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Venice

Ponte dei Sospiri (the Bridge of Sighs)

Rio di Palazzo
Venice, Italy

Where: Rio di Palazzo, Venice, steps from Piazza San Marco.

 

Stats: Built in the early 1600s in the Baroque style, the bridge connects the Doge’s Palace to what was once a prison.

 

Awe Factors: According to legend, those who crossed this 17th-century white limestone bridge had a dramatic passage because they would cross it only once. Built between a prison and the room of the inquisitors inside the Doge’s Palace, the bridge’s stone-barred windows were said to provide the last view the criminals would ever see. But in reality, the prison was for petty criminals and no executions awaited them. The name “Bridge of Sighs” came from a Lord Byron poem. Today, the bridge is the setting for another legend inspired by the poet: if a couple kisses underneath the bridge at sunset, they will be granted eternal love.

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