The Bridge of Sighs: A Must-See While in Venice
A must-see while in Venice, the Bridge of Sighs, also known as the Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian, is one of the most famous bridges in all of Italy. The bridge connects the Doge’s Palace to the Prigioni, the prisons that were built across the canal in the late 16th century.
Antonio Contino designed and built the Bridge of Sighs in 1600. Though highly ornamental, built of fine, white limestone with lattice-like screens covering two small rectangular windows, the footbridge served a very practical purpose. It was used to lead prisoners from the examining rooms to their cells in the Prigioni.
Legend has it that the bridge earned its name from the fact that prisoners who crossed through it, on the way to their prison cells or the execution chamber, would sigh as they caught their last glimpses of Venice through the tiny windows.
Another story says that if a couple kisses under the bridge while drifting below on a gondola at sunset, they will enjoy eternal love. Thus, the “sighs” are said to come from lovers who are overwhelmed by the romance of the whole scene.
This romantic view was created by the Poet Lord Byron with his writings: “I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, a palace and prison on each hand”.
Travel2Italy with a range of Venice vacation packages provides you the opportunity to visit the legendary Bridge of Sighs through its finest Venice tours or by taking a romantic gondola tour.