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Ponte di Rialto

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The Ponte di Rialto, or Rialto Bridge, is the oldest and most celebrated of the bridges that cross the Grand Canal. It was built between 1588 and 1591 to replace a wooden bridge, and stone arches on either side of the central staircase aren't just there to earn revenue from shopowners' rents: They also provide structural strength for the single-span bridge.

In the two Google photo maps below, you can see:

  • The sestiere or district of San Polo on the left side of the Grand Canal, including the Campo San Polo (which is Venice's second-largest square, after the Piazza San Marco).

  • The sestiere of San Marco on the right side of the canal below the bridge. (The district of Cannareggio starts just above and to the right of the bridge.)

  • On the left side of the Rialto Bridge, above the church and the square behind it, are the Rialto Food Markets, which consist of the Erberia (mostly produce) and the Pescheria (fish and other seafood).

  • On the right side of the canal, below the bridge, you can see a row of vaporetto platforms. These are used by public water buses of the ACTV, Venice's transit system.

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