A fellow resident of my apartment building knows of my love of postcards and recently gave me this one picturing the Rialto Bridge, one of four spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. The original bridge near the Rialto market on the eastern bank of the canal was wooden and built in 1255, consisting of two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section which was raised to allow the passage of tall ships. During the first half of the fifteenth century, two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. In 1444, it collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade. The bridge collapsed again in 1524. The present stone bridge is similar to the original wooden bridge and was designed by Antonio da Ponte and completed in 1591, making it the oldest bridge crossing the Grand Canal.
The stamp is an unofficial sticker produced by Friend Post, touted as a “easy and efficient way to sent postcards worldwide” and “a next-gen independent postal service” on their website. The parent company, Asendia, seems to be affiliated with the French La Poste and Swiss Post and can mail postcards worldwide, except Italy, through their network. Their stickers are sold along with the postcards in various souvenir shops and newstands where the cards can then be mailed in dedicated mailboxes.