The Story Of The Bridge Of Sighs

The Story Of The Bridge Of Sighs

Those who crossed the Bridge of Sighs were likely going to be incarcerated for a very long time.

Last year, one of our guests who toured Venice with us said that his most favourite sight in the whole city was the Bridge of Sighs: “We booked two tours and they were great. But the highlight for me was the Bridge of Sighs which was amazing.” (You can read the rest of the review on our TripAdvisor page). Venice has plenty of beautiful sights to see, but the Bridge of Sighs is often mentioned as a favourite highlight of first time visitors. So, let us tell you a little of the story of the Bridge of Sighs:

What is the Bridge of Sighs and where is it?

If you visit Venice, you definitely need to tour the Doges Palace. This building is right in the centre of Venice on Saint Mark’s Square and was the home of the Doge. It was the place from which the great city of Venice grew to become one of the most powerful maritime powers in the world. The Doges Palace Venice was also home to a notorious prison and interrogation rooms. The Bridge of Sighs was built to connect the old prison in the Doges Palace with the new prison across the river.


The beautiful Bridge of Sighs, which spans the Rio di Palazzo. #VeniceEvents, #VisitVenice #BridgeofSighs #BridgesOfVenice


Why is it called the Bridge of Sighs?

The Bridge of Sighs Venice was built at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century and spanned the Rio di Palazzo. Those who crossed the Bridge of Sighs were likely going to be incarcerated for a very long time. So, the theory is that those who traversed the bridge sighed as they looked out and saw their last sight of freedom. They say this is why it is called the Bridge of Sighs. The poet Lord Byron also popularized this theory in some of his writing.

The aptly named Bridge of Sighs Venice. You can see the prisons pictured on the right. #VeniceEvents, #VisitVenice #BridgeofSighs #BridgesOfVenice


An alternative theory on why it is called the Bridge of Sighs.

However, there is an alternative theory on why the bridge is called the Bridge of Sighs. It is said that if a couple sail under the bridge on a gondola and kiss, they will enjoy eternal love. The sighs are therefore said to be from the couple drifting under the bridge below. How romantic!

The Bridge of Sighs Venice with gondolas sailing under it on the Rio di Palazzo. #VeniceEvents, #VisitVenice #BridgeofSighs #BridgesOfVenice


It’s one of the finest examples of bridge architecture in the world.

The Bridge of Sighs is a beautiful sight, and it is a fine example of bridge architecture – perhaps one of the finest in the world. Designed by Antonio Contino, the bridge can only be seen from Canonica Bridge and Ponte della Paglia. Its arched profile is one of the most famous scenes in Venice, and it is beautiful.

The beautiful Bridge of Sighs Venice - a fine example of bridge architecture #VeniceEvents, #VisitVenice #BridgeofSighs #BridgesOfVenice


How to see the Bridge of Sighs

Our guest who we mentioned at the start of our blog took a Venice Events tour to see the Bridge of Sighs. This is by far the best way to see the bridge and the neighbouring Doges Palace. Taking a tour means you’ll benefit from the knowledge of a local guide from Venice Events and you will also be able to ‘skip the lines’ and make better use of your time in Venice. Who wants to queue on holiday?! Feel free to get in touch with us at: veniceevents.com

Alternatively, go directly to read about the most relevant tours of Venice which take in the Bridge of Sighs: The Doges Palace tour

You can also check our Facebook Page or tripadvisor page to find out more about what our other clients have said about their experience with the Venice Events team.

We’d love to see you in Venice soon.