30 May, 2006

5. The last open bridge in Venice


There are about 400 bridges in Venice. Or exactly 433. Or more than 450, depending on the source you are reading.

All of them have some kind of safety railing, or sidewalling. Except for this one, in Canareggio, the northernmost sestiere of the city. Most of the bridges used to look like this, an arched series of steps, but although this is not the oldest bridge in Venice, it is the sole survivor of a less safety-conscious age.

The canals in Venice were not excavated out of solid ground, they are bits of the surrounding lagoon filling the gaps between all the little islands that make up the city. The bridges are the glue that ties the whole place together. Every one is different. Every one is interesting.

I can't find a book about the bridges of Venice. Oh, lots of books talk about SOME of the bridges, the Rialto and the Accademia in particular, but there is no book about them all. That's one of my planned projects, one of my dreams. To live in Venice for 12 months, researching, writing, and documenting ALL of them, and then to publish the results.

First I'll have to count them.

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