Italy bridges are beautiful creations of human hands, built in different eras and having their own extraordinary history. Italy’s bridges were built excessively during the Renaissance.
There are about 400 of them in Venice alone! Here are 17 amazing bridges in Italy to add to your bucket list, or if you’re visiting any of these cities on your next trip to Italy, pay a visit, you won’t be disappointed.
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#1 Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal Venice
Venice’s oldest bridge, Rialto Bridge, over the Grand Canal is a major landmark for many visitors, with rows of shops lining both sides of the bridge.
The first bridge, built on this site in 1181, had floating pontoons instead of stone supports; it was called Ponte della Moneta, after the mint, which was located nearby. The bridge is also the gateway to the Rialto Market, the city’s main food market since the 11th century; hence the name of the bridge got the same name.
With the growth of trade in the market, traffic through the crossing increased, and in 1255, an original wooden bridge was built. During a fire in 1310, the Rialto Bridge in Venice was destroyed. After that, it was built a stone bridge.
Today, one of the most famous bridges in Venice, Italy, is an elegant arched stone bridge with arcades on the sides. Rialto Bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in Southern Europe. If you’re visiting with young kids, read how to visit Venice with a baby and toddler here.
#2 Devil’s Bridge, Lucca
Devil’s Bridge is made of stone and stretches across the Serchio River near Borgo a Mozzano. It’s one of the most wonderful bridges in the world and one of the cutest Italy bridges. It is also known as Ponte Della Maddalena.
The bridge is located in the northwestern part of Tuscany, in the historical region of Garfagnana, which belongs to the province of Lucca – The city of Lucca is a fantastic family city break destination!
The Ponte del diavolo or devil’s bridge, was built in the 11th century during the time of Countess Mathilde of Canossa so that pilgrims and merchants could cross the river at this point.
The trade route from France to Rome ran through this bridge. At the beginning of the XIV century, by order of Castruccio Castracani, signor of Lucca, the Della Maddalena bridge was reconstructed and preserved in this form to this day.
#3 Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Ponte Vecchio is one of the most famous bridges in the world and one of the most beautiful in Florence. The earliest references to the bridge date back to 996. The exact date of construction is not known.
Initially, butchers and fish sellers lived on this bridge, but when it became a popular tourist attraction, jewellery and souvenir shops opened. Centuries ago, jewellers were the only merchants allowed to open their shops on the bridge.
Above the shops is the Vasari corridor, commissioned by the powerful Medici family to cross a bridge separate from the townspeople, which currently houses a museum.
The Ponte Vecchio, one of Florence’s most famous bridges, was partly designed as a defensive structure. In medieval Italy, using rivers to strike was a common tactical manoeuvre.
The Ponte Vecchio had four towers and battlements. It was the only bridge across the Arno that was not destroyed by the retreating German troops at the end of World War II.
#4 Calatrave Bridge, Venice
The Constitution Bridge is the official name of one of the four bridges across the Grand Canal (the other three are the Rialto Bridge, the Scalzi Bridge and the Academy Bridge).
It is also called “Ponte di Calatrava”, after the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava who designed it.
This stunning Italian bridge was opened in September 2008. The steps and decking of the Calatrava bridge are made of alternating sections of safety glass and Istrian stone.
This beautiful bridge is significant as it connects the Santa Lucia train station to Piazzale Roma, allowing visitors to walk 94 meters to get a first impression of Venice and provide a great view of the Grand Canal.
#5 Ponte alla Carraia, Florence
Ponte alla Carraia is in Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region. This is one of the most amazing Italy bridges. It had to be rebuilt four times up until the mid-1500s, then remained unscathed for the next four centuries when the Germans destroyed it.
Today, the Carraia Bridge connects the squares on both banks of the river Arno: Piazza Nazario Sauro on the south and Piazza Carlo Goldoni on the north, where there is a monument to the Venetian playwright and librettist Carlo Goldoni.
The bridge is passable and pedestrian. Pedestrian sidewalks run on both sides of the bridge.
