One of the most incredible landmarks in Venice is surely the Bridge of Sighs.

It is world wide famous as a romantic spot, but also for its tragic history.

We are going to dig more deeply into this famous bridge of Venice, discovering more about its history, its name and how to visit it.

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice: a short history

the bridge of sighs in venice -

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice is not as old as it may seem.

In fact, this white limestone bridge was actually built in the XVII century, following the project of the architect Antonio Contin (actually the nephew of Antonio da Ponte, who designed the Rialto bridge).

Why was it built?

The decision was made by the doge Marino Grimani (you can see his coat of arms sculpted on the stone of the bridge) because it was necessary a connection between the Doge's palace and the New prison, located on the other side of the narrow canal, called Rio di Palazzo.

As you will see, this is the only covered bridge in the city.

At this point, it will be easier for you to understand why the bridge is called "of sighs".

Why is it Called the Bridge of Sighs?

ponte dei sospiri in venice -

In Italian it is called Ponte dei Sospiri.

It seems that the name of this iconic bridge derives from the many sighs of the prisoners that were destined to the terrible prison cells. They were condemned not to see the lights again. So, as they were going through the bridge building, it is said that they were sighing, while watching the lagoon for the last time.

It seems also that the first person to have actually called it "Bridge of sighs" was Lord Byron in his Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, a long poem published between 1812 and 1818.

The best views of the Ponte dei Sospiri

ponte dei sospiri in venice -

You can enjoy the most incredible views of this highly ornamental bridge from two different neighboring bridges.

One is called the Ponte della Paglia and it is located just behind the Palazzo Ducale. It is always very crowded, because so many people desire to take the perfect shot here.

The other one is called Ponte de Canonica and it is located behind Saint Mark's Basilica.

On the other hand, you can also walk inside the covered bridge.

Let's see how.

How to visit the Bridge of Sighs

bridge of sighs -

If you want to visit this splendid arched bridge from the inside you have to buy an entrance ticket to the Doge's Palace.

You will take a tour of the richly ornamented rooms of the palace, symbol of the power of the Venetian republic and, at the very end, you will end up here.

Find out more about the visit here!

Some advice to enjoy the visit of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice

Considering that this is one of the most famous landmarks of the city, it is easy to understand that this area is often very crowded.

If you want to enjoy it on your own, may we suggest that you book a gondola ride? You will pass beneath the most iconic bridge in the world and enjoy the most incredible experiences!

Explore our complete guide here!

Share this post