Around Rialto Bridge 1 (Self Guided), Venice

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 1 of the Rialto Bridge walk takes you to explore the area on the west side of the famous bridge.

Getting to Sight #1. The first tour stop (Rialto Bridge) can be reached by: Alilaguna Water Taxi: Arancio (A), Water Bus: 1, 2, 2/, N (night line).
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Around Rialto Bridge 1 Map

Guide Name: Around Rialto Bridge 1
Guide Location: Italy » Venice (See other walking tours in Venice)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Author: naomi
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)
  • Palazzo dei Camerlenghi
  • Chiesa San Giacomo di Rialto
  • Osteria Bancogiro
  • Chiesa San Giovanni Elemosinario
  • Mercato di Rialto (Rialto Food Market)
  • Mercatino dell'Antiquariato di Rialto
  • Emilio Ceccato
1
Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)

1) Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) (must see)

There are only four bridges in Venice spanning the Grand Canal and, if you’re exploring the city on foot, you will find yourself crossing at least one of them 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, followed by the current stone modification four centuries later. The engineering solution seemed so audacious at the time that certain architects predicted its future ruin. However, the bridge has defied critics to become one of the architectural marvels of Venice which, until 1854, remained the only foot crossing of the Grand Canal before the Accademia bridge was erected.

And if you’re comfortable steering through the hordes of tourists crawling over the bridge, you may enjoy the spectacular views of the canal opening in both directions. Beyond the souvenir stalls are the centuries-old markets that traditionally showcase the abundance of fruits and vegetables harvested on the lagoon islands, as well as the fish freshly caught in the bordering Adriatic Sea – you can even see boats from the Burano and Pellestrina islands unloading their daily catch here.

There are plenty of shops and restaurants within the Rialto bridge area as well, usually overpriced, but masterly tucked in so as not to disturb the heritage exterior. Also by the bridge are waterbus stops, not to mention persuasive gondoliers who just happen to have a vacant gondola with your name on it, in case you're in for a boat ride.

Tip:
Evening is by far the best time to visit – much quieter and looks stunning.
2
Palazzo dei Camerlenghi

2) Palazzo dei Camerlenghi

The palace was built in the fifteenth century and finished in 1488. From 1525 to 1528 it was enlarges under design by Guglielmo dei Grigi, who was inspired by the style of Mauro Codussi and Pietro Lombardo. It was the seat of several financial magistrates, including the Camerlenghi whom it takes its name from, the Consuls of the Traders and the Supra-Consuls of the Traders. Due to this function, the lower floor was used as a jail for the insolvents: the location near the crowded Rialto Bridge served as an admonition for the people passing there.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Chiesa San Giacomo di Rialto

3) Chiesa San Giacomo di Rialto

Chiesa San Giacomo di Rialto is thought to be the oldest church in Venice, firstly built in the 5th century at the time of the first settlement of the island. The present building was erected for the use of the merchants of the Rialto markets around the 12th century. It has a large 15th century clock above the entrance, a useful item in the Venetian business district but regarded as a standing joke for its inaccuracy. The Gothic portico is one of the few surviving examples in Venice. It has a Latin cross plan with a central dome. Inside, the Veneto-Byzantine capitals on the six columns of ancient Greek marble date from the 11th century.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Osteria Bancogiro

4) Osteria Bancogiro

Osteria Bancogiro is a great place to taste real Venetian food. This restaurant and coffee bar is located in one of the best locations in Venice, just between the market and the Rialto bridge. There are plenty of fish dishes on the menu and some of the dishes are Venice classics. You can also enjoy a cocktail at very reasonable prices despite its great location. The terrace is open in warm weather so you can get a nice view of the Grand Canal.

Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 9:00 - 24:00
5
Chiesa San Giovanni Elemosinario

5) Chiesa San Giovanni Elemosinario

Chiesa San Giovanni Elemosinario was founded in 1071 and then rebuilt by Antonio Scarpagnino after the Rialto fire. It is the most interesting example of Gothic architecture that has remained comparatively intact in Venice. This small church has, on its high altar, a painting of the titular saint, San Giovanni, by Titian. In the left aisle there is a fragment of a bas-relief dating from the Middle Ages, representing the Night of the Birth of Christ.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Mercato di Rialto (Rialto Food Market)

6) Mercato di Rialto (Rialto Food Market)

If you seek to experience Venice in its entirety, then head to the Rialto Market! Just as in most any other city, this food market is a pulsating center of the local community. Among other things, the Rialto market epitomizes the sincerity and joyfulness of the Venetians and their love of life, in part due to which this market is often mistaken for a sort of open-air theme park!

To characterize the Rialto Market, one has to start with its location directly overlooking the Grand Canal since as early as the 11th century. Another distinctive feature are the explicit product signs born out of the grocers' fantasy which, apart from the origin and price, always provide extensive product characteristics and sometimes even cooking tips – all presented in a very artistic style.

The entire place is as much colorful and lively as it is practical – here you can buy flowers, spices, seasonal produce, fresh meat and seafood – quite rich in terms of range and, what's most amazing, reasonably priced. While some of the fish here, like salmon, you may find recognizable, the remaining majority would be quite exotic. For example, here you can find cuttlefish used for the famous black ink pasta available only in Venice, plus a huge variety of shellfish. A mere watching all this is a feast for eyes and a grand source of photo opportunities!

Tip:
As part of tourist etiquette, please keep in mind that this is a regular market, where regular people come for regular shopping – so try and be as little hindrance as possible. Also, don't forget to ask permission before you actually touch anything on sale, so as not to annoy anyone.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 7:30am-1:30pm
7
Mercatino dell'Antiquariato di Rialto

7) Mercatino dell'Antiquariato di Rialto

Mercatino dell'Antiquariato di Rialto takes place every second Monday and Sunday of the month, inside the Pescheria di Rialto - Rialto Fish Market, Venetian district of San Polo. Offering a vast range of antique and vintage merchandise, the market if full of anything from Murano glass, mirrors, furniture, and paintings, to dolls, vintage watches, prints and various memorabilia. The market features a large number of vendors with equally interesting offers.

Operation Hours: every second Sunday & Monday of the month, except August
8
Emilio Ceccato

8) Emilio Ceccato

If you want to buy a real Venetian product, you should visit the shop of Emilio Ceccato. This shop specializes in gondolier's outfits. It is located very close to the Rialto Bridge (address: "Sotoportego di Rialto"). Many Venetian gondoliers shop there - not only for hats but also, for instance, for those typical sweaters with crosswise stripes. The price for such a hat is around 30 Euro. The shop is open daily (except Sundays) from 9.30 up to 18:00.

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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

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