Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges that cross Venice’s Great Canal. It’s the best known both for its design and its history, because it was the most important economic center of the city for years.
The bridge was built between 1588 and 1591 and it was designed by architect Antonio da Ponte, in order to replace the late wooden bridge, because it collapsed twice and burnt down once in the past.
The structure of the bridge is similar to the older ones. It has two sloped ramps joined by a porch in the middle. Above the same bridge and in both sides of the road there are lots of shops, mostly souvenirs and clothes shops. You’ll find behind them two sidewalks from where you can see the Great Canal in both directions.
Any time in the day is good to visit Rialto Bridge. If you cross at different hours during the day you can try to take some good photos, among the crowd of tourists trying to do the same as you at the same time.
GPS Coordinates: 45.438048, 12.335957
When you cross Rialto Bridge from St. Mark, you’ll find a little souvenir and leather objects market, which is always full of tourists. Rialto Market is a bit further. It’s a colourful place where there are mostly fruits and vegetables. If you travel in summer you’ll understand how hard is to resist the temptation to buy some fresh fruit.
Rialto Market is open every day from 9 to 12 in the morning in Campo della Pescaria and the streets around it.
As historical curiosity, you should know that this place also held a market since 1097. The name “Rivoaltus” means mainland, that is, free of floods. A fire destroyed Rialto in 1514, so most of the buildings date from XVI century. The little streets of the market have the names of the guilds that occupied them many years ago.
GPS Coordinates: 45.439282, 12.335025