Canal Grande, Palazzi (Grand Canal/Palazzi), Venice
Favorite thing: Make it one of your priorities to go on a ride all along Canal Grande by vaporetti - especially if you have only a few hours in the city on your first visit. Not only will it show you many of the finest palaces in the city and give you a general sense of orientation, no the best thing with this is that you are hit by the sense of uniqueness that Venice is all about. Don't miss it! You can catch a vaporetti outside the St Lucia railway station and go all the way down to San Marco which in 2005 set you back five euros. In this picture from near Accademia Bridge, you can see Palazzo Franchetti Cavalli and Palazzo Barbaro (where a painting Monet was only one famous guest).
Especially along the Canal Grande are the most beautiful buildings and palazzo's. The best thing to do for having a good look at all those palazzos is to take the vaporetto.
But I also liked to sit along the Canal Grande and have a look at the palazzos from there, including all the boats passing by.
The terrace of the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Dorsoduro from where I took this picture, is such a nice place to sit and look to the nice surroundings.
This is another view from the canals. I wish I could tell you where this picture was exactly taken, but I can't. I made so many photos of Venice, the canals, the beautiful buildings, that it is just impossible to remember the places exactly. One thing I do remember is that I just loved seeing it all, no matter what part of the city I was in.
Winding through the multitude of tiny islands that are Venice, the Grand Canal looks like a giant "S" from the air. It seems almost more like a river than like the other canals, since it's so much wider than most. Beautiful frescoed and marbled palaces of Venice's old aristocratic families line both sides of it, along with other famous landmarks like Santa Maria della Salute church, the Accademia, and the Rialto Bridge. Only three bridges cross it, with a fourth soon to come.
Fondest memory: One of my favorite memories is sitting outside in the fresh air on the #1 vaporetto going slowly down the Grand Canal, taking in the beauty of the water and the architecture all around.
Naturally, someone should not go to Venice without seeing Piazzo San Marco. What makes Venice so unique is its waterways. Since there are no cars beyond the end of the causeway, one must take a boat of some sort to cover longer distances in this city. The Grand Canal is the single most important waterway. It starts from train station and works its way towards Piazza San Marco. I enjoyed taking the vaporetto up and down this waterway between the hotel and other sites. It gives you a different perspective of this city.
Fondest memory: The best thing about Venice is that all of it is impressive. In most cities, you have your good parts and your bad parts. It seemed like anywhere you went, it was beautiful. There is little evidence of modernization (other than the boats) on the main island. It is like stepping back through time. While there are single important sites spread throughout Venice, the whole city itself becomes one large attraction.
I really enjoyed the ice creams mmmmmmmm and the doves in Piazza San Marco,the church...no words,not enough words.and the gondolas,perfect place
Fondest memory: All, I really cannot not describe what is my mmory because I was charmed in that place, it is like magic!
Favorite thing: Ca' d'Oro is the most outstanding gem of Venetian Gothic architecture. Gothic arches embroider the facade of the noblest of the Venetian mansions, which the locals called House of Gold. It is named after the multicolored decorations on the marble, once covered with gilding.
Favorite thing: This photo was taken from the taxi boat while we were driving along on the Grand Canal... We were told that most of these buildings are 'palaces'...although they looked more like hotels or apartment buildings to me. ;)
Here's the view looking down the Grand Canal from atop the Accademia bridge.
The closest structure is the Palazzo Franchetti Cavalli. It once belonged to Archduke Frederick of Austria, who died here in 1836.
Next in line is the Palazzo Barbaro where Monet & Whistler once painted and Henry James wrote 'The Aspern Papers'.
Off in the distance on the Dorsoduro side of the canal is Santa Maria della Salute. This church was built to commemorate the end of the 1630 plague.
Palazzos line the entire length of the Grand Canal. The vaporetti (boats) cruise along from stop to stop transporting passengers. This is a great way to see Venice and also go over to the adjoining islands.
Here's a glimpse of splendid Venetian houses along the GRAND CANAL.
The Grand Canal serves as the main street of Venice and is lined with some 200 palaces (no kidding) built between the 12th and 18th centuries.
This building is under restoration. But the beautiful part is that you can see what it will be like when they are finished, because they painted that on the huge panel in front of the building.
Favorite thing: It's more than beautiful if you see Venice for the first time, during the night. At the same moment it's divine and sad. And just try to walk through those narow streets and over the bridges, and you will feel like in the movie. I loved it, I felt like in the great movie "Death in Venice". So unreal, yet it's true....
Favorite thing: This was our water bus as it pulled into the station, I was hoping the other boat would pull out before we clobbered it. If you have never boarded a boat before, it can be in interesting test of balance and timing. As the station sways to the pace of the waves hitting it, the boat also rocks to its own rythm, one is going up and down and a little back and forth, while the other is to and fro with a little down and sideways. At this point you need to step from one to the other, well good luck...I think they will fish you out of the Grand Canal if you "miss" that first step ^O^
Favorite thing: Here in the forground you can see one of the many taxi stands along the Grand Canal. You just step off of dry land and put yourself in the hands of the skipper. That little brown boat in the forfront of the picture had a small sign in English "Taxi"..