Ponte dei Sospiri, Venice

#6 of 187 in Historic Sites in Venice
Bridge · Historic Site
An enclosed bridge over the Rio di Palazzo, Ponte dei Sospiri connects the new prison with the doge's Palace. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the view from the bridge was the last time condemned convicts saw Venice. Lord Byron wrote that the criminals would sigh at their last sight of the city. However, Lord Byron exercised a bit of literary license; the grating on the bridge openings would have made it difficult for the convicts to see anything. A more modern legend has it that lovers will be granted eternal bliss if they kiss on a gondola under the bridge at sunset while the bells of St. Mark's Cathedral toll. This served as a plotline for the film "A Little Romance." Using our world travel planner, Venice attractions like Ponte dei Sospiri can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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  • This is a small (11m in length) stone bridge enclosed between the Doge's palace and prison. Perhaps mystified by Lord Byron during the 19th century, who named it the bridge of Sighs (prisoners taken.....  more »
  • Remarkable history in a remarkable building. Walking through the jail is truly humbling. Good spot for photos looking out.  more »
  • It looks very nice (preferably from outside), it is surely one of the symbols of Venice, present on dozens of postcards, photos and calendars. Slightly hidden behind the building, it can be visited during sightseeing of the Doge's Palace, and can be viewed - the best way - from the marina. Lots of tourists try to capture him (and of course himself) in the pictures taken from the side of lagoon.
  • Crossing this bridge is part of a visit to the Doge's palace. The bridge is a fully enclosed dark passageway with just two small windows on each side, through which prisoners would supposedly take a last look at Venice and freedom and, well, sigh. The inside is like a subway tunnel but it is an experience and it is part of an interesting museum. However, if history, period weaponry/armour and other artifacts, stunningly ornated rooms, a stunning courtyard and a dank prison are not your thing then just appreciate it from the outside.

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