For over four centuries hundreds of people everyday have crossed Rialto Bridge to go from one side of the city to the other, they have leant over its sides to admire the views of the Grand Canal and stopped in its little shops.
The bridge shows the signs of age and wear. Conscious of the need to protect one of its most significant symbols, the City of Venice decided to restore the bridge with all the care and attention an important monument deserves, to preserve it, ensure its continued functionality and bring it back to splendour.
This was possible thanks to Renzo Rosso and OTB, sole sponsor of the intervention. Their contribution funded the study, research, planning and execution of the work.
When public and private sector meet for the benefit of the community, communication is the key. This website is an opportunity to share and follow the restoration work in progress, for the sake of transparency and knowledge.
OTB is the parent company of iconic fashion brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor&Rolf, and state-of-the-art companies Staff International and Brave Kid. In December 2012, OTB the bid to become the sponsor of the Rialto Bridge restoration.
The project to restore Rialto Bridge is based on the undisputed historical, architectural and constructional value of the bridge and its importance as the heart and symbol of Venice.
Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone.
- But which is the stone that supports the bridge? - Kublai Kan asks.
- The bridge is not held together by one stone or another, - answers Marco -
but by the line of the arch that they form.
Kublai Kan remains silent, reflecting.
Then he adds: - Why do you speak to me about the stones? It is only the arch that matters to me
Polo answers: - Without the stones there is no bridge.
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
The Rialto Bridge represents a proper archive of Venetian history. Its elegant lines connect the two banks of the Grand Canal forming a 50-metre arch that, low over the water, spans across almost nine centuries of history.
Over the centuries it has featured in many paintings and has been often mentioned in books and films. Find out more interesting facts about this bridge.