Around Rialto Bridge 2 (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 2 of the Rialto Bridge walk takes you to explore the area on the east side of the famous bridge.
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Around Rialto Bridge 2 Map

Guide Name: Around Rialto Bridge 2
Guide Location: Italy » Venice (See other walking tours in Venice)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
Author: naomi
1
Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)

1) Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) (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.
2
Chiesa San Bartolomeo

2) Chiesa San Bartolomeo

San Bartolomeo (Saint Bartholomew) is a church in Venice. It is near the Rialto Bridge in the neighborhood of San Marco. The church was supposedly founded in 830, and was originally dedicated to Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki. It was renovated in 1170, and became the church of the German community in Venice, whose commercial headquarters were nearby at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi.

The church was rebuilt again in the 18th century. The bell tower was built in 1747-1754 based on designs of Giovanni Scalfarotto. The interior has two sculptures by the venetian sculptor of German origin Enrico Merengo (Heinrich Meyring). The chancel has a high altar by Meyring with three canvases by Palma the Younger, and a fresco on the ceiling by Michelangelo Morlaiter. On the left upper nave is a Miracle of the bronze serpents, also by Palma the Younger, while the left aisle houses a St. Matthew by Leonardo Corona and a Dormition by Pietro Muttoni.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Fondaco dei Tedeschi

3) Fondaco dei Tedeschi (must see)

A huge building just before the Rialto bridge, Fondaco dei Tedeschi was once headquarters of the city’s German merchants. The German traders were the most powerful foreign grouping in the city, and as early as 1228 they were leased a building on this central site. After its destruction in a fire, the Fondaco's reconstruction between 1505 and 1508 has produced a very functional 4-floor building which surrounds a grand inner courtyard. Architecturally, it is typical of the Italian Renaissance style, but the basic concept (and the word 'fondaco' itself) is derived from a type of building in Arab countries. Just like Fondaco dei Turchi, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi was a palazzo, a warehouse, and a restricted living quarters for its population, in this case mainly Germanic merchants from cities such as Nuremberg, Judenburg, and Augsburg.

Nowadays, it is one of the largest, most well-refurbished shopping centers selling high-end luxury items. Unsurprisingly so, the prices here are pretty steep and the place is always full of tourists.

Don’t let the number of tourists put you off, because the rooftop views will blow you away. The 4th-floor Event Pavilion is an exhibition space where you have free access to the roof terrace providing one of the best panoramas of the Grand Canal as well as a downward view of the Rialto bridge. In addition, you can see the top of San Marco's Basilica some 1,000 meters or so away – quite a different perspective from being at ground level.

Tip:
During the day you may need to pause to collect a free, timed ticket at the 4th floor, which keeps numbers manageable. A good piece of advice, therefore, would be to go the top floor, pick your ticket and in the meantime you can enjoy the shopping mall. Alternately, you could go onto the Fondaco's website, book your time slot, then show the security guard at the pavilion's entrance your code which you get by email when booking. If you can catch the sunset at the end of an afternoon, your efforts will be well rewarded.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-8pm
4
Carlo Goldoni Monument

4) Carlo Goldoni Monument (must see)

Carlo Goldoni was born in Venice in 1707 in the Gothic palace called Ca' Centanni. He is one of the most famous playwrights of Italy, having transformed the more conventional “commedia dell’arte” of the time from a vehicle for semi-improvised clowning into a medium for sharp political observation. Goldoni took to himself the task of overriding masks and intrigue by representations of actual life and manners through the characters and their behaviors. He rightly maintained that Italian life and manners were susceptible of artistic treatment such as had not been given them before.

This dramatic revolution, though attempted, was never achieved before. Goldoni's importance lay in providing good examples rather than precepts, and he took for his models the plays of Molière, although his plays are gentler and more optimistic in tone than those of Molière. They are still the staple of theatrical life in Venice, and there’s no risk of running out of material – allegedly, he once bet a friend that he could produce one play a week for a whole year, and won.

His monument, made by the sculptor Antonio Dal Zòtto in 1883, still stands in San Bartolomeo Square, a stone's throw from the Rialto Bridge, though similar monuments can be found in Florence and even in Paris, where he eventually exiled himself. After his move to France, his plays took on a clear anti-clerical tone and often satirized the hypocrisy of monks and of the Church.

In his memoirs, Goldoni paints himself as a born comedian, careless, light-hearted and with a happy temperament, proof against all strokes of fate, yet thoroughly respectable and honorable.
5
Giacomo Rizzo

5) Giacomo Rizzo

Pasta is (who does not know) the most popular food in Italy. There are dozens of shapes and sizes of it: Lasagna, Penne, Spaghetti, Tortellini and, and and... Pasta is so famous and popular in Italy that, by the way, in Rome you can visit a pasta-museum. In Venice, there is a shop whose owner and his family have been in the pasta business, producing pasta by hand for over one hundred years. There you can even buy colored pasta. Green or red because the dough is mixed with spinach or tomatoes. But the highlight in this shop is pasta shaped into the form of a gondola. A venetian masterpiece.

The shop's name is: "Giacomo Rizzo", and the address is Salizzada di San Giovanni Crisostomo, Cannaregio 5778. It is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Venice – where you have the opportunity to do some very nice shopping. The pasta shop "Giacomo Rizo" is opened daily from 10 up to 18.30 (except Sundays). The price range is from about 2 EU up to 8 EU, depending on what kind of pasta you like.
6
Giovanna Zanella

6) Giovanna Zanella

If you look for a pair of shoes which is a kind of art work, then you should visit Giovanna Zanella's shop whose owner is the most famous shoe-designer in Venice. Her shop is situated just about 200 meters away from the Rialto Bridge (address: Calle Carminati, San Lio 5641; open 9.30 am–1 pm and 3 pm–7 pm, closed on Sundays).

Giovanna Zanella designs footwear for both men and women, and not only classical designs, she also mixes tradition and modernism to create truly unique footwear. She also uses and combines various materials like fabrics, leather and plastics. It's no wonder, that many so called VIP's (not only from Venice) frequent this store. The price range is from 500 Euro and up to 1500 Euro - depending on the special wishes of the customer.

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Around Rialto Bridge 1

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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 1 of the Rialto Bridge walk takes...  view more

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Travel Distance: 0.7 km
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