ponte rialto1Venice has four bridges across the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, the Accademia bridge, Ponte degli Scalzi and the bridge of the Constitution said Calatrava’s Bridge.
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest and was the only link between the two banks of the Grand Canal.
It seems that already in 1182 there was built, by Nicolò Baratieri, a pontoon bridge. It was told “Quartarolo”followed by the name of the coin requested to cross it.
In 1250 was replaced by a wooden bridge, that could be open to allow the passage of ships. Since the function of the bridge was closely tied to the Rialto market, its name was changed to become the Rialto Bridge.
Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310, with its faithful, after the failed attempt to take over the reign, had
fled; arrived near Rialto they crossed the bridge then they destroyed it to escape.
It was rebuilt but collapsed in 1444 due to the weight of the innumerable crowd that had gathered to watch the procession of the bride of the Marquis of Ferrara.
It was rebuilt in wood, in the form wider, with shops and with a central part. at the beginning of 1500 was so damaged that it ruled to build it in stone.
The Republic of Venice issued a contest for its construction and were many those who presented a project; were discarded, Michelangelo, Sansovino and Palladio, it chose to Antonio Da Ponte which survives today.

 

Trivia:
Among skeptics on the construction of the bridge will tell two stories:
a woman in a rather vulgar, argued that would never have been built:
“The bridge will never be built and if you take him out,  I’ll burn me (indicating the lower abdomen)”.
A man claimed the same thing saying:
“Of course the build when “this” will put the nail ((pointing to his manly member)”.
At the foot of the bridge to the right, to the Camerlenghi Palace, there are two reliefs showing a woman squatting on a Brazier and a man with a third leg, placed between the two.