Do you remember how many bridges Venice has? If you don’t, well, read this first!
Anyways… plenty of bridges! We chose six special ones and today we would like to reveal you the story behind each of these.
To start with, here are the classics, the four bridges crossing Canal Grande, which can hide some mysterious past or surprising present powers.
- Ponte degli Scalzi is the first bridge you’ll see if you get to Venice by train. It’s quite high, at the extent you might end up out of breath if you cross it fast. Partly made of Istrian stone, it connects the railway station to Santa Croce. “Scalzi” means barefoot, and the bridge is named after the nearby Catholic church founded by Barefoot Carmelites. So, why don’t you take off your shoes while you’re on it?
- Ponte della Costituzione, also called Calatrava after the architect who designed it, has always generated controversies among the locals, mainly because it gets slippery on foggy and cold days, its steps don’t follow a “rhythm” and it gets hard to climb it fast if you are in a hurry (see for yourself!). Some people say spending all that money to connect the bus station to the railway station was unnecessary and some others believe it’s too modern for its setting. However, its glass structure, with its lightning, is wonderful for night photography. Test your photographic skills!
- Ponte dell’Accademia, a wooden bridge where to take the most astonishing shots of the Grand Canal, is a special place for lovers. Here you can (or maybe not? Well, just don’t mention this to local authorities) leave your padlock and throw its key into the canal to seal your love (for your partner or for the city).
- Rialto is one of Venice’s icons. What you might not know about it, though, is that together with Pulteney Bridge in Bath, England, Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, and Krämerbrücke in Erfurt, Germany, it is one of the four bridges in the world with shops on it. Do you really feel like you are on a bridge while you’re crossing it?
Then, Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) is certainly worth a note. While visiting the Doge’s Palace and Piombi (the old prisons), you will have the thrill of crossing this bridge, connecting the former prison cells to the chambers where prisoners were once sentenced. Some say the bridge name was given to indicate the prisoners’ sights at their final view of Bacino San Marco, some others believe they would sigh before their death sentence. Which is your opinion? To get an unusual view of this bridge, a little further from the crowd along Riva deli Schiavoni, head to Ponte de la Canonica.
And finally, Ponte delle Tette (45°26’19.8″N 12°19’51.5″E) in San Polo, the ultimate bridge in our list. “Tette” means tits, as in the 15th century this was the red light district and prostitutes used to show their breasts from the windows facing the canal crossed by Ponte delle Tette. No big surprise with this story, uh?
Well, now put on some comfortable shoes and… mind the step!
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