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<p>(by Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons)</p>

The Devil’s Bridge

A special bridge in Torcello, in the heart of the Venetian lagoon

The Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) is one of the two bridges on the island of Torcello, the smallest and oldest island in the Venetian lagoon and part of the municipality of Venice. The bridge spans the Maggiore canal, the waterway connecting the small historic centre of Torcello to the lagoon.

It is very characteristic in that, together with the Ponte Chiodo in Venice, it has the features of ancient Venetian bridges. In fact, it is without side protections, a common feature that characterised bridge constructions until around the 18th century.

The bridge today (by TheRunnerUp, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons)

The bridge today (by TheRunnerUp, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons)

The origin of the bridge’s name is still a matter of debate.

Among numerous narratives, many say this bridge is called Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) due to a particular local Venetian folklore story. In fact, according to this tradition, the devil himself built the whole bridge in a single night, and every 24 December, he returns to admire his little bridge by taking the form of a cat.

Apart from the legend’s peculiar uniqueness, this bridge is today a magnificent example of architecture and one of only two existing examples of bridges without parapets in Venice. 

Therefore, the Devil’s Bridge is considered a vital flagship of Veneto’s architectural heritage.

Last updated on
January 18, 2023

Ptolemy Team

All our content is conceived and written by our editorial team, consisting of students and recent graduates in Cultural Heritage, Ancient and Medieval History, and Arts.