The Rialto Bridge or Ponte di Rialto is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the Canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo.
The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge, so it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge. This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. The connection with the market eventually led to a change of name for the bridge. During the First half of the 15th century two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. The rents brought an income to the State Treasury, which helped maintain the bridge.