The Rialto Bridge is one of the most graceful and enchanting bridges in the world. Its gleaming white stonework is one of the familiar landmarks of Venice.

The city of Venice is divided in two by the Grand Canal, the widest of the 150 canals. Until the end of the 16th century the only way to cross the Grand Canal was by boat. Then Antonio da Ponte was employed to build a bridge across the canal. He was given a daunting task. Not only did the bridge have to cross the wide stretch of water, it also had to be high enough to allow a war galley to pass underneath. If the Grand Canal were to be closed to galleys, the defence of Venice would be in jeopardy.

In 1592, after four years of designing and building, Antonio finished the Rialto Bridge. Not only was it practical, but beautiful as well.