Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), Venice

Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), Venice (must see)

There are only four bridges that span the Grand Canal and, if you’re exploring Venice on foot, you’ll find yourself crossing at least one of these sooner or later. Ponte di Rialto is the oldest and certainly the most famous of the four, linking the Eastern and Western quarters of Venice – the districts of San Marco and San Polo. It was originally built of wood in the 12th century, with the current stone version dating to the 16th century. The engineering was considered so audacious that some architects predicted future ruin; however, the bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice, remaining the only point at which the Canal Grande could be crossed on foot, until 1854, when the first Accademia bridge was built.

If you’re able to navigate your way through hordes of tourists crawling over the bridge, you’ll enjoy superb views of the canal in both directions. Beyond the souvenir market stalls are the centuries-old markets that traditionally have served as a major showcase for all the fruits and vegetables grown in the islands of the lagoon and also for the fresh fish from the bordering Adriatic Sea – you can even see boats from such islands as Burano and Pellestrina, arriving at the Rialto to unload their catch of the day. There are, of course, many shops and restaurants on and around the bridge area, overpriced as they usually are, but tucked in the interior so as to not ruin the exterior views. Just by the bridge are also the water bus stops, as well as groups of persuasive gondoliers who just happen to have an empty gondola with your name all over it!

All in all, the Rialto Bridge is as picturesque as one would expect, but mostly a great place to view the Grand Canal and to just soak up the vibe of Venice and all its beauty.

Tip:
Evening is by far the best time to visit – much quieter and looks stunning.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Venice, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) on Map

Sight Name: Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)
Sight Location: Venice, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walking Tour   Around Rialto Bridge 1   Around Rialto Bridge 2  

Walking Tours in Venice, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Create Your Own Walk in Venice

Creating your own self-guided walk in Venice is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Around Rialto Bridge 2

Around Rialto Bridge 2

The Rialto area first appeared in documents dating back to the 9th century. It was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1514; the only structure left standing was the church of San Giacomo di Rialto. Today Rialto is a busy shopping district with a daily vegetable and fish market, several historic sights, plus a wide variety of shopping and dining options. Part 2 of the Rialto Bridge walk takes...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
San Marco Souvenir Shops

San Marco Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Venice without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs that are unique to Venice. Pop into the specialty shops of San Marco suggested in this tour to find the most beautiful and original items.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Lido Island Walking Tour

Lido Island Walking Tour

Lido is the largest island of Venice city. It is long, but not wide at all, very different from the circular form of the main city. Lido island is known for its very popular hotel where a movie was made and some other secrets that make this island interesting. Ready to explore? Put on your walking shoes!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Religious Edifices Walking Tour

Religious Edifices Walking Tour

A country like Italy, especially a city like Venice, has a lot of sacred sites. It would be a pity not to take a look at some of the wonderful buildings built by humans in the name of the Lord. Glorious artists, architects and their disciples have given their lives and talent for our pleasure for centuries. Follow this self guided walk to visit some of the most significant religious edifices in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Dorsoduro Walking Tour

Dorsoduro Walking Tour

Dorsoduro is one of the six districts of Venice, whose name translates as “hard bridge” from Italian, due to the area's relatively high terrain. The city's highest spots, along with Giudecca Island and Isola Sacca Fisola, are found here. Dorsoduro is home to some of Venice's most picturesque canals, historic locations and cultural venues, including Basilica di Santa Maria della...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Romantic Spots

Romantic Spots

Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world. It is the perfect destination for honeymoons, proposals and romantic trips. All the streets, canals and corners of this city are filled with romance, passion and love. This self-guided walk takes you through the most romantic places where you can enjoy the perfect moment with your beloved.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

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Venice has been a tourist mecca for over a century now, with millions of visitors flocking in every year to see this unique place on the face of the Earth. Many, if not all, of these people seek to obtain something memorable as a token of their stay in this city. By far, not all of them know which...