Bridge Thirteen - Ponte Santa Maria Nova

It's a short walk to bridge thirteen, the red brick Ponte Santa Maria Nova.  We walk across it, over the Rio dei Miracoli and on to the small square in front of the Santa Maria dei Miracoli church, one of the must-see churches in Venice. 

 Ponte Santa Maria Nova

The church's neat marble facade speaks clearly of the result of ten years of restoration done by the restoration organisation Save Venice, which has funded literally hundreds of similar projects during its existence. Those ubiquitous construction cranes on the Venice horizon and scaffolding spoiling tourists' photos of the city's well-known attractions may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they're necessary and do a good job of keeping Venice's precious heritage in shape, as the Miracoli clearly shows.

Santa Maria Nova

One side of the bridge is adorned with three coats of arms, commonly seen on bridges and in all probability belonging to aristocratic families who lived in the area. A similar plaque on the opposite bridge wall, seen in the bridge photo above is blank. Were similar coats of arms chiselled off by someone who carried a grudge? 

Santa Maria Nova

Across the canal there's once again that inviting  sight welcoming all travelers just finishing off an extended church visit: An open-air cafe, waiting for footsore visitors to sit down for coffee and perhaps something sweet and tasty. But we resist the temptation: There are still more than eighty bridges to cross!

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