so be careful not to end up in a restaurant tourist trap. Always check the menu before sitting to avoid an expensive surprise in the bill! However, Italian cuisine is so wonderful that it is hard to end up not satisfied in a restaurant. We recommend you to try the fish and seafood specialties typical of the city. A great restaurant to do so is La Porta d’Acqua, as well as the the Taverna Al Remer. If you’re in the mood for something faster, in the Pizzeria Megaone you will find tasty pizza slices.
    And what about some fruit as an afternoon snack? Walk a little bit up the Rialto Bridge in the northern bank of the Grand Canal until the Rialto Market, where you will be able to enjoy some fresh fruit from the tempting platters they offer. We all love Italian gelato, but we sure recommend to substitute it with the fruit at least one afternoon!
  • Even if Venice isn’t famous because of its nightlife, every Italian city offers an entertaining and lively atmosphere at night – and the area around the Rialto Bridge is no exception! Near the Rialto Bridge you will find a nice little jazz bar called Bacaro Jazz, which offers a nice cocktail selection – but if you’re in the mood of having a fresh beer in a bar, you can go to Osteria all'Alba, a fun little place where you will find right what you’re looking for. And if you want to go have fun at a traditional pub, you can go to the Old English pub Devil’s Forest Pub, where you will be able to choose from their selection of beers.


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