Venice, Italy


The Rialto Bridge (Ponte de Rialto) is the oldest bridge over Venice's Grand Canal. The current stone bridge was built in 1591,
designed by Antonio da Ponte (1512–1597). The bridge is one of Venice's architectural landmarks and a top tourist attraction.


Italian artist and resident of Venice, Elena Dell'Andrea found that one of the stairways to the top of the Rialto Bridge has 59 steps.
Rialto Bridge has 6 stairways, three on each side. Two central with 43 and 37 steps and four on the sides with 54, 57, 56 and 59 steps.
No one other bridge out of more than 300 bridges in Venice has 59 steps to the top. Elena Dell’Andrea: “In 2015, Irina Danilova, Hiram Levy and I
walked around Venice. Being immersed in her Project 59, Irina wondered whether Venice had a 59-step bridge. Then she sent me a predictive message:
the Rialto Bridge was built in 1591. After discovering the only way up with exactly 59 steps, I created a short video in 2020, between the pandemic waves, counting
59 steps to the top of the Rialto Bridge. During the opening of the 59th Venice Biennale. this became the 59 Steps Tour Up To The Top Of Rialto Bridge to Support Ukraine.”


On April 19th, 2022 Irina Danilova and Hiram Levy in homage to the 59th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art and in support of Ukraine,
made a street interactive performance, offering passersby a free 59 Steps Tour to the top of the Rialto Bridge. Elena Dell'Andrea called it "59 Steps For Peace".
Raffaella Losapio donated the flag "Peace". The only 59 steps up out of 5 other options on the Rialto Bridge and all other Venice bridges, was numbered with chalk.
59 Steps Tour performance especially attracted people from different war zones: Armenia, Lebanon, Ukraine (refugees from Kyiv, Irpen and other regions destroyed by the war).


Special thanks to Olga Zaikina for bags made in colors of Ukrainian flag and to Svetlana Shlyapnikova for suggestions, inspiration and rehearsal of the walk in 2019.