This graceful arch over the Grand Canal, linking the San Marco and San Polo districts, is lined with overpriced boutiques and is teeming with tourists and overflow from the daily market on the San Polo side. Until the 19th century, it was the only bridge across the Grand Canal, originally built as a pontoon bridge at the canal’s narrowest point. Wooden versions of the bridge followed; the 1444 incarnation was the first to include shops, interrupted by a drawbridge in the center. In 1592, this graceful stone span was finished to the designs of Antonio da Ponte (whose last name fittingly enough means bridge), who beat out Sansovino, Palladio, and Michelangelo, with his plans that called for a single, vast, 28m-wide (92-ft.) arch in the center to allow trading ships to pass.
Ponte del Rialto
Our Rating Transportation Vaporetto: Rialto