Hidden treasures

The daring stone high reliefs of Palazzo dei Camerlenghi in Rialto

Local Traditions
camerlenghi-pallazo

The daring stone high reliefs of Palazzo dei Camerlenghi in Rialto

The Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal is undoubtedly one of the iconic monuments in Venice.

The original structure resting on wooden poles was built in the second half of the twelfth century and was then replaced by a structural wooden bridge in around 1250.

After collapsing several times over the centuries, at the beginning of the fifteenth century there began to be talks about building a stone bridge, so in 1551 Venetian authorities issued a tender: all the greatest architects of the time participated, but 37 years passed between the approval of the project and the conclusion of the bridge construction work. Finally, between 1588 and 1591, the bridge was completed by Antonio da Ponte.

It is therefore understandable that many people had become sceptical about the completion of the construction of the bridge... After having completed construction work, Venetians turned such unfounded mistrust into a great joke: the two high reliefs you can see at the entrance of the nearby Palazzo dei Camerlenghi (built between 1525 and 1528) became the symbol of the appropriate ridicule for the detractors of the Republic's ability, whether they were men or women. According to the local tradition they represent a humble woman who sentenced: 'When the bridge is finished, my vagina will catch fire’; to which a humble man would have contested: ‘The bridge will be finished when the penis grows a nail’.

And the two high reliefs represent precisely a woman with a burning vagina and a man with a fingernail penis!

The Rialto Bridge is undoubtedly one of the places to be included in your visit to Venice... even better if accompanied by a local tourist guide who will engage you in exploring this beautiful city, showing you the least known and crowded places!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The relief of the man with the pipe at Palazzo Loredan on the Grand Canal

palazzo-loredan
Mysteries & Legends

One of the oldest buildings on the banks of the Grand Canal is Palazzo Loredan, built in the 13th century and currently seat of the Tow...

View

Verona: The equestrian monument at Cangrande della Scala in Verona

cangrande
Big Names

One of the most famous people in the history of Verona is surely Cangrande della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1308 to 1329, the year of h...

View

Verona: Venetian walls in Peschiera del Garda

peschiera-del-garda
Historical Curiosities

Today Venice is ‘merely’ the capital of a region in Italy, but once it was the capital of an Empire that extended to the Eastern Me...

View

Venice: The Crypt of St. Mark's Basilica

san-marco-cripta
Unknown places & works

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited churches in the Western world. Every day, thousands of tou...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View