#6 Ponte Del Diavolo, Turin
Ponte Del Diavolo is one of the most amazing Italian bridges. It was built in 1378 to connect passing the river Stura, the small village, with the city of Turin.
The legend of the Devil’s Bridge tells how the inhabitants of Lanzo had built the bridge twice and that as many times it had collapsed.
This was a burden to the inhabitants because of the cost of construction. So, the Devil, having witnessed this, proposed to build a bridge that would not collapse, but in exchange, he would take the soul of the first one who would cross it.
The locals accepted the deal, and when the bridge was finished, they first let the dog pass.
The Devil was angry for being fooled, so he slammed his paws on the rocks around, forming special characteristics which are still visible today behind the Chapel of San Rocco.
#7 Ponte Pietra, Verona
Ponte Pietra is an arched bridge over the Adige River in the Italian city of Verona. It is one of the most popular Italy bridges.
It was first built during the Roman Empire, around 89 BC. e. The ancient bridge that stood on the site of the current one was called “Marmoreus”, but it collapsed in 1239.
Only in 1503, a new bridge was erected at the same place. Like all other bridges in Verona, Ponte Pietra did not survive the Second World War.
After the detriment in 1945 during the war, Veronese restored the bridge again. Today, Ponte Pietra is one of the most famous bridges in Italy and a popular tourist destination in Verona, which offers a wonderful panorama of the city.
#8 Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome
Ponte Sant’Angelo is a pedestrian bridge over the Tiber River, built during the Ancient Roman times, in 134-139 AD by the Roman emperor Hadrian. The ancient roman bridge is one of the oldest structures in Rome that has survived to this day.
The length of the bridge is 106 meters and has five spans. The width is 20 meters. The structure was built of hard travertine outside, softer tuff inside and lined with marble.
One of the most amazing bridges in Italy was built to connect the city centre with Hadrian’s Mausoleum, today is known as Castel Sant’Angelo.
Since the end of the 14th century, when the Castle of the Holy Angel began to be used as a prison on the left side of the bridge to intimidate the population, the corpses of criminals executed in the nearby square were hung on display.
#9 Ponte Scaligero, Verona
Ponte Scaligero, built in Verona in 1355 by order of Cangrande II della Scala, connects the left bank of the Adige River with Castelvecchio. In the Middle Ages, this was the main approach to the fortress with the longest span in the world.
One of the most amazing Italy bridges has the name of the dynasty that ruled at the time of its construction. The Scaliger Bridge is an excellent example of the Romanesque style in northern Italy. It is decorated only with jagged elements, the same as on the walls of the castle.
The length of the bridge is 12 m, it consists of three spans of different sizes, separated by quadrangular towers. The spans are made in the form of arches, which gives the structure a certain elegance.
Their arcs and the base of the bridge are made of white marble, effectively contrasting with the red brick of the entire structure.
#10 Ponte Littorio (Ponte Matteotti), Rome
Ponte Littorio, one of the most beautiful Italian bridges was built in 1929 by Augusto Antonelli. This 133-metre-long brick bridge is in one of the most famous capital cities in Europe, Rome. After the Second World War, it was named after a politician Giacomo Matteotti.
Interestingly, the bridge changed its name several times, originally called Ponte Delle Milice, after the avenue of the same name, and then became Ponte Littorio, named after the symbol of Italian fascism.
Make sure to cross the bridge to walk from Rome’s Prati area to Flaminio; you’ll see fabulous views!
Read More: Best Places to Stay in Rome for Families
#11 Bridge of Sighs, Venice
The Bridge of Sighs is located on the Palace Canal and connects the building of the Doge’s Palace with the prison building.
The convicts of The Middle Ages were carried along this bridge and sighed when they last saw the beauty of Venice, walking along the Bridge of Sighs.
In those days, almost no one managed to get out of prison because of the poor conditions of detention. It is worth noting that the famous poet Lord Byron proposed such an interpretation of history.
