Enjoy the views of the Grand Canal from Accademia Bridge, one of the four bridges to span Venice’s main waterway. Unlike the other bridges, this is the only crossing made from wood.
The original Accademia Bridge was an iron construction from the middle of the 19th century. In the early 1930s, it was replaced by what was intended to be a temporary wooden structure. Half a century later, a wooden replica replaced this crumbling bridge.
The pedestrian thoroughfare is situated at the southern end of the canal and is so called because it leads to the Gallerie dell’Accademia, a museum showcasing pre-19th-century art.
Climb the wooden steps and take a few minutes to enjoy the views from the top. You can see the canal in both directions and among the sights to look out for from here are the dome of Santa Maria della Salute and the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. On the bridge’s handrails, you may see bunches of padlocks. They are left by lovers who then throw the key in the canal as a romantic gesture. However, city authorities periodically crackdown on the practice and remove the locks.
Watch the river traffic of gondolas, vaporetti and tour boats passing by. Being a city without cars, everything needs to be transported by water or handcart. Look for boats laden with fruits, vegetables, building materials and other goods. After you’ve taken in the sights, wander off to the Gallerie dell’Accademia to see its collection of Venetian paintings.
The Accademia Bridge links Dorsoduro and the San Marco district. It is convenient to use the bridge if you are on your way to Piazza San Marco from the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection or the Santa Maria della Salute Church. If you are coming by water, there is a vaporetto stop next to the bridge.