Rialto was the first harbour of Venice. The barrels, boxes, spices, wine and oil perfumes which were unloaded on the bank of the GrandCanal were housed in the warehouses called " fondaci ". During the day the goods brought outdoors were sold on the stalls around the church of San Giovanni Elemosinaro. The market could be reached by an opening in the bridge called the monete which today can be seen only in a picture in the collection of the Academy of Fine Arts. The bridge, painted by Carpaccio was replaced with that planned by Antonio da Ponte, - built in stone on a single arch -, in the second half of a fifteenth century.

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