In fact, at the time of the construction of Ponte dei Sospiri, cruel executions and other horrors of the Inquisition were a thing of the past.
Read More facts about Venice in – Facts About Italy for Kids
#12 Tibetan Bridge, Perarolo di Cadore, Piedmont
The Tibetan bridge is considered one of the longest bridges in the world. It is located above the gorge in the province of Turin, on the Apennine Peninsula. This unique Tibetan bridge is suspended at the height of 478 meters above the San Gervasio Gorge.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary in Turin, love nature and the safe thrill, this bridge is worth considering visiting.
The path of the bridge extends over the San Gervasio Gorge and between the municipalities of Cesana Torinese and Claviere, about 70 kilometres from Turin.
All visitors to the bridge are provided with special protective equipment and a safety rope included in the ticket price: 15 and 10 euros for adults and children, respectively.
#13 Ponte Sisto, Rome
Ponte Sisto connects two districts in Rome – Regol and Trastevere, separated by the Tiber. It was built by order of Pope Sixtus IV, after whom it was named. The construction process was led by the architect Baccio Pontelli.
Due to the peculiarities of its design and the long operation time, the bridge can only be used by pedestrians. The Sisto Bridge is 108m long and 11m wide. The bridge is made entirely of stone.
You will find a famous church near the bridge: Santa Maria Della Scala. It was built in the 16-17 centuries – during the active development of the city.
The appearance of its facade is quite simple, but when you enter the building, you will be amazed by the baroque interior. Once, it was the largest hospital in Europe. It has become one of the largest museums in Rome with interesting works of art.
#14 Ponte Coperto, Pavia
Ponte Coperto is a picturesque arched bridge crossing the Ticino River. The Romans first built it; then, it was rebuilt in the middle of the 14th century. According to the medieval project, it was seven-arched.
The bridge had a fortification value, with the rowers built to house the soldiers defending the city.
Ponte Coperto was damaged during the Second World War. It was rebuilt according to old images and drawings. Instead of 7 arches, only 5 were made. It connects the city centre and the quarters of one of the city’s districts – Borgo Ticino.
#15 Ponte delle Torri, Spoleto
Ponte delle Torri is one of the symbols of Spoleto. This amazing bridge it is the result of the work of medieval architects, engineers, and builders. The height of the central arch is 76 meters; the width is 240 meters.
The authorship is attributed to the famous architect Gattapone, but the exact confirmation of this has not yet been found.
According to some historians, the building served as an aqueduct for the supply of water from Monteluco. Over time, the aqueduct began to play an important strategic role: providing an opportunity to hide in the event of an attack on the city.
Today, the bridge is open to the public, and if you cross it and go up a little, you will have a beautiful view of the castle and the Tower Bridge.
#16 Ponte Gobbo, Bobbio
Ponte Gobbo, literally translates as “Hunchbacked Bridge”, is one of the most famous bridges in Italy. It is also known as Ponte Vecchio or Ponte del Diavolo.
The Devil’s Bridge, 273 meters long, across the Trebbia River, got its official name from the 11 arches of different heights that it consists of. The first mention of the bridge in history dates back to 1196.
Now the bridge is one of the city’s attractions and serves as a very popular area for hiking. The bridge offers a romantic view of the fortress of the city.
#17 Ponte dell’Ammiraglio, Palermo
As one of the most beautiful countries of Europe, Italy has many more wonderful bridges, and of them is Ponte dell’Ammiraglio in Palermo.
Ponte del dell’Ammiraglio, or the Bridge of the Admiral, was built in the Norman style in 1132. The Norman construction has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
More precisely, once, it really was a real bridge, and now it stands almost in an open field – the river through which it was thrown no longer exists. Its stream was changed since it flooded the area. Walking on the bridge is a real pleasure, especially when you think about the age of the stones you are walking on.
Italy Bridges Summary
|Bridge Name||Location||Key Highlights|
|Rialto Bridge||Grand Canal, Venice||– Oldest bridge in Venice over the Grand Canal.|
– Originally had floating pontoons, now an arched stone bridge with arcades.
