The Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge is considered one of the main attractions of Venice and is also the oldest bridge on the Grand Canal. During the development of Venice, there was no bridge between the two banks of the Grand Canal. To solve this problem, a pontoon bridge was built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri and was called the Ponte della Moneta. The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased the traffic on the floating bridge. It was then replaced around 1250 by a wooden bridge, which however collapsed in 1444 and 1524. The present single-span stone bridge designed by Antonio da Ponte was completed in 1591. Today's bridge looks very much like the last wooden bridge. Two inclined ramps lead to a central portico. On either side of the portico, covered ramps housed rows of shops. Admiring the comings and goings of boats from the bridge is electrifying.
The Rialto Bridge and its surrounding streets are one of Venice's main attractions. The squares along the Grand Canal welcome the hustle and bustle of daily business around the Rialto Bridge. Fishmongers, businessmen, housewives and, of course, tourists gather in the markets and along the narrow alleys. Probably little has changed over the centuries in terms of the concentration of people in the area around the bridge. The bridge is the hub of the Rialto area. Cross it, admire the view, then walk along the banks on both sides to choose the perfect angle for a photograph.