Rialto Bridge, Venice: How To Reach, Best Time & Tips
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About Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge or The Lover's Bridge is the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is at the heart of the city of Venice and is considered an authentic dignity and ecstasy of the city. Built at the end of 16th century of the Renaissance period by Antonio da Ponte, the bridge is a magnificent one stone-arch that connects districts of San Marco and San Polo. 

On both the sides of this bridge are jam-packed shops and stalls that make up for the Rialto market. You can shop for some knick-knacks and souvenirs from them. It is quite crowded here but is worth climbing up the stairs and clicking some photographs for unforgettable memories.

Especially during the sunset, you can get to see some amazing scenes of the boats and gondolas sauntering through the canal while you stand on the bridge. For a romantic experience, you can go for a gondola ride itself and click photos with the bridge as the background. You can also sit at the nearby restaurants lined on the streets and get a spectacular view of the bridge from an appropriate distance. 

As a top tourist place in Venice, Rialto bridge is included in most of the tours to Venice. The best time to visit here is Mid-Spring, that is, the first half of May or Last Week of September. One can also visit during Easter to enjoy the famous Carnival and Candlelit Parade of Boats along with Street Concerts and Performances.

How to Reach Rialto Bridge



The nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), which is nearly 13.9 km away from Rialto Bridge. The following mode of transports are available from the airport to reach Rialto Bridge:

Taxi-
Get down from the flight at Venice Airport and then hire a taxi worth Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 4,000. It takes around 14 mins by taxi to reach there.

Bus-
Another mode of transport to reach Rialto Bridge is a bus from Venice Airport. It takes 44 mins to reach Rialto Bridge by bus. The cost of the bus is around Rs. 180 to Rs. 900. The bus service is available every thirty minutes.
It is relatively cheaper than the taxi but the taxi saves your time.

Best Time to Visit Rialto Bridge



If you are planning to visit the epic and iconic Rialto Bridge in Venice, then plan your vacations around the Easter holidays or mid-spring. The best time is the first half of May till July first week or from the last week of September till November. 

July mid to August is too hot that you will only be experiencing sweaty people and their body odor. So one should avoid the hot weather for vacations in Rialto Bridge, Venice.

Venice experiences winter from December to February. During this time period, you may or may not get snow. But, it is for sure the weather remains too cold during these 3 months. If you want to experience the winters of

Venice, then, you must visit during this time period. Also, In winter, you won't be getting much of a crowd of tourists and can enjoy the picturesque view of Rialto Bridge peacefully.

What Not to Miss at Rialto Bridge



Rialto Bridge makes the Floating City attractive to tourists. The most exciting things to do here are:

1. Private Gondola ride
If you are on your honeymoon and want to spend quality time with your partner, then, a private Gondola ride from Rialto Bridge’s riverside is worth going for. Away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists and market, in a peaceful and calm environment on the waters, you can make your trip worth remembering.

Not only does it provide a peaceful environment but also, the view of the Rialto Bridge from Gondola is a splendid one. Rialto Bridge serves as a beautiful background for couples clicking selfies while sitting in Gondola. The official rates of a private Gondola ride are 80 Euros for 40 mins before 7.00 pm and 100 Euros after 7.00 pm.

The Gondola holds the capacity of carrying 6 people at a time. So if you are on your holiday with friends and family, the costs split among the group equally and everyone enjoys to the fullest.

2. Sight View
One must not miss the breathtaking view of and from Rialto Bridge. This picturesque view from the Rialto Bridge during sunset will take you to the la-la land. This beautiful scenery will definitely make you take panoramic photographs. The scenic beauty of the Rialto Bridge is so whimsical that it will be imprinted permanently in your mind and soul.

3. Night Walk
One should include the night walk around the streets of Rialto Bridge in their to-do-list. The streets will give you a magical essence while listening to the stories of legends and myths, narrated by the local tourist guides.

4. Lunch with Wine and Cicchetti
The combo of Cicchetti and wine is loved by the Venetians. Cicchetti is a mouth smacking small snack complemented with wine and you definitely should try it at the restaurants near Rialto Bridge. The exotic flavor of this deadly combo along with the serene beauty of Rialto Bridge just makes it perfect for you to cherish the memory. 

