Ponte delle Tette

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Ponte delle Tette on rio di san Canciano

Ponte delle Tette is a small bridge in Venice, Italy. It takes its name ("Bridge of the Tits") from the use of the bridge by prostitutes, who were encouraged to stand topless there to entice and convert suspected homosexuals.[1]

The Carampane di Rialto was one of the red-light districts of Venice in the fifteenth century, by official decree. Sex workers there would open their legs wide or display their breasts from nearby balconies to attract business. The Serenissima supported this heterosexual sex in order to help stem the tide of a growing wave of homosexuality, which had grown into what was perceived as a social problem. By 1509, one writer estimated that there were some 11,565 courtesans working in Venice. Nearby was the Traghetto Del Buso, where courtesans crossed the Grand Canal to another legal red light district, again per orders of the Serenissima. Taxes on prostitution in 1519 helped finance excavation at the Arsenale.


  1. ^ Valhouli, Christina (15 November 2000). "Courtesan power". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 5 April 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2019.


  • Encyclopedia of Prostitution
  • Sethre, J. The Souls of Venice

Coordinates: 45°26′20″N 12°19′51″E / 45.4389°N 12.3309°E / 45.4389; 12.3309