Ponte della Calatrava

Ponte delle Costituzione, aka the Ponte della Calatrava, Venice
The Venetians have always been very conservative, in both political and artistic terms. So it is no wonder that the idea of constructing a modern bridge across the Grand Canal filled them with such horror.

Objections were raised on every front: cost, necessity, suitability. The commission didn't even go to an Italian architect, but to Santiago Calatrava from Spain.

The bridge was opened in September, 2008 and is officially called the Ponte della Costituzione, as that year marked the 60th anniversary of the birth of the Italian Constitution. But it is known locally as the Ponte della Calatrava.

The erecting of the bridge did not silence criticism. Voices were soon raised against it, on the grounds that it was not suitable for old people or people with mobility issues. 

This issue would be addressed by the addition of a 'pod', attached to the side of the bridge, to ferry such people across. This has obviously led to an increase in the overall cost, which now stands at more than 11 million euros compared to the projected 6.7 million. 

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