Bridge of Sighs

Venice, Italy

The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the New Prison (Prigioni Nuove) to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone, has windows with stone bars, and It was designed by Antonio Contino and was built in 1600.

The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge's name, given by Lord Byron as a translation from the Italian 'Ponte dei sospiri' in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. In reality, the days of inquisitions and summary executions were over by the time the bridge was built, and the cells under the palace roof were occupied mostly by small-time criminals. In addition, little could be seen from inside the bridge due to the stone grills covering the windows.

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Castello 4242, Venice, Italy
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Founded: 1600
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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrew Boucher (16 months ago)
Historic relevance but best seen from the prisoners view inside the palace to get a perspective on why it's called the bridge of sighs They would hang prisoners and this would be the last thing they see. Still, for free you can see it from the outside. Be warned not to dine in st marks sq. Its sooo expensive because you're a tourist. Take 10 mins to walk outside and eat fresh, local food and coffee for half the price. You'll be glad you did
Giuseppe Baldassarri (17 months ago)
The Bridge of Sighs, is one of the most photographed magical places in Venice, every time I am in Venice I take more than one photo, from any angle the photo is magical. From the Bridge of Sighs, it emerges that the name, at the time of the Serenissima, would have been attributed to the fact that through the prisoners they sighed because they were aware of the fact that it would be the last time, before being imprisoned, that they would see the outside world. As far as the history of the Bridge of Sighs is concerned, this is a fanciful reconstruction since, in reality, the outside is not visible from the bridge.
robson green (17 months ago)
Some say you only have to see the bridge of sighs from the outside. But honestly the best part is being in there. The museum ist okay but the dungeons are super fun and you can explore so many things. The big metal barriers give the whole house so much character. You feel like one of the inmates. Seeing the bridge from the outside is boring but being in there gives it way more character. Some say that when you kiss someone under the bridge it’ll give them love forever. If you can’t afford one of the gondolas, go into the dungeons and you’ll end up right under the bridge.
Randall Broome (18 months ago)
It’s a bridge that people walked over before they went to the dungeon. They would look out at the world seeing that it would be a long time before they would be free again... and they would sigh. Thus, the name “The Bridge of Sighs”. It’s pretty and has a good story but not something that I would plan a trip around. Make your way over to it if you happen to be near St Marks Square.
tim greening (18 months ago)
This is a stunning and iconic bridge, as are many parts of Venice! The bridge is accessed through the Doge's palace, ( which is an amazing place to see!) it links the palace interrogation rooms to the prison cells, it's definitely a place to see! Only wish we had more time here!
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