See the bridge, shop the markets.
The Rialto Bridge was built in only three years, but it has stood for more than four centuries.
The bridge, which is supported by 12,000 wooden pilings, connects the Grand Canal's left and right banks in the historic heart of Venice.
The arches above the deck are filled with small shops, and they provide structural strength for the massive stone span.
How to reach the Rialto Bridge:
- San Marco side: Follow the signs for "Rialto."
On the main pedestrian thoroughfare between the railroad station and the Piazza San Marco, look for a large Vodaphone store in the Campo San Bartolomeo.
The bridge is a few meters west of the telephone shop.
- San Polo side: Follow the signs for "Rialto."
When you reach a busy square with vendors' stalls, look east (toward the Grand Canal), where you'll see the bridge just beyond the church of San Giacomo di Rialto.
- Public transportation: Several ACTV waterbus lines, including the scenic No. 1 vaporetto, stop at Rialto.
- Warning to wheelchair users: The Rialto Bridge consists almost entirely of steps, except for a small flat area at the top.
The Rialto markets have supplying groceries to Venetians since 1097, and they're worth a quick visit.
- Location: The Erberia (produce market) and Pescheria (fish market) are in San Polo, at the foot of the Rialto Bridge.
- When to come: Tuesday through Saturday, from early to late morning.