Rialto Bridge Venice Italy

(photo via fanshare)

The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Venice and one of Venice’s top attractions. This stunning bridge is lined with shops and is a gateway to the Rialto Market. This famous bridge is the first of only four bridges to span the Grand Canal. Before the building of the Rialto Bridge, in the late 16th century, there were a series of bridges that occupied this area, also known as the narrowest point across the Grand Canal. It was imperative that this bridge that was about to build would be able to be constructed with the purpose of allowing boats to pass underneath and be able to hold up to heavy use.

At the news of this new project beginning, starting in 1524, artists and architects including Palladio, Sansovino and Michelangelo began submitting blueprints for the new bridge. It wasn’t until the year 1588 that architect Antonio da Ponte was awarded the rights to build this bridge. An interesting fact about da Ponte, he was the uncle of Antonio Contino, architect of Venices other world famous bridge “The Bridge of Sighs.” The Rialto Bridge is a stunning, arched stone bridge lined with arcades on each side. Under these arcades are numerous shops, which is huge tourist attraction for those looking to shop while viewing one of Italy’s most stunning pieces of architecture, along with it’s views of the gondola-filled waterway of the Grand Canal.

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