The Midnight Voyage of the Fourth Bridge

The massive center section of the Ponte di Calatrava, the fourth bridge over the Grand Canal that will connect Piazzale Roma with the Ferrovia (train station), was ported up-rio just before midnight on Tuesday, August 7th, before numerous fans and revelers (along with some less-than-enthusiatic onlookers), all positioned along the Canal at their outpost-of-choice to take in the spectacle. As for us, we waited at the Accademia Bridge for our first glimpse, then once the procession had past, maneuvered ourselves to below the Rialto as Calatrava & Co. maneuvered themselves around the first curve. We then tracked the bridge and its entourage under and beyond the Rialto (by far the most difficult passage, I think), and then, as we arrived in the Campiello Remer for some parting shots, I heard a voice overhead: Nen, Nenna! It was Liviana, gathered with some friends in an empty apartment (she rents them) above the Canal. Vieni su!

Courtesy of Liviana I captured some last, clear (alas, everything is relative) photos from up above the Canal. My favorite part when was another barge that was transporting the crane (preceding that of the bridge, and only slightly less wide than the Canal itself) completed a tricky, five-minute, 180-degree maneuver to continue up the Canal, and someone shouted, Un altro giro! One more time!

It was indeed something to behold. There are a variety of video recounts on youtube; a good up-close, official version is by the Città di Venezia. I posted a slideshow there as well, accompanied by a little night music courtesy of Chet Baker…The more I see you, the more I want you…

p.s. Track the installation progress of the new bridge via the city’s webcam. Mille grazie, Marisa…


9 thoughts on “The Midnight Voyage of the Fourth Bridge

  1. jonathan

    Nice photos – wish I’d been there! Yes, the comune’s video is good – but their music is tacky: I prefer yours! BTW, have you seen the photos of Chet Baker in the William Claxton show at the Fenice? Plenty of other musicians photographed too, but the Chet Baker ones are wonderfully atmospheric.

  2. nan

    In fact, best to turn down the Venice video’s music and play your own, vero?

    I have not made it to the Claxton show yet…but I will, I will (I did finally get to Sargent…after they thankfully extended it).

  3. Bailey Zimmerman

    Your version was great…terrific editing!
    Wish I were there…….sigh………………..

    Thanks for being our eyes….ears….while we are away!!

  4. marisa

    Thanks for the photos–I wish I was there—have you seen the new webcams on the Commune’s website—they are great!!!

  5. John Clarke

    I really like the Comune webcams, but miss the one they had overlooking the Piazzetta. It was shut down when the Torre Orologia was closed and boarded up, and they don’t seem to have put it back. If my Italian was up to it, I would suggest sticking a webcam on a vaporetto going up the Grande Canal, a live streaming cam to get the full effect of being there…oh, i miss Venice!

  6. John Clarke

    Wow, that new bridge has gone up really quickly. I’ll be interested to see it finished. I bet myself a Euro that I won’t like it…


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