5. Rialto Bridge Paintings
While walking down the streets near Rialto Bridge, you will come across the great paintings of Rialto Bridge. Tourists buy these paintings for treasuring the moments they spent in the Floating City- Venice, forever.

6. Rialto Market Visit
The oldest market of Venice, the Rialto Market is the one that cannot be missed. The market has grocery shops, fish markets, and other daily usable commodity shops. Venetians consider it as Central Point to go wherever and whenever they want. Also, the frequency of the tourists here makes this place very chaotic.

Places to Visit near Rialto Bridge



1. St. Mark Square

Originally known as Piazza San Marco, this place has a magnificent St. Mark Basilica church. It is a center of attraction as it has been the seat of Venice's Patriarch and Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Also, it is the house of most government offices.

2. Doge's Palace
The palace is built in a Venetian Gothic style and is one of the most important landmarks of Venice city, in northern Italy. The palace was home to the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice. The enhanced exterior beauty of this palace will make you curious to know about its history.

The interior of Doge’s Palace consists of a 15th Century Golden Staircase, Triumphal Arches and Frescoed Walls. You will get a sense of power and splendor contained within. The Doge’s Palace requires tickets to enter. The cost of one ticket is 27.50 Euros and the timings are from 8.30 am to 7.00 pm.  

3. Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is located in Venice and is one of the tourist attractions. The bridge was built by Antonio Contino (nephew of Antonio Da Ponte) in 1600. This enclosed bridge is made of white limestone. The windows have stone bars. Also, these windows connect the interrogation room of Doge's Palace with New Prison.

Other Essential Information About Rialto Bridge



Location:
Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venezia, Italy, Europe

Timing: It is open for 24/7

Entry Fee: It is totally free of cost

Distance from nearest airport: The nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) and Rialto Bridge is 13.9 km away from VCE airport.

History of the Rialto Bridge



Rialto Bridge has gone through many transformations. Firstly, in 1181 Nicolo Barattieri built a Pontoon Bridge named Ponte Della Moneta. Since mint leaves grew at its entrance, it was named Ponte Della Moneta. Then, in 1255 the Wooden Bridge replaced Pontoon Bridge, due to increased traffic in Rialto Market.

The structure of the Wooden Bridge was commendable at that period. That Bridge had two ramps on each side and a platform in the middle. The middle platform was raised to allow ships to pass through. As it was a Wooden Bridge, the materials used in building it often needed huge maintenance costs.

The Bridge had a market on its two sides and the rents and taxes from these shops helped in covering the maintenance costs. Later, Wooden Bridge was named 'Rialto Bridge', since the Rialto Market was nearby and the public used this bridge as a path to access the Rialto Market.

Thereafter, in 1310 due to Bajamonte Tiepolo's revolt, the fire damaged the Wooden Bridge. After that, it was repaired, but it collapsed for the first time in 1444. The reason was its incapacity to handle the weight of the crowd that came to see the Boat Parade for Marquis Ferrera Wedding. It was then rebuilt in 1524, like a drawbridge, but once again collapsed.

Afterwards, it was decided to rebuild it with stone materials. In 1551, many architects presented their designs, but authorities rejected them. The fault in their designs was several arches, which would’ve hindered the movement of ships.

Then, a Swiss-Born Venetian architect and engineer, Antonio da Ponte, presented his single-span arch design. The authorities approved his design and construction started in 1588. It took three years from 1588 to 1591 to build a single stone-arch bridge.

The Bridge made it easy for pedestrians to access the Rialto Market. Also, the structure helped in the smooth functioning of trading procedures in the market.

Architecture of Rialto Bridge



The credit of building such a solid architecture, which is, still standing firmly from the Renaissance period, without any damage goes to Swiss-born Venetian Antonio Da Ponte.

1. Material Used in Building Rialto Bridge
He used white limestone (Pietra d'istria) for prevention from erosion and for resisting the saltwater, which is important for the location. The white limestone is smooth and shiny which makes it naturally a focal point from the Grand Canal. 

