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Ponte di Rialto

The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice. It is the oldest bridge across the canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo. The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 byNicolò Barattieri. It was called the Ponte della Moneta, presumably because of the mint that stood near its eastern entrance.The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge, so it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge.This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships.



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