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Venice > Sightseeing > Bridges of Venice > Smaller bridges

Venice's smaller bridges

Page 6 of 9
From: Bridges of Venice

Most of the 400 or so bridges in Venice are local or neighborhood bridges across smaller canals called rii. You'll see their names carved into stone plaques mounted on neighboring palazzi and other buildings.

BELOW: Brick is the most common building material in Venice, and you'll see it on many of the city's bridges (nearly always with stone railings).

Brick and stone bridge in Venice

BELOW: Steps on brick or stone bridges are made of a rough paving stone or, in some cases, asphalt. Their edges are outlined in Istrian stone (a water-resistant white marble), which is also used in building foundations or to mark the edges of pavements alongside canals.

Bridge steps in Venice

BELOW: Some bridges in Venice are made of steel, and others have wrought-iron railings instead of masonry parapets.

Bridge with wrought iron railing, Vencie, Italy

BELOW: Wooden bridges are less common than brick or stone bridges, but you'll find them all over the city. If you're prone to falls, be careful on their open treads: The steps often have metal edging that can stick up, credating a tripping hazard.

Model credit: Maggie the Bearded Collie of

Maggie and Durant Imboden on wooden bridge in Venice, Italy

Maggie the Bearded Collie on a Venice bridge

Wooden bridge in Venice

BELOW: In this photo, you can see a traditional stone bridge in the foreground and (on the other side of the Grand Canal) the entrance to the Ponte della Costituzione or Calatrava Bridge.

Bridge near Venice Railroad Station

BELOW: A handful of bridges in the city have been equipped with wedges that make it easier to haul shopping carts and strollers up and down the steps. This bridge is in Cannaregio, near a large Conad City supermarket.

Bridge in Cannaregio, Venice, Italy with wedges for shopping carts

Venice bridge with wedges for carts and strollers

BELOW: Venice's delivery men (we haven't seen any delivery women) wrestle their carts up and down bridges, often calling out warnings to pedestrians as they battle their way through crowded streets.

 Spazzini or sanitation workers (lower photo) also confront Venice's bridges as they make their rounds.

Delivery man on bridge in Venice, Italy

Spazzino on Venice bridge

BELOW: Gondoliers pose with a young visitor on a Venetian bridge.

Gondoliers on a Venice bridge

BELOW: "I'm Just Sitting on a Bridge" might be Venice's answer to a Rolling Stones hit with a similar name. However, it's considered bad form, and many Venetians are justifably annoyed when tourists, students, local youth, and thoughtless Dachshunds block foot traffic by perching their bottoms on ponti.

Tourists sitting on a Venice bridge

Dachshund and woman on Venice bridge

Venice "Please don't sit here" sign on bridge

BELOW: Rules or no rules, dog-loving Venetians probably didn't mind when this man let his best friend take a break on a bridge in hot summer weather.

Dog on bridge with man

BELOW: Cameras and bridges are an irresistible combination.

  • Tip: If you're taking pictures on a bridge, try not to block pedestrians. It's best to shoot scenery from the bridge than companions on the bridge when you're in an area with heavy foot traffic. (Local customs also discourage using selfie sticks as weapons on crowded bridges.)

Woman with camera on Venice bridge

Photography on a Venice bridge

BELOW: Bridges can be slippery during Venice's infrequent winter snowstorms, but munipical workers are quick to scatter salt when bridges and pavements get icy.

Snow in Venice, Italy

Snow on a Venice bridge

Salt on icy bridge steps in Venice, Italy

BELOW: Not all bridges are on public thoroughfares. A handful of buildings are reached by private bridges.

Private bridge in Venice, Italy

BELOW: An old private bridge in Cannaregio shows what Venice's bridges looked like before parapets and railings were added in the last 200 years or so.

Private bridge without railings in Cannaregio, Venice, Italy

BELOW: A bride and groom pose for wedding photos on a bridge in the Venetian Ghetto.

Wedding photos on a bridge in Venice's Ghetto

BELOW: The Bridge of Sighs or Ponte dei Sospiri is one of Venice's most famous attractions. It was built in 1600 to connect the Doge's Palace (Venice's seat of government) with the neighboring prison.

These tourists are contemplating the bridge from the Ponte della Paglia on Venice's waterfront near the Piazza San Marco.

Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

Tourists on Ponte dei Paglia, Venice

BELOW: Tourists photograph flowers on a stone bridge with a railing of ornamental iron.

Flowers on a Venice bridge

BELOW: A man communes with his dog on a bridge near the Giardini Pubblici, the largest park in central Venice.

Man with dog near Venice's Giardini Pubblici

BELOW: Venice may be old, but it isn't frozen in time. This tubular steel bridge, which was added only a few years ago, connects Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station with the Cannaregio campus of Ca' Foscari University.

The bridge is used mostly by students who are commuting to classes from the mainland, but anyone can walk across it. You'll find the bridge at the end of Platform 1 in the railroad station.

New bridge betwen Venice railroad station and Cannaregio campus of Ca' Foscari University

BELOW: Another modern bridge is the Calle Giazzo cantilevered steel walkway on the north side of Arsenale, Venice's historic shipyard. It faces the Venetian Lagoon and leads to a quiet, isolated corner of Venice that few tourists ever see.

Calle Giazzo bridge

BELOW: Love locks, the scourge of public-works departments around the world, show up occasionally on Venice's bridges.

Love padlocks in Venice

Next page: Ponte della Libertà, pontoon bridges

In this article:
Bridges of Venice (introduction)
Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)
Ponte dell'Accademia (Accademia Bridge)
Ponte dei Scalzi (Scalzi Bridge)
Ponte della Costituzione (Calatrava Bridge)
Smaller bridges
Ponte della Libertà, pontoon bridges
Accessible bridges
Bridge maintenance

Related articles:
Accademia Bridge
Rialto Bridge
Canals of Venice

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

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