We crossed lots and lots of bridges
and finally made it to see the Rialto, which is probably the most famous of the three bridges spanning the Grand Canal and was also the only one where you could cross the Grand Canal on foot until the Accademia bridge was built in 1854. (I did take a pic with a better angle later in the week. But this was our first view.)
The bridge replaced various wooden bridges on the site - one was destroyed by the Tiepolo army in 1310, and one collapsed in 1444 when the crowd gathered to watch the wedding procession of the Marquis of Ferrara. The city officials considered proposals for the Rialto bridge for sixty years (yes, sixty), including ones by Palladio and Michaelangelo, but the job was eventually given to Antonio da Ponte (very apt name). It's all marble, and shiny where tourists leaned on it and rough on the half nearest the water where they don't tend to reach. We saw an interesting-looking craft here.
But I guess this wouldn’t be complete without the touristy view of the Grand Canal.
And then we wandered through the old market, full of fruit and veg (including some tiny wild strawberries, which Madam and I were eyeing up).
And then there was the fish market. The fish market was amazing; the fishmongers had a red metal watering can and kept the produce cool and glistening by pouring water over it.
It's the only place I've ever seen baby octopi for sale.
Oh, and in a café I spotted a Venetian glass chandelier.
And Madam spotted more mask shops.
At midday, all the bells in all the churches ring – it’s utterly beautiful. There were also men wandering the streets playing accordions (I thought that was French influence, but maybe not). We discovered a lovely chocolate shop - they sold chocolate in the shape of Venetian masks and also gianduja. (I would’ve taken pics but they were scoffed before I could do so!)