Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 10:24:18 AM EST
The "Ponte della constituzione", designed by Calatrava, the first bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice to be built during (most of our) lifetimes, opened near midnight on Sep 11, without much publicity. There was going to be an official opening on Sep 18 with Napolitano, but this was cancelled after it became clear that there would be protests by the disabled and other groups. (In the U.S. they would have restricted them to a "Free Speech Zone" on the Tronchetto, but they don't do things like that in Italy yet).
The bridge goes from the train station to Piazzale Roma. Here's the approach from the train station
and here's the arrival at beautiful Piazzale Rome
A few more views of the bridge
and a view of Venice from the bridge
There is a law requiring that projects like this provide handicapped access. As you can see, this hasn't happened yet...
only temporary... So was the Accademia bridge, but it's been around for a few years more than McCain...
Most of you are unlikely to have heard the name yet. Until a few weeks ago, it was referred to either as the fourth bridge, or the Calatrava bridge. As the opening got near, the city council realised that they had to come up with a name. The original idea, "Ponte della Zirada" was rejected. Maybe they were afraid that this would draw attention to the neglected state of S. Andrea della Zirada, just off Piazzale Rome.
This is pretty much the only view of the church you can get. I tried to show the parking garages next to it, but it wasn't possible. In any case, even slums in Venice tend to look picturesque. In the end, the bridge was named after the Constitution. A protest group already put up a sad-looking memorial to the constitution:
Is one allowed to do a Venice diary without a picture of a gondola? Here's one.