Bridge Number Forty-Two - Ponte dell'Accademia

All four bridges over the Grand Canal are unique and recognisable in their own ways. The most telling characteristic feature of the bridge is its slender, half-moon wooden frame arching across the canal.


Accademia is one of the most recently constructed bridges in Venice, having originally been built in 1854. The present version was constructed quite recently in 1985 - a timespan that is a small speck on the calendar of ancient Venice. While it's often referred to as a 'wooden bridge' that's not strictly true, as the bridge sits on a sturdy steel underbelly.

Like the other Grand Canal bridges the Ponte dell'Accademia is during daytime a tangle of people, made worse by informal traders standing on virtually every one of its 155 steps selling anything from plastic gadgetry to locks and keys that the romantics among the passers-by can buy and attach to the bridge's railings. It's just as well the thick iron bows of the vaporettos passing underneath the bridge aren't magnetic, otherwise they'd attract hundreds of lock keys from the bottom of the canal that have been dropped by lovelock owners from the top of the bridge. Some say authorities have cracked down on the lovelock practice, but there was no sign of that happening when we were at the bridge.


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