Ponte dei Sospiri – Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

The Bridge of Sighs –Ponte dei Sospiri, is a bridge in Venice, northern Italy, and is one of the most famous and photographed bridges in the world. It can only be seen be seen from two places: Canonica Bridge and Ponte della Paglia. The emblem displayed on the bridge shows that it was built in between the 16th and 17th century, in Istrian stone, white and elegant, and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. It was designed by Antoni Contino (whose uncle Antonio da Ponte had designed the Rialto Bridge), and built in 1602. The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge name, given by Lord Byron 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. A local legend says that lovers will be granted everlasting love and bliss if they kiss on a gondola at sunset under the bridge and be in love and happily married to a blissful husband or wife for the rest of your life.

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