2. The Structure of Rialto Bridge
Antonio designed the structure of present Rialto Bridge the same as the former Wooden Bridge. He made three passages to make walking easy for pedestrians. The two sides of the bridge are inclined ramps and have stairs and a middle broad walk pathway having shops on both sides.

The main deck of the bridge is built at a significant angle of 15 degrees so that the pedestrians are prevented from seeing the other side of the bridge from each shore. The whole structure of the bridge is supported by the thousands of timber piles. These timber piles are planted into the soft soil of lagoons, which makes the base strong enough to stand from ages.

Interesting Facts about Rialto Bridge



1. The oldest bridge in Venice

The Rialto Bridge was built in the Renaissance Period. It was the only path for accessing the market place before the construction of the Accademia Bridge.

2. Rialto Bridge was built to provide access to Rialto
When the Venice market shifted to Rialto in 1097, a floating bridge Ponte Della Moneta was built to access the market. But, due to increased traffic, the Wooden Bridge replaced it in 1264. Since it was connected to Rialto, hence, its name changed to Rialto Bridge.

3. The history of Rialto Bridge witnessed many collapses
Due to the revolt of Bajamonte Tiepolo the fire damaged the wooden bridge in 1310. Then, in 1444 on the wedding occasion of Marquis Ferrara, the crowd came to see the Boat Parade and due to their overweight, the bridge collapsed. It again collapsed for the final time in 1524.

4. There's a blood relation between the two most important bridges across the Grand Canal
The two famous architects Antonio Da Ponte (architect of Rialto Bridge) and Antonio Contino (architect of Bridge of Sighs) had an uncle and nephew relationship.

5. The Design of the present Rialto Bridge was similar to the Wooden Bridge
The Rialto bridge has two inclined ramps leading to a central pathway for the tall ships. The wooden bridge had the same two inclined ramps and a central section that was raised to make a pathway for the tall ships.

6. It took 3 years to build the Bridge
The Bridge started in 1588 and finished in 1591 due to the unavailability of funds. The bridge has 75 feet of width and 24 feet of height of the arch and 94 feet long of Span.
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People Also Ask About Rialto Bridge

  1. What does the Rialto Bridge represent?

    It is a stone arch bridge over a Grand Canal, Venice, built by Antonio Da Ponte. It represents the architecture of the medieval time of the Renaissance.
  2. Why is the Rialto Bridge famous?

    The Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge out of the other four bridges spread over the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.
  3. What is special about the Rialto Bridge?

    The Rialto Bridge is the oldest in Venice. Until the Accademia Bridge was built, Rialto was the only pedestrian bridge, through which one could cross the Grand Canal. It connects the narrowest points (San Polo and San Marco) of the Grand Canal. Also, its design makes it unique and special for the tourists.
  4. Is the Rialto Bridge The Bridge of Sighs?

    No, both are different bridges. Antonio Contino built the Bridge of Sighs and Antonio Da Ponte built the stone arch Rialto Bridge and both are located at different locations in Venice, Italy.
  5. What was the Rialto Bridge built for?

    The bridge was built to connect the two districts San Polo and San Marco of Grand Canal in Venice, Italy and also built for helping in the smooth functioning of the market based on it.
  6. What material is the Rialto Bridge made from?

    The Rialto Bridge is built with white limestone and thousands of timber piles which were used to support the whole structure.
  7. What kind of bridge is the Rialto Bridge?

    Rialto Bridge is a stone arch bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. The bridge has 75 feet of width, an arch of 24 feet of height and a 94 feet long span.
  8. Who created Rialto Bridge?

    The creator of Rialto Bridge was a Swiss-born Venetian Engineer and Architect Antonio Da Ponte. His simple, yet marvelous design was the perfect solution of replacing the three times collapsed Wooden Bridge.
  9. What is the best time to visit Rialto Bridge?

    The first half of May or the last week of September is preferable to go for spending your time in Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.
  10. How to reach Rialto Bridge from Venice Marco Polo Airport?

    The person can either take a taxi or bus service from the airport. The taxi takes around 14 mins to reach the destination, but a bus takes 44 mins to reach Rialto Bridge. The cost of a taxi is Rs. 3500 to Rs. 4,000 while bus service charges around Rs. 180 to Rs. 900.

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