Rialto Brige Area Walking Tour, Venice (Self Guided)

The area is first mentioned in sources dating back to the 9th century. The Rialto was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1514. The only structure left standing was the church of San Giacomo di Rialto. The Rialto continues to be a busy shopping area with a daily vegetable market, Erberia, and a fish market in the Fish Camp.
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Rialto Brige Area Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Rialto Brige Area Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Venice (See other walking tours in Venice)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
Author: naomi
Emilio Ceccato

1) Emilio Ceccato

What to buy here: A gondolier's hat. When walking through Venice, you will consider that most of the guys driving the gondolas across the water (the so-called „gondolieri“) are wearing hats. And they're wearing a specific type of hat. These hats are made of straw, previous to air and keeping ones head cool when the temperatures go up. It's also very comfortable to wear and the broad brim protects one from the sun. A bow (mostly in black, blue or red color) adds a beautiful finish touch to these hats. Easy to maintain, one only has to protect it from too much humidity. Such a hat is one of the most popular gifts tourists buy when staying in Venice. You can buy it at nearly every street corner, but beware! Most of this hats were produced somewhere in China or Taiwan, and the quality is often poor.

As you want to be sure to buy a real venetian product, you should visit the shop of Emilio Ceccato. This shop is specialized in gondolier's outfits. It is situated very close to the Rialto Bridge (address: "Sotoportego di Rialto"). Many 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 27 EU. The shop is opened daily (except Sundays) from 9.30 up to 18.
Rialto Food Market

2) Rialto Food Market

The Rialto Food Market displays and sells a wide variety of products. The market is divided into several specialized markets like Erberia, the fruit and vegetable market, Naranzeria, the citrus fruit market, Speziali, specialized in spices, and Pescaria, the fish market. The markets have been located alongside the Grand Canal since 1097.
Mercatino dell'Antiquariato di Rialto

3) 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
Chiesa San Giovanni Elemosinario

4) 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

5) Bancogiro

Bancogiro is a chance to taste real Venetian standard food in its best traditions. Yes, fish is on the menu, and some of the dishes are Venice classics. The wine list here and cheese plate are both divine. The terrace is open in warm weather so you can get a nice view upon the canal.
Chiesa San Giacomo di Rialto

6) Chiesa San Giacomo di Rialto

San Giacomo di Rialto is a church in the sestiere of San Polo, Venice, northern Italy. The addition of Rialto to the name distinguishes this church from its namesake San Giacomo dall'Orio found in the sestiere of Santa Croce, on the same side of the Grand Canal. 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
Palazzo dei Camerlenghi

7) Palazzo dei Camerlenghi

Palazzo dei Camerlenghi was built in the early 1500s. In the period which saw the fall of the Venetian Republic, this building housed the Court of Appeals, the Office of the State Property and the Registry. Today it contains the offices of the financial magistrates, and is the headquarters of the Regional Court of Auditors. The palace is built according to a pentagonal plan which follows the curve of the Grand Canal. It features high arched windows separated by pilasters.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ponte di Rialto

8) Ponte di Rialto (must see)

Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice. It is the oldest bridge across the canal. The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri. It was called the Ponte della Moneta, presumably because of the mint that stood near its eastern entrance. The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was finally completed in 1591. It is remarkably similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico, the covered ramps carry rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

Why You Should Visit:
The bridge is very picturesque, but mostly a great place to view the Grand Canal and to just soak up the vibe of Venice and all its beauty.
There are, of course, shops/restaurants on and around the bridge area, but tucked in the interior so as to not ruin the exterior views.

Evenings is by far the best time to visit – much quieter and looks stunning.
Just by the bridge are the water bus stops, to either see more sights or get back to your hotel.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Fondaco dei Tedeschi

9) Fondaco dei Tedeschi (must see)

The Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a historic building in Venice situated on the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge. It was the headquarters and restricted living quarters of the city's German merchants. A broad definition was taken of the term 'German', which included what would today be regarded as separate nationalities. First constructed in 1228, the building was rebuilt between 1505 and 1508, after its destruction in a fire. The reconstruction produced a very functional 4-floor building which surrounds a grand inner courtyard. Its architecture is typical of the Cinquecento (Italian Renaissance) style, but the basic concept (and the word 'fondaco') is derived from a type of building in Arab countries. Just like the Fondaco dei Turchi, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi was a palazzo, warehouse, and restricted living quarters for its population, in this case mainly Germanic merchants from cities such as Nuremberg, Judenburg, and Augsburg.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the largest, most well-refurbished shopping centers selling high-end luxury items. Everything looks so pretty you'd prefer to leave them on the shelves.
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.

