Campo San Polo and Rialto

November 11, 2011

After leaving the Frari, we walk through the Campo San Polo and headed over to another of the four bridges that cross the grand canal – the Rialto Bridge.

We stopped in front of the Hotel Marconi near the Ponte Rialto  (outside café with gondolas)

The Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo.

The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge, so it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge. This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. The connection with the market eventually led to a change of name for the bridge. During the first half of the 15th century two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. The rents brought an income to the State Treasury, which helped maintain the bridge.

Across from our stop before the bridge are two old palaces, the Palazzo Loredan (13th century) and Palazzo Farsetti (12th century) – today the Venice Town Hall

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After crossing the bridge, we made our way long the streets and canals back to San Marco Square.  After some time on our own, be assembled near the Doge’s Palace and walked along Riva degli Schiavoni to Ponte dellla Paglia.  The Straw Bridge is a bridge that crosses the Rio di Venezia Palace near the Ducal Palace by connecting the quay of the Piazzetta of San Marco and the Riva degli Schiavoni. It is one of the bridges that mark the transition between the District of San Marco and the Castle.

The bridge is often crowded with tourists not only because it allows a good view of the Bridge of Sighs and throughout the Basin of San Marco, but also because, in the summer evenings, offers the most beautiful sunsets with the sun setting behind Venetian the Basilica of Health. The name “the Straw” is derived from the boats moored there, full of straw, as shown by certain laws and ordinances prohibiting the habit of the Republic.

We continued over the bridge along to Sestiere Casttello for 3 or 4 more bridges where we boarded the water taxi back to the ship.