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The Tragic Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs or Ponte dei Sospiri is the second most famous of Venice’s bridges - a close runner-up to the Rialto Bridge. Of the two bridges this is of more recent construction, its name is tinged with sadness and it is an essential stop for the romantic looking to find eternal love in Venice...

Bridge of Sighs courtesy of Fresco Images

Legend has it that the bridge was given its name because it offered condemned prisoners their last view of beautiful Venice before being executed.

Nice story but apparently not true and the name was thanks to the poetic imaginings of Lord Byron in the 19th century.

Beautiful from outside it may be but inside it's a grim and damp place. It makes it very easy to imagine the legend being true.

The bridge dates back to the year 1600 and by any standard this is a fabulous bridge.

Viewing the bridge from the outside is not the easiest thing to do. There is little space to see the bridge well and if you are in Venice during July or August you might have a bit of a struggle.

The best view, if you can overcome the crowds, is from the next bridge down wcalled the Ponte della Paglia.

Romance in Venice?

Gondolas under the Bridge of Sighs

Are you of romantic persuasion and intend to keep the one you love for evermore? Then get to this bridge as soon as you can!

It is whispered by locals that all you need to do is kiss in a gondola under the bridge at sunset and you will be assured of eternal love.

Not many tourists know this and it is kept quiet in order to avoid a crush of tourists each sunset.   I can't promise anything but I tried it nineteen years ago and I am still happily married. No risk in trying is there?



Need a place to stay in Venice? I'd recommend these hotels.

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