The foundations for the famous Rialto Bridgethat crosses the Grand Canal were laid in 1588 and today lies at the cultural heart of Venice. Completed in 1591, the bridge was built to replace earlier wooden versions that frequently collapsed into the canal. Until the building of the Accademia Bridge in 1854, the Rialto Bridge was the only means of crossing the Grand Canal on foot. The bridge was built by Antonio da Ponte who competed for the contract against other acclaimed designers of his day such as Michelangelo and Palladio. Antonio’s bridge has a 7.3-metre (24-ft) arch to allow boats to pass beneath it and is wide enough to accommodate shops that predominantly cater to the tourists who flock here each day to see this Venetian landmark.
Air: Venice Marco Polo Airport. Water: Ferry: Public services. Rail: Train: Venice Station (Venezia Santa Lucia Station). Road: Bus: Public services. Foot: Follow signs for Rialto