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.

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 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 or 0.7 Miles
Author: naomi
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
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)

Once headquarters of the German merchant community in Venice, Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a huge building standing just beside the Rialto bridge. Back in the day, German traders were the most influential foreign group in the city and had rented this centrally-located building from as early as the 13th century. After being destroyed by fire, the Fondaco was rebuilt in the 16th century into a functional 4-story edifice with a grand inner courtyard. While architecturally it is typically Italian Renaissance, the basic concept of the building (much as the word 'fondaco' itself) is typically Arabic. Just like Fondaco dei Turchi, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi comprised a palazzo, a warehouse, and restricted living quarters for the inhabitants – mainly merchants from the German cities of Nuremberg, Judenburg, and Augsburg.

Today, this is one of the largest and resplendent shopping centers in Venice specialized in high-end luxury stuff. No wonder prices here are a bit steep, but the place is still a popular hangout, always teeming with tourists.

But don’t let the crowd put you off, at least not before you check out the Fondaco's rooftop terrace for the views it provides, fit to blow anyone away. The 4th-floor Event Pavilion is an exhibition space with a free access to the terrace affording one of the best panoramas of the Grand Canal, the downward view of the Rialto Bridge, and the top of San Marco's Basilica a kilometer or so away – quite a different angle from what you can see at a ground level!

Tip:
To enter the roof terrace you need a ticket – offered for free, but issued for a certain time in order to regulate visitors' numbers and to prevent overcrowding. A word of advice is to pick up your ticket at the top floor first, and then explore the below shopping mall. Otherwise, you can book the ticket online at Fondaco's website. And if you're really lucky to catch a sunset while up on the roof, your efforts will be well rewarded!

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

4) Carlo Goldoni Monument (must see)

Carlo Goldoni – one of the most famous playwrights of Italy who has transformed the more conventional “commedia dell’arte” from a vehicle for semi-improvised clowning into a medium for sharp political observation – was born in Venice in 1707 in the Gothic palace, called Ca' Centanni.

Goldoni's importance lay in providing good examples rather than precepts. He modeled his plays on those of Molière, although his plays are gentler and more optimistic in tone than the Molière ones. Goldoni's plays are still the staple of theatrical life in Venice, and ensure no risk of running out of material – allegedly, Goldoni once bet a friend that he could produce one play a week for the whole year, and won it.

A monument to Carlo Goldoni, made by sculptor Antonio Dal Zòtto in 1883, stands in San Bartolomeo Square, a stone's throw away from the Rialto Bridge, and is similar to the monuments found in Florence and Paris, where Goldoni eventually exiled himself. After his move to France, Goldoni's plays took on a clear anti-clerical tone and often satirized the hypocrisy of clergy and Church in general.

In his memoirs, Goldoni painted 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

When you think of authentic Italian shoes, you think of excellence. And if you look for a state-of-the-art pair of shoes, visit Giovanna Zanella's shop in Venice, some 200 meters away from the Rialto Bridge.

The owner is the most famous shoe-designer in Venice who has been creating exclusive lines of men's and women's footwear for over a decade. In doing so, she doesn't limit herself to classical designs, but often mixes tradition with modernism in a bid to create truly unique items, combining various materials: fabrics, leather, plastics, etc. Each pair is an “haute couture” creation often enhanced with a surprise element like a touch of nylon blossoms, cobra heads, pistils or frills.

The shoes are 100% handcrafted, precisely tailored on the customer's foot. Choosing between boots, sandals, or moccasins, picking your favorite shade of color and suggesting different materials for the making and decoration will turn the pair of your dream shoes into a one-of-a-kind wearable sculptural work. Even the shop's floor – a mosaic of multi-colored, irregular shape tiles – is used to inspire customers to make brave and bold color choices.

No wonder many of the so-called VIPs from Venice and further afield frequent this store. The prices here start from 500 to 1500 Euros (€700 for women’s and €900 to 1,500 for men’s shoes). Operation hours: 9.30 am–1 pm and 3 pm–7 pm, closed on Sundays.

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