Which ponte is my favorite bridge in Venice? The easy answer, of course, is “The one I can see from the one I am standing upon” (not blocking traffic, of course) at any given time, day or night. In reality , with well over four hundred bridges from which to choose, within a barely six square mile plus outliers territory and including a surprising number of “ponte privato” locations, plus a few periodic ponte that spring up for special events like the Festival of Redentore, a finite selection – even a de rigure “Top 10” listing – may be an unachievable conceit.
The task, actually a minor labor of love, is not dissimilar to picking “the best” National Park, or “the best” City – well, that would without doubt be Venice among cities, and a credo that each Park is the best at or for many things and therefore simply incomparable with others!
Bridges! The temporary Ponte di Accademia, only temporary for about eight decades, has become beloved by many (and vandalized by too many love lock fiends). The railing free Ponte del Diavolo in Cannaregio and its namesake on Torcello intrigue many, and terrify equally, although some purists would not allow the one on Torcello to be counted as “of Venice”.
The Ponte de Rialto and the Ponte de Sospiri (“Bridge of Sighs”) are the most famous and most photographed for various reasons. Each is dear in its own way. Even the relatively contemporary wooden bridge across the Rio dell’Arsenale is worthy of praise, perhaps boosted in ranking by the great access it gives to Paolo’s Osteria in Campo dell’ Arsenale.
Yes, sometimes it is the view from , the destination reached, the festival celebrated that inspires. The bridges designed by outstanding architects like Scarpa and Botta accessing the Palazzo Quirinale inspire, requiring an annual pilgrimage to also partake of their wondrous work inside the Foundation.
I confess, my favorite really is the bridge I am on at any moment along my walks through La Serenissima!