The Bridge of Sighs has become a symbol of love in a city that drips with romance.. It s said that if a couple in a gondola kisses as they pass under the bridge at sunset as the bells of St. Mark s toll, their love will last forever.
More ominously, It was used to lead prisoners from the examining rooms to their cells in the Prigioni.
Legend has it that prisoners who crossed the bridge on the way to their prison cells or the execution chamber would sigh as they caught their last glimpses of Venice through the tiny windows. The bridge, and its unforgettable name, became particularly famous after Romantic poet Lord Byron referenced it in his 1812 book Childe Harold s Pilgrimage : I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs a palace and a prison on each hand.