A walk through romantic canals to discover Venice’s countless bridges
(by Nino barbieri, CC BY-SA 2.5 Wikimedia Commons)
To be precise, however, the Rialto bridge is not the oldest preserved bridge in Venice. In fact, the oldest one is located near the Rialto Market and called Poste Vecie. Originally, Venetian bridges were built of wood and without steps to allow horses, then used as a means of transportation to pass over the bridges. The only wooden bridge to have been preserved is that of the “Poste Vecie,” which is now private and serves as an accessway to the Poste Vecie inn (Locanda Poste Vecie). Later, bridges began to be built in stone and brick arches with steps. The first bridge to be built in stone was near the Church of St. Zaccaria, wanted by Doge Pietro Sardonico. It was constructed using Istrian Stone, which is still used today for large city constructions. This small, wooden private bridge led to the entrance of the Ancient Trattoria Poste Vecie, from which takes its name. Inside the nearby restaurant, one can admire astonishing frescoes from the 18th and 19th centuries and taste authentic Venetian dishes.
To conclude this walk, up and down the Venetian bridges, we propose to visit one last bridge, a bit different from the previous ones.
Often to those who visit it, Venice appears to be a city standing still in time, able to transport one back to an almost magical era. Still, the city continues to be alive and offers fascinating insights into contemporary times.
Behind the Arsenale, in the area dedicated to the Biennale, but outside the exhibition circuit, artist Lorenzo Quinn has created a monumental installation, titled “Building Bridges”. It consists of six pairs of hands, fifteen meters high and twenty meters wide, which acts as a carrier of the message the artist wants to convey: more bridges, fewer walls and barriers.
A few years ago, in 2017, again on the occasion of the Biennale, Lorenzo Quinn had created another work with a strong impact: the sculpture “Support,” composed of two massive arms that emerge from the water of the Grand Canal and lean against the facade of the Hotel Ca’ Sagredo, raise awareness about environmental problems, especially about the ongoing climate change. The two hands of the installation could perform two actions: ideally, protect and support the entire city of Venice, or destroy it.
With this message, we conclude our tour, underlining the importance of respect and awareness when visiting a destination.