"Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs)" Ponte dei Sospiri Tip by TRimer

Ponte dei Sospiri, Venice: 138 reviews and 210 photos

  Pier and I
by TRimer

Take your picture in front of, Ponte dei Sospiri, or Bridge of Sighs.

It is an integral part of the Doges palace and forms the link between the courts and the prisons across the canal. The name "Bridge of Sighs" was invented in the 19th Century, when Lord Byron helped to popularize the belief that the bridge's name was inspired by the sighs of condemned prisoners as they were led through it to the executioner. (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.)

The Bridge of Sighs is included in the guided Itinerari Segreti ("Secret Itinerary") tour of the Doge's Palace, which you can book by appointment. This 90-minute tour is conducted in Italian; it also includes the prisons, torture chambers, and other rooms that normally aren't open to visitors. From June through September, tours are scheduled daily except Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and noon. Reserve at least a day in advance, since the number of visitors is limited.

TIP: In the off-season, you may be able to wander across the Bridge of Sighs and explore the prisons on your own during a self-guided visit to the Doge's Palace. Ask at the palace ticket window or have your hotel's concierge phone 52-24-951 for current details.

Address: Sestiere di San Marco
Directions: Just past the Doges Palace. When facing the 2 statues to the harbor, turn left.
Phone: 52-24-951
Website: http://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 1, 2005
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“Too many places to see, too little time (especially now that I have toddlers)”

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