Bridge Ninety-One - Ponte dei Gesuiti

Our next bridge, the Ponte dei Gesuiti, was only a few steps away along a street named Salizada Seriman. 'Salizada' means 'paved street', so it must have been unique and upmarket in an era - we're talking thirteenth century here - when streets generally consisted mostly of mud and dirt. The Ponte dei Gesuiti - Bridge of the Jesuits - is a broad stone-and-red-brick bridge across the Rio de Santa Caterina that, after the twilight of the salizada, opens up across the canal onto the light of the Campo dei Gesuiti, where the Jesuits once had a monastery.

The Jesuits had mixed fortunes in Venice, having been banned from the city in 1606 and again in 1773. Now there's a Carabinieri station in a building at the foot of the bridge; two buildings along the canal were cloaked in protective construction netting; a smartly dressed lady was taking her pooch for his afternoon walk across the campo, and generally I don't think anyone every crossing the bridge today would ever give a second thought to the idea that there was once religious strife. Such is the nature of time gone by, during which we have learnt how to live and let live. Or have we?

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