– Gateway to the Rialto Market.
|Devil’s Bridge||Lucca||– Stone bridge over Serchio River.|
– Also known as Ponte Della Maddalena.
– Historical crossing point for trade route from France to Rome.
|Ponte Vecchio||Florence||– World-renowned bridge with historical references dating back to 996.|
– Originally housed butchers; now hosts jewellery shops
– Features Vasari corridor, commissioned by the Medici family.
|Calatrave Bridge||Venice||– Officially named Constitution Bridge.|
– Designed by Santiago Calatrava.
– Connects Santa Lucia train station to Piazzale Roma with views of the Grand Canal.
|Ponte alla Carraia||Florence||– Had to be rebuilt multiple times until the mid-1500s.|
– Connects squares on both banks of the river Arno.
|Ponte Del Diavolo||Turin||– Built in 1378 to connect a village with Turin.|
– Legend involves a deal with the Devil and a bridge that wouldn’t collapse.
|Ponte Pietra||Verona||– Arched bridge over Adige River.|
– Built during the Roman Empire around 89 BC.
– Popular tourist destination with panoramic views of the city.
|Ponte Sant’Angelo||Rome||– Pedestrian bridge over the Tiber River from Ancient Roman times.|
– Built to connect city centre with Hadrian’s Mausoleum, now Castel Sant’Angelo.
|Ponte Scaligero||Verona||– Built in 1355; connects to Castelvecchio.|
– Example of Romanesque style with jagged elements
– Constructed of white marble and red brick.
|Ponte Littorio||Rome||– Built in 1929, 133 meters long.|
– Renamed after politician Giacomo Matteotti following World War II.
– Offers views from Rome’s Prati area to Flaminio.
|Bridge of Sighs||Venice||– Connects Doge’s Palace with the prison building.|
– Historical path for convicts who sighed at their last view of Venice.
|Tibetan Bridge||Perarolo di Cadore, Piedmont||– One of the longest bridges in the world.|
– Suspended 478 meters above San Gervasio Gorge.
– Provides a thrilling experience for visitors.
|Ponte Sisto||Rome||– Connects two districts, Regol and Trastevere.|
– Built by order of Pope Sixtus IV and only usable by pedestrians
– Nearby is the historical church, Santa Maria Della Scala.
|Ponte Coperto||Pavia||– Picturesque bridge over Ticino River.|
– Rebuilt post-World War II based on historical designs.
– Connects the city centre with Borgo Ticino district.
|Ponte delle Torri||Spoleto||– Symbol of Spoleto with a height of 76 meters.|
– Possibly designed by Gattapone.
– Served as an aqueduct and provided defensive capabilities.
|Ponte Gobbo||Bobbio||– Also known as Ponte Vecchio or Ponte del Diavolo.|
– Notable for its 11 arches of varying heights.
– Offers picturesque views of the city fortress.
|Ponte dell’Ammiraglio||Palermo||– Built in Norman style in 1132.|
– Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Rialto Bridge in Venice is, perhaps, the most famous bridge in Italy, which always attracts many visitors. The bridge connects two banks of the Grand Canal and is an amazing place for a walk. Next to the bridge, there is the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto and the famous Rialto market.
Italy has about 30000 bridges. Among them are many amazingly beautiful, romantic, covered bridges and open, old and new bridges in Italy.
The longest bridge in Italy is the “Tibetan bridge”. This suspension bridge connects two mountain peaks at an altitude of 1034 meters above sea level. The bridge is raised 140 meters from the ground.
Ponte Vecchio is the most famous bridge in Florence. This is the oldest bridge in the city across the Arno River: it was built in 1345 by the architect Neri di Fioravanti and has retained its original appearance to this day.
Currently, Florence has ten bridges. The Romans founded Florence on the western bank of the Arno River; the first bridge was built in the 1st century BC. Today the most famous bridge in Florence is Ponte Vecchio.
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.