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Ponte di Calatrava

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The Ponte della Costituzione may be this bridge's official name, but Venetians and visitors alike almost uniformly call it the Ponte di Calatrava, or Calatrava Bridge, after its creator: Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish architect, engineer, and sculptor who has designed buildings, bridges, and other structures around the world.

The bridge opened to the public in September, 2008, when it became the fourth bridge over Venice's Grand Canal. It provides a direct pedestrian link between the Piazzale Roma (Venice's gateway for buses, taxis, and cars) and the city's main Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station. The long, gently-arched span is paved in stone and frosted green glass, with transparent glass barriers on both sides. The glass steps can feel a little slippery in wet weather (at least in one's imagination), so be careful if it's raining or snowing.

In the top photo below, you can see:

  • The tip of the Tronchetto parking island in the upper left corner.

  • The Marittima cruise-ship basin in the lower left quadrant.

  • The Piazzale Roma to the right of the cruise port.

  • The Santa Lucia train station above the Piazzale Roma.

  • The Calatrava bridge connecting the Piazzale Roma with the fondamenta, or waterfront sidewalk, that leads to the railroad station. (It's the short white double line across the water near the loop in the large canal on the right side of the photo.)

  • If you zoom in and look carefully, you can see the tracks of the Venice People Mover, an automated tramway that connects the Piazzale Roma with the cruise port and Tronchetto.

The lower photo zeroes in on the bridge, showing the greenish glass walkway with a strip of stone down the center.

  • To the right of the bridge, on the Piazzale Roma side, is the Santa Chiara Hotel, which is convenient if you have a great deal of luggage and need easy access to airport buses or taxis.

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