Venice 2013 - Ponte del Rialto
The Ponte del Rialto is one of the 4 bridges crossing the Grand Canal. Connecting San Marco to San Polo, it is also the oldest - being built in 1591. This used to be the prime meeting place in Venice, as it used to be the only bridge to cross the Grand Canal. Hence it was also the centre of gossip and news in the City. Even Shakespeare's characters in Merchant of Venice would ask repeatedly "What news on the Rialto ?"
The bridge features porticos on both sides with a walkway in the middle. The porticos accommodate mostly shops selling tourist trinkets nowadays - I wonder what they used to sell in the old days.
The views from the bridge are great.
At the San Polo end of the bridge is the Rialto Market, which is a collection of old arcades and street stalls. It is so crowded at times you are being squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder. You need to be on pick-pocket alert at all times.
Those along the main path are mostly souvenir stalls, but wander off into the side alleys and you will find the fresh produce stalls which are a lot more interesting.