Several times in history, starting from 1488, there have been those who had thought of the opportunity to build a new pedestrian crossing on the Grand Canal, in addition to the Rialto bridge, but the idea has always been rejected until the 19th century. where the bridges of the Accademia and the Scalzi were built.
We began to think again seriously about the need to build a new bridge only in 1838 on the repeated proposal of the architect Giuseppe Salvadori, strengthened by the need to revive the Dorsoduro district abandoned to itself.
The dialogue on where to build the bridge ("better to connect Santa Maria del Giglio and San Gregorio or San Vidal with the former school of Charity which has become the Academy of Fine Arts?") Or on the modalities ("bridge or tunnel, fixed or openable ») led in 1852, to choose the proposal of the engineer Alfred Neville considering his experience in the field.
Two years later, the iron suspension bridge, with a single horizontal span of 50 meters, the only one of its kind in Italy, is ready: connecting San Vidal with the Academy by means of only 23 steps.
Initially called the Ponte della Carità (taking its name from the nearby complex of the Charity) it was crossable upon payment of a toll: 3 years later the almost identical bridge was built in front of the train station.
A few years later, both of these bridges, little appreciated by the Venetians for their "industrial" style and not very consonant with the surrounding architecture, began to show the first signs of structural failure, it was then decided to transform them into stone but, for that of the 'Academy, things went differently
While the construction of the new bridge was awaited, for which a competition was held, won by the architect Torres, a temporary wooden one was erected in 37 days, as the iron one was beginning to worry about its precarious state. Well, this beautiful bridge of 48 meters, consisting of a single wooden arch, designed by Eugenio Miozzi and inaugurated on February 19, 1933, built to last only a few years, has never been replaced.