Ponte dei Sospiri


One of Venice's most photographed sights, the Bridge of Sighs connects Palazzo Ducale to the 16th-century Priggione Nove (New Prisons). Its improbable popularity is due to British libertine Lord Byron (1788–1824), who mentioned it in one of his long narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Condemned prisoners were said to sigh as they passed through the enclosed bridge and glimpsed the beauty of the lagoon. Now the sighs are mainly from people trying to dodge the picture-snapping masses.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Venice attractions

1. Palazzo Ducale

0.04 MILES

Holding pride of place on the waterfront, this pretty Gothic confection may be an unlikely setting for the political and administrative seat of a great…

2. Museo Diocesano di Venezia

0.04 MILES

Housed in a former Benedictine monastery dedicated to Sant’Apollonia, this museum has a fairly predictable collection of religious art and the occasional…

3. Basilica di San Marco

0.06 MILES

With a profusion of domes and more than 8000 sq metres of luminous mosaics, Venice's cathedral is unforgettable. It was founded in the 9th century to…

4. Lion of St Mark Column

0.07 MILES

One of a pair of granite columns bearing the two patron saints of Venice in Piazetta di San Marco, this eastern column bears a statue representing a…

5. Museo di San Marco

0.07 MILES

Accessed by a narrow staircase leading up from Basilica di San Marco's atrium, this museum transports visitors to the level of the church's rear mosaics…

6. Column of St Theodore

0.08 MILES

One of two twin granite columns in the Piazzetta di San Marco, bearing the two patron saints of Venice. This column bears the image of warrior-saint…

7. Campanile

0.09 MILES

Basilica di San Marco's 99m-tall bell tower has been rebuilt twice since its initial construction in AD 888. Galileo Galilei tested his telescope here in…

8. Torre dell’Orologio

0.11 MILES

The two hardest-working men in Venice stand duty on a rooftop around the clock, and wear no pants. The 'Do Mori' (Two Moors) exposed to the elements atop…