You must get a timed ticket near the elevators and line up in the Events Pavilion. Go first to the top floor, pick your ticket and in the meantime you can enjoy the shopping mall (you even get a voucher for some extra discount). Alternately, go onto their website, book your time slot, then show the security guy at the entrance your booking code which you get by email when booking.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Chiesa San Bartolomeo

10) Chiesa San Bartolomeo

San Bartolomeo (Saint Bartholomew) is a church in Venice. It is near the Rialto Bridge in the sestiere, or 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
Statue of Carlo Goldoni

11) Statue of Carlo Goldoni (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 and wrote over 200 plays describing the life of the city. This statue, made by the sculptor A. Dal Zotto in 1883, is located in San Bartolomeo Square, a stone's throw from the Rialto Bridge.
Giacomo Rizzo

12) Giacomo Rizzo

What to buy here: Pasta.

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 who's 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.
Giovanna Zanella

13) Giovanna Zanella

What to buy here: Handmade designer shoes. Shoes made in Italy mean elegance, fine leather and a perfect manufacturing. Could something be better than this? The answer is: yes – handmade Italian shoes. It really is a wonderful feeling wearing shoes that were handmade just for you. But it is not only the feeling – handmade Italian shoes are something really noble and worth the money. The 'lifetime' of such handmade shoes is also much longer than of the mass produced ones, you can wear such shoes for years and years. Of course, such shoes need good care – that's to say the right polish, oil and so on. Handmade Italian shoes are really an expression of the owner's personality – and one will never see someone wearing the same shoes because they are absolutely unique. Of course, they are not cheap, but all in all, they are usually absolutely worth the money.

If however you want something even more special, if you want your shoes to be a kind of art work, then you should visit Giovanna Zanella's shop. She 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 EU and up to 1500 EU- depending on the special wishes of the customer.

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.
Best Sights of San Marco Walking Tour

Best Sights of San Marco Walking Tour

San Marco is one of the six sestieri (neighborhoods) of Venice, set in the very heart of the city. It is known primarily as the home of the eponymous Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square) and other notable locations, such as Saint Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, Harry's Bar, the Palazzo Dandolo, San Moisè, the La Fenice theatre, the Palazzo Grassi and several churches. Once...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Piazza San Marco Walking Tour

Piazza San Marco Walking Tour

Piazza San Marco is the main square in Venice. This is a place that enriched the cultural, social and economic life of Venice in the course of its history. The square is the host of the famous Venice landmarks as the Doge's Palace, Basilica San Marco and the Procuratie. Piazza San Marco is always full of people and pigeons.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
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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)
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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 is known for its very popular places, a movie was made here and there are some other secrets that this particular guide offers you. Ready for adventure? Ride on!

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City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Largely regarded as one of the most romantic places ever built by man, the city of Venice is spread across 118 islands collectively earning it the nicknames of the City of Water and the City of Bridges. Other than the bridges, though, the city abounds in museums, basilicas and other historic sights. For a chance to visit some of these and learn more about Venice, embark on this self-guided walk!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Murano Island Walking Tour

Murano Island Walking Tour

Murano is often called the Glass Island, since it is home to the most impressive and renowned Venetian glass factories. The glass makers here have preserved their centuries-old techniques. The island is full of shops were you can admire and purchase these adorable glass items. Some factories have special showrooms where you can see the full process of glass making.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

15 Distinctively Italian Things to Buy in Venice

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...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Venice for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Venice has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Venice's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Official All Venice City Pass, Venezia Unica Tourist City Pass, 72-Hour Venice Transportation Pass, or Venice Museum Pass.

A city pass combines all of or multiple Venice's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Venice hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Hotel Concordia, Hotel Al Ponte Dei Sospiri, Baglioni Hotel Luna.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Venice, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Venice typically costs from around US$20 up to more than US$200 per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat to view all of Venice's top attractions while listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route as often as you like.

- Experience Venice from dry land and water on the combo of 2-hour walk and half-hour gondola ride around the historic center, marveling at the Byzantine monuments and gliding down the canals of this marvelous city.

- Have a double pleasure for your eyes and ears combining a 30-minute gondola ride with a serenade, wafting by the fascinating sights of Venice in the company of a traditionally-dressed gondolier and a singer aboard.

- Having quenched your appetite for sightseeing, don't forget to treat yourself to some delicious specialties of Venice as well. Take a 2.5-hour tour led by a local guide to see the city's highlights on waters, plus check out several notable eateries to savor authentic Venetian delights.

- Discover the Jewish side of Venice from a culinary standpoint on a food tour of the historic Jewish ghetto. Guided by a food-connoisseur, you will visit a number of joints offering authentic local dishes thus acquainting yourself with the rich culture and food traditions of the Venetian Jews.

- Architecture-wise there's so much more to Venice than just St. Mark's Square. Be welcome to prove it to yourself on the guided walk exploring the artistic richness of Venice away from the trodden tourist paths.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Venice, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Verona, Valpolicella, Florence, or the Dolomite Mountains. For as little as US$140+ to US$180+ per person you will get a chance to visit one of the most romantic cities in Italy (hometown of Romeo and Juliet), learn about Veneto’s winemaking heritage and sample the local wines, visit the Tuscan capital of Florence, soak up the bracing mountain scenery, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight at your hotel or a designated place in Venice, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or minibus or train to the destination of your choice and back again.