Stamp Issue : 2007-03-16
Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is one of the three bridges that spans the Grand Canal and one of the most ancient bridge in the Renaissance style in Venice, Italy.
Built in 1181, the bridge was originally a pontoon bridge, then rebuilt into a wooden bridge in 1225. As it had been burned and collapsed before, it requires special care and maintenance. Numerous proposals were made to have the bridge rebuild in stone since 1503. It wasn't until 1588 that the reconstruction of the bridge was finally started. Antonio da Ponte, the architect designed and converted the bridge into a single arch stone bridge which was finally completed in 1591.
With two inclined ramps, full of shops and stalls on both sides, covered by a portico, unique in its shape, the bridge has a 28.80 meters main span, is 48 meters long, 22.90 meters wide, 7.32 meters high and becomes a representative piece of Venice architecture.
The bridge has three walkways: two along the outer balustrades, and a wider central walkway leading between two rows of small shops and stalls. It has become the most visited tourist attractions of Venice.