Avant-garde Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s 2008 bridge over the Grand Canal has been called many things: a fish tail, a glass tongue, unnecessary, overdue, pleasingly streamlined and displeasingly wheelchair-inaccessible. Some prefer the bridge by night, as a ghostly streak of light reflected in the Grand Canal; others appreciate daylight revealing its red ribbed-steel underbelly.
The bridge's €15-million cost is triple the original estimate, and includes a belatedly tacked-on wheelchair lift. But as the round trip takes an estimated 16 minutes, plus waiting time, vaporetto may remain the faster way for travellers with disabilities to cross the canal between Piazzale Roma bus station and the Ferrovia (train station). Judge for yourself whether the time and money has paid off, and join the ongoing debates on the bridge’s relative merits at happy hours across Venice.