The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you stand on the famous crossing, the Doge's Palace and a public prison are on either side. A local myth (that turned into the plot line for the film A Little Romance) says that lovers who kiss on a gondola at sunset beneath the Bridge of Sighs will be granted eternal love. Access to the bridge itself is through the Secret Itinerary tour of the Doge's Palace.
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The Bridge of Sighs
As it's one of the most popular sights in Venice, you may have to wait for the perfect spot to view the Bridge of Sighs, but it's so beautiful that it's worth the effort. Part of the Doge's palace, the bridge leads to the prison, and it was said that prisoners "sighed" as they viewed Venice for the last time. The bridge is a must-see when in Venice and the view from inside the palace itself is not to be missed.