Bridges Ninety-Four and Ninety-Five - Ponte Ubaldo Belli and Ponte Chiodo

In order to make the most of the fading light we carried on straight-away to the Ponte Ubaldo Belli, named after one of the 'Martyrs of Cannaregio' who lost his life during a particularly bloody massacre that took place in the sestiere during 7-8 July 1944, in reprisal for the assassination of a local fascist leader. One often sees plaques on buildings commemorating war heroes here in Venice, a sad reminder of the city's turbulent, recent past.

We then took a small detour along the canal to pay a quick visit to a unique bridge in Venice, the Ponte Chiodo.

This rather delapidated-looking stone bridge is the oldest bridge in Venice without railings, dating from around the year 800. It's quite a popular landmark tourist in Venice due to this fact, and we had to wait our turn as visitors ahead of us at the bridge sat down on its roughly hewn steps and posed for a quick snapshot before we could do the same. It's a private bridge leading to a residence, so strictly speaking we didn't cross it, but it was still good to add it to the list.

As we were looking at the bridge the house owner appeared at the door and got into his motorboat that was moored by the side of the door. He turned the key, but the motor merely coughed and spluttered. He tried a few times more, gave up, and disappeared into the house. It was past eight at night, so I doubt, knowing the work-hours of  Italians, whether he'd be able to raise a mechanic to help out at this hour. Perhaps I could start an after-hours boat mechanic shop in Venice....


  1. That ponte (with no railings) was featured in the movie "Summertime" with Kathryn Hepburn as she and her lover crossed to enter his abode.