Located in Venice, Italy, Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) spans the Grand Canal with its characteristic stone arches. That bridge is the oldest one in Venice, and it is still in use today.
Ponte Della Moneta, named for the mint that flourished near one of its exits, was the first bridge built there. Construction began on this pontoon bridge in 1181, with architect Nicol Barattieri at the helm. The neighboring Rialto market caused a rise in traffic over the pontoon bridge, so in 1255 it was replaced with a wooden bridge.
Rialto was equipped with ramps on either side and a central, moveable platform to facilitate the passage of ships beneath the bridge. In addition, two rows of stores were constructed, the rent and taxes from which contributed to the bridge's upkeep. The bridge eventually became known as Rialto Bridge due to its proximity to the Rialto market.
During the uprising led by Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310, a fire caused considerable damage to the bridge. In 1444, a crowd assembled to watch the boat parade commemorating the wedding of the marquis Ferrara causing it to collapse for the first time. Even after being reconstructed as a drawbridge, it failed again in 1524. The bridge was subsequently selected to be reconstructed in stone.
Rialto Bridge's current design was inspired by the one built in 1255. It is one of Venice's most popular tourist destinations, despite initial skepticism about its durability due to its innovative design.
Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venice, Italy