Yet the group of islands called Rialto, in mid-Venetian lagoon, were first the asylum and then the magnificent and permanent home of a race that took a prominent part in the medieval and Renaissance history of Europe.
Giacomo di Rialto, 1 Secretary to Theodoric the Great, in a letter dated A.
The canals were crossed by wooden bridges without steps, and in the case of the wide Grand Canal the bridge at Rialto was carried on boats.
The Rialto bridge was designed in 1178 by Nicolo Barattieri, and was carried on pontoons.
Soon after the concentration The at Rialto the doge Angelo Particiaco began an official residence for the head of the state.
The most striking of these modern buildings are the new wing of the Hotel d'Italie, San Moise, and the very successful fish market at Rialto, designed by Laurenti and carried out by Rupolo, in which a happy return to early Venetian Gothic has been effected in conjunction with a skilful adaptation of one of the most famous of the old houses of Venice, the Stalon, or palace of the Quirini family.
Giovanni Elemosinario at Rialto (1398-1400) is called by Ruskin "the most interesting piece of central Gothic remaining comparatively intact in Venice."
On each occasion, no doubt, some of the refugees remained behind in the islands, and gradually built and peopled the twelve lagoon townships, which formed the germ of the state of Venice and were subsequently concentrated at Rialto or in the city we now know as Venice.
These twelve townships were Grado, Bibione, Caorle, Jesolo, Heraclea, Torcello, Murano, Rialto, Malamocco, Poveglia, Chioggia and Sottomarina.
But the Venetians, in face of the danger, once more removed their capital, this time to Rialto, that group of islands we now call Venice, lying in mid-lagoon between the lidi and the mainland.
The intricate water-ways and the stubborn Venetian defence baffled all his attempts to reach Rialto; the summer heats came on; the Lido was unhealthy.
The concentration at Rialto marks the beginning of the history of Venice as a full-grown state.
There was for the future one Venice and one Venetian people dwelling at Rialto, the city of compromise between the dangers from the mainland, exemplified by Attila and Alboin, and the perils from the sea, illustrated by Pippin's attack.
The first doge elected in Rialto was Angelo Particiaco, a Heraclean noble, with a strong bias towards Byzantium, and his reign was signalized by the building of the first church of San Marco, and by the translation of the saint's body from Alexandria, as though to affirm and to symbolize the creation of united Venice.
It purports to have been indited from the Rialto at Venice by Pope Alexander III.
The Rialto bridge at Venice, with a span of 91 ft., was built in 1588 by Antonio da Ponte.
It was through this tradition that Mark became connected with Venice, whither the patriarchate was further transferred from Grado; an early Venetian legend, which is represented in the Cappella Zen in the basilica of St Mark, antedates this connexion by picturing the evangelist as having been stranded on the Rialto, while it was still an uninhabited island, and as having had the future greatness of the city revealed to him (Danduli, Chron.
Political unity was thus established, but it was not till after another century of civil war that Rialto was definitely chosen the seat of government and thus the foundation of the present city laid.