If you’re thinking of making a trip to the Rialto, do check out the Rialto Bridge which connects the Venice town of San Marco to that of San Polo. During our recent trip, we stayed at San Polo, at Hotel Riva Del Vin, which was a quieter part of town where the good bars and restaurants were. The Rialto Bridge was pretty crowded each time we walked past to head to San Marco. The question then is, when is the best time to visit the Rialto Bridge in Venice?
What makes the Rialto Bridge significant?
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It connects the districts of San Marco and San Polo, and has been rebuilt several times since its first construction as a pontoon (floating) bridge in the 12th century. Rialto has been the commercial and financial heart of the city. Today, it is home to many shops (mostly catered to tourists) and a fish market, which is located a 5 minute walk from the bridge on the San Polo side.
When is the best time to visit the Rialto Bridge in Venice?
The Rialto Bridge was very crowded each time we visited, filled with people taking pictures, of the scenery and of themselves. It was slightly less crowded in the mornings, but in my opinion, the Rialto Bridge is worth visiting in the evenings as the canal was quite charming when lighted up at dusk. While we were there, it was covered by a layer of fog too, like a scene from a film. That made me think about how Venice used to be in the past.
Should you decide to visit Rialto Bridge in the evening, do stop by these restaurants and bars in San Polo, which make for affordable and delicious local eats (and drinks). These include Ostaria dai Zemei, the Al Merca Wine Bar and affordable wine place, El Vin Del Paron.
Other misty days in San Marco near St Mark’s Square
If you visit the Rialto Bridge in the morning, do take a 10 min walk to St Mark’s Square, which is likely to be covered in fog. Visibility was no more than 10m while we were there. We spent about 2 hours at the Doge’s Palace and the fog had lifted at about noon. The scenery was the best then.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
To be honest, we stayed very close to the Rialto bridge and we didn’t find it to be a huge attraction. It was more of a bridge which we used to get from San Polo, which was where our hotel was, to San Marco, where most of the attractions were. But I was glad to be able to see the canal from the bridge at different times of the day. The hustle and bustle was a stark difference from what we experienced walking around Castello, where most of the buildings were nearly empty.