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Ponte della Costituzione in Venice

Ponte della Costituzione on Grand Canal of Venice: the history, the photographs and the paintings, the map and the information to reach it.

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Ponte della Costituzione in Venice
Ponte della Costituzione - Grand Canal - Venice

The first of the bridges over the Grand Canal that you come to arrive by car in Venice is the Ponte della Costituzione.

The history

Until 1850, the Grand Canal is only passed by the majestic and famous Rialto Bridge: there is no other structure along the sinuous lagoon waterway. Within 10 years, the Austrians, who at that time govern the city, realize what had not been accomplished in decades of history and debated architectural events. In fact, two bridges are built: one in front of the railway station and another one in the Gallerie dell'Accademia area. Two iron bridges that, although later modified in their forms and materials, definitively mark the city's landscape with their presence.

For many years we wondered if Venice had to, or rather if it could have another bridge. The historical fabric of the city, so strongly characterized, did not allow any heavy integration, much less that due to the insertion of a work such as that of a bridge. The exceptional development of international tourism associated with the constant modern needs of the city, have often led the attention on the millennial center of the lagoon by the most famous and famous designers. But what once was a fertile land of architectural practices that proved unique and fundamental to the development of the discipline, does not currently seem to identify that ancient spirit: the lost opportunities with Le Corbusier, Kahn, Wright, and more recently with Siza, show that the attitude in this sense is not the ideal one.

Then the opportunity arose: the possibility of leaving a strong sign but at the same light and almost "inoffensive" in traditional historical culture. The bridge that the Spanish engineer Santiago Calatrava had planned for Venice did not want to impose itself but only invited to respect the place. The intention to connect the arrival area in Venice (Piazzale Roma) with the station area, was urgently needed: solving the problem was not an easy question where the personality and the skills of Calatrava emerged once again.

However, the project delivered by Calatrava to the city suffered, during its implementation, not a few criticisms from critics architects and national engineers and citizenship, more exasperated by the length of the construction process (from 1 year and a half came to 6 years) that from the design stature of the bridge.

On 11 September 2008 the bridge was opened for the passage of the first citizens. But the controversy did not stop due to the existence of architectural barriers that prevented the passage from being disabled. This up to the inauguration of the cableway which - when it is in operation - leads disabled people and escorts from one bank to the other of the Grand Canal.

How to reach the Bridge of the Constitution

The Bridge of the Constitution combines the districts of Canaregio and Santa Croce opposite Piazzale Roma, the area where taxis, buses and cars arrive in Venice.
The bridge area can be easily reached by vaporetto along the Grand Canal, lines 1 and 2 with Piazzale Roma stop. The bridge is 10 meters from the pier.

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