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Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)

Ponte di Rialto

Rialto Bridge, Venice

Photo by About Venice

Ponte di Rialto is the oldest and most famous Venetian bridge.
It crosses the Grand Canal. It was first built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattiere and called "Ponte della Moneta".
Later, in 1250, the bridge was rebuilt in wood.
It was closely connected to the market; since then it has been named the "Ponte di Rialto".
In 1310 it partly burnt down after a revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo. About a century later (1444), the bridge collapsed due to the weight of a crowd that was watching a boat parade.
In 1503 the Doge proposed building the bridge out of stone; famous architects like Palladio, Sansovino and Vignola presented their ideas for the bridge, but they were considered unsuitable.
The present bridge was built by Antonio del Ponte in 1591. It's very similar to the former wooden bridge: there is a central portico and two inclined ramps in which many shops are located.


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