More info: The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. Rialto Bridge is built on the narrowest point across the canal and connects the districts of San Polo and San Marco. Along with St Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge is the most visited tourist spot in Venice.
The bridge consists of a single stone-arch span that supports a broad rectangular deck carrying two arcades of shops. The bridge has 6,000 timber piles driven under each abutment, to support the weight and stop it sinking in to the soft alluvial soil.
The original structure was built in 1255 and was made of timber. The present day bridge built in 1588, was designed by Swiss born Venetian engineer Antonio de Ponte. The bridge is still renowned as an architectural and engineering achievement of the Renaissance.