Bridge Seventeen - Ponte de la Fava

Now we walk a broad loop, firstly to the Campo San Bartolomeo, which due to its close proximity to Rialto must be the busiest square in all Venice (Piazza San Marco is busier but it's a piazza, a larger square, the largest in Venice). We pass the tall statue of a smiling Carlo Goldoni, famous local playwright, and after a few minutes arrive at Ponte de la Fava, our next bridge destination.

Bridge Seventeen - Ponte de la Fava

This bridge is named after the canal it crosses, the same one we crossed at the previous bridge. That's Venice for you, sometimes there simply isn't a shortcut to the next bridge even if it's within spitting distance. There's no way of getting around a ten minute walk through the neighbourhood to reach it. Which is fun when you're a carefree tourist following your nose around Venice, but a bit frustrating when you're running around chasing one hundred bridges in the space of twelve hours.

Once there and standing on top of the Ponte de la Fava, it's once again time for a snapshot of Venice life. Below is the Campo de la Fava next to the quite wide and well-used Rio de la Fava, where a boat, geared to transport cold storage, is anchored to deliver goods they're unpacking next to the bridge railing. In the distance, downstream, we see the green garbage boat collecting rubbish, lifting its mechanical arm, grabbing a dustbin off the canalside, and pouring its contents into a gaping hole on the boat deck. And that's the way Venice gets cleaned, one garbage boat load at a time.

Bridge Seventeen - Ponte de la Fava

A light is shining though the open door of the Santa Maria della Consolazione church across the square, there are what looks like two tourists and a local person crossing the square, and back on the canal quite an unusual sight - a man (gondolier?) ferrying goods rather than tourists in his gondola. Groceries for home perhaps? In the far corner three people - they look like locals - are standing at the head of the alley and next to a hotel door having a chat. 

Bridge Fifteen - Ponte del Pistor o delle Paste

A 'pistor' is a baker in Italian, so it's small wonder that we found a pastry shop at the one end of the Ponte del Pistor o delle Paste. It's not exactly a fine art kind of pastry shop - let's face it, Venice isn't Paris in that regard - but it stocks a few nice sweet treats.

We didn’t have time to sample the offerings - we’re on a deadline, remember - but their goodies are, by all accounts, quite tasty.  No one knows for sure how long the shop has been there, but the bridge has been in existence since the fifteen century, so one can assume it's been around a while. And apparently it was once home to Venice’s second oldest bakery.

Bridge Sixteen - Ponte San Antonio

We're now only steps away from the popular Rialto bridge, one of the two busiest places in Venice, and people traffic on the streets have increased significantly. It's therefore fortunate that the next bridge we encounter, Ponte San Antonio, is one of the widest bridges we've visited so far. So wide, in fact, that most people walking on it won't realise they're crossing a canal.

Bridge Sixteen - Ponte Sant'Antonin

Connecting the Sestieri - neighbourhoods - of San Marco and Castello, its walkway is unusually wide for a bridge that crosses a rather narrow, quiet canal, the Rio de la Fava. Perhaps its builders realised it would have to cater for lots of tourists later on!

Notice the stone pillars supporting the iron rails, it's the first time we're encountering this design. The bridge is dedicated to Saint Anthony, and there's a small statue of him on the wall of a building bordering the bridge to the left. Small things like that is what give the bridges of Venice character. 

And notice the ubiquitous love locks dangling like old Christmas decorations from the bridge rail, but more about that later...