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Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)

Take a stroll across Venice’s oldest and most iconic bridge for romantic views, souvenir shopping and street entertainment.

When riding a vaporetto (water bus) or gondola along the Grand Canal, look up as you round the bend by the fish market: One of Venice’s most iconic sights appears before you. The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) has been a feature of the city since the late 1500s. It has a distinctive V-shape design, high stone arcades and balustrades from which tourists peek at the gondolas in the canal below.

The enclosed Rialto Bridge was constructed by the appropriately named Antonio Da Ponte (Antonio of the Bridge). Da Ponte beat the famous sculptor Michelangelo in getting the contract to build it. The Rialto replaced a late 12th-century bridge and combines practicality with beauty. The 24-foot (7.5-meter) arch is high enough to let ships pass beneath, while the symmetry of the arches and the heightened central peak have made this bridge an iconic image. Out of the 400 or so bridges that connect the islands of Venice, this is likely the most photographed.

As you approach the Rialto on foot, choose between the three walkways that lead to the top of the bridge. Two of the walkways are along the outer balustrades. One central passage runs between the inward facing shops, which sell local Murano glassware, jewelry and other crafts.

Street vendors and musicians lend the bridge a lively atmosphere. From the top, views of the Grand Canal curving into the distance beneath the shuttered windows of the Venetian homes and restaurants provide a classic photo opportunity.

The vibrant buzz of the daytime gives way to a quieter atmosphere at night. When the shutters go down on the shops, the bridge is illuminated by floodlights and reflections shimmer on the canal, providing the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening stroll.

The Rialto Bridge is halfway along the Grand Canal and connects the market district of San Polo with the tourist hub of San Marco. To get there take a vaporetto or gondola and get off at the Rialto stop, or walk north from the central St. Mark’s Square.


Guide to Exploring around Rialto Bridge


Best Lodging Options Near Rialto Bridge

See all 5,045 Properties near Rialto Bridge
H10 Palazzo Canova NT$4,013
H10 Palazzo Canova

H10 Palazzo Canova

San Polo - Via Riva del Vin 744, Venice, VE
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in San Polo, this luxury hotel is steps from Teatro Goldoni, Grand Canal, and Rialto Bridge. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 18 minutes by foot.

    Hotel Saturnia & International NT$3,931
    Hotel Saturnia & International

    Hotel Saturnia & International

    San Marco 2398 - Via XXII Marzo, Venice, VE
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in San Marco, this luxury hotel is steps from Santa Maria del Giglio, La Fenice Opera House, and Grand Canal. St. Mark's Square and St. Mark's Basilica are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 28 minutes by foot.

      Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione NT$3,804
      Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione

      Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione

      San Marco Mercerie 760, Venice, VE
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in San Marco, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, and St. Mark's Basilica. St. Mark's Square and St Mark's Campanile are also within 5 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 23 minutes by foot.

        Hotel Savoia & Jolanda NT$2,012
        Hotel Savoia & Jolanda

        Hotel Savoia & Jolanda

        Riva Degli Schiavoni 4187, Venice, VE
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Castello, this hotel is steps from Riva degli Schiavoni, Bridge of Sighs, and Doge's Palace. St. Mark's Basilica and Grand Canal are also within 10 minutes.

          Hotel Canal Grande NT$3,310
          Hotel Canal Grande

          Hotel Canal Grande

          Santa Croce 932, Campo San Simeone Profeta, Venice, VE
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Santa Croce, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and Jewish Museum of Venice. Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica are also within 1 mi (2 km). Venice Santa Lucia Station is 6 minutes by foot.

            Ca' Foscolo Residence NT$2,655
            Ca' Foscolo Residence

            Ca' Foscolo Residence

            Castello 5526 - Campo De La Fava, Venice, VE
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Venice residence is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Rialto Bridge, Teatro Goldoni, and St. Mark's Square. La Fenice Opera House and Academy Gallery are also within 15 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 22 minutes by foot.

              Rosa Salva Hotel NT$2,532
              Rosa Salva Hotel

              Rosa Salva Hotel

              San Marco 951, Calle Fiubera, Venice
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in San Marco, this property is steps from St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica, and St Mark's Campanile. La Fenice Opera House and Rialto Bridge are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 25 minutes by foot.

                Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel NT$2,532
                Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel

                Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel

                Calle del Sturion 678, San Polo, Venice, VENEZIA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in San Polo, this hotel is steps from Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square are also within 10 minutes. Venice Santa Lucia Station is 18 minutes by foot.