Canal Grande, Venice

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  • The Grand Canal
    The Grand Canal
    by spidermiss
  • Grand Canal palazzi seen from the Rialto Bridge
    Grand Canal palazzi seen from the Rialto...
    by Jefie
  • Canal Grande
    by Legolas5
  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Canal Grande

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Oct 23, 2014

    The Grand Canal (Italian: Canal Grande) is the main waterway of Venice. The vaporetto water buses are the main form of public transport here; it is especially worthwhile to make use of the rather slow vaporetto line One (in both directions) to enjoy the Grand Canal at a relaxed pace.

    The canal connects the area near the Santa Lucia railway with San Marco along a length of 4 km. On both sides of the canal, about 170 historically significant buildings dating back between the 13th-18th century can be seen. As iit was regarded as the most exclusive location, noble families and patricians strived to outbuild each other by creating spectacular palazzi along the canal.

    It is impossible to name all famous buildings along the Canal Grande; among the best-known are the Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' d'Oro, Ca' Foscari, and the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. The Galleria dell`Accademia is also situated here.

    Canale Grande

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    The Main Avenue

    by solopes Updated Oct 2, 2014

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    In my first visit to Venice, I was impressed by... a funeral. A boat with a coffin in the middle, surrounded by flowers, crossed the canal.

    Natural... It's main street. But it's strange, the way the water separates things, and at the same time joins them, in a different way.

    No visit to Venice is complete without a trip in Grand canal.

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    Dusk colors

    by solopes Updated Oct 2, 2014

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    It happens that all my visits to Venice took place in winter or spring. That way, I always saw a rainy or grey town.

    The balance between dusk and artificial lights allowed, in my last visit, this good picture of Rialto by my friend Paulo. It's interesting to see the face of town changing so deeply and quickly. And, no matter the weather, each direction you look or picture has its own beauty (if you forget degradation...).

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    The main arterial road.

    by breughel Updated Oct 22, 2013

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    On my last visit to Venice my perception of the Grand Canal was different from the previous visits where I had been, sitting at the bow of the vaporetto, admiring the palaces appearing one after another in my field of view.
    This time as I could see the Mercado-market from where I was staying and got interested in the Grand Canal as the main economical arterial road of Venice. Indeed each morning I saw cargo boats unloading their polystyrene foam boxes with fish and other sea food as well as ice for the stalls (photo 1).

    Studies were made of the boat traffic on the 150 canals. The delivery of goods ands services account for 46%, public transport including water taxis is 40%, private or "sport" boats take 10% and gondola 4%.
    Cargo traffic varies most from low to high tourist season. There is consistent congestion at the landings what is easy to observe at the Rialto (photo 2). You have to realize that most of the hotels, restaurants and shops get goods from the cargo boats. These goods have to be unloaded and transported by handcarts over the steps of the many bridges.
    The gondola contribute heavily to traffic congestion (photo 3) but produce no pollution while all the motor boats pollute the air, are noisy and contribute most to the wake pollution effects on the buildings called "moto ondoso".
    What is amazing with all that traffic on the canals is that I never saw an accident or incident. All of them are virtuosos of maneuvering their boats.

    I put here a video from two vaporetto's in the turn of the Rialto Bridge and another of a vaporetto passing through a group of gondola.
    Funny and rather exceptional was that sort of Kayak (photo 4) on the Grand Canal. It is a fact that unlike cars in a city, private transport is a minority in Venice.

    Cargo traffic on the Grand Canal Traffic congestion at Rialto. Traffic congestion by gondola. A kayak on the Grand Canal.

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  • shavy's Profile Photo

    Grand Canal

    by shavy Written Sep 7, 2013

    The largest river of Venice, four kilometers long, thirty to seventy feet wide, at the Grand Canal you see how beautiful city Venice from the water. Along the river you will find several palaces, there are totally three bridges over the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge is the most famous and the busiest one and the widest bridge
    If you are taking ride one of the Gondola or the water bus you definitely sail across this river

    Grand Canal

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    The Grand Canal

    by GentleSpirit Updated Jan 31, 2013

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    This is the big "avenue" going through Venice. Actually, it cuts through the various neighborhoods in an S shape. The Grand Canal itself is 3800 meters long, is 30-90 meters in width and about 15 meters in depth.

    Along the Grand Canal was considered the most prestigious place to be, so naturally the rich merchants and the powerful of Venice liked to build their palazzos along the Grand Canal.
    If you just get on the vaporetto and go down the Grand Canal you can get a nice appreciation for the palazzos and the wealth involved in this. You also get a nice chance to see the varied forms of Architecture.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Grand Canal

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jan 20, 2013

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    We took a boat trip along the Canal and could admire the Venetian Gothic architecture.
    The Grand Canal forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. Public transport is provided by water buses and private water taxis, and many tourists explore the canal by gondola.
    At one end, the canal leads into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into Saint Mark Basin; in between, it makes a large S-shape through the central districts of Venice. It is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters.

    You can watch my 3 min 22 sec Video Venice Grand Canal out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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    The Grand Canal

    by Africancrab Written Dec 30, 2012

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    Venice the city of love will always be one of my favorite cities. A city filled with canals and water, the grandest of them is the Grand Canal. It literally cuts right through Venice and is the highway of all the water transports (gondola services) and water buses; the Italians call them Vaporetti. The views along the canal are magnificent, nothing short of impressive. I still remember the sunset like it was yesterday. This review is long coming of course; I was in Italy in 1998 and spend a great many evenings watching the sunset over Venice. Being in love and all, everything was magnified, the beauty, the water, the romance of strangers, the music in the distance, the smell of fresh wine and spirits.

    While on the canal in the evening, the glistening of the sun on the water creates a vision like no other. For the regular visiting, this becomes a common occurrence, but for a first time visitor, there is nothing more beautiful. What is more impressive still is how old the canal is and the architecture with which it was build. Perhaps you don’t know, but most of Venice is built on water. The city is held up on wood plucks stuck deep into the swamps and the canals made of waters drained from the original swamps.

    You must visit the Grand Canal if you find yourself in Venice. Take a loved on with, you will enjoy it more.

    The Canal in the afternoon The Canal in the evening
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  • BLewJay's Profile Photo

    Along the Grand Canal

    by BLewJay Written Jan 27, 2012

    Once we got off the train, we purchased our 3-day pass (€66/total) to travel via the vaparetto in/around Venice. There are so many different things to see while on the vaparetto espceically as they travel up/down the Grand Canal.

    Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute Ca'Angeli - where we stayed while in Venice One of the many side canals Fresco paintings on many buildings View of St. Marks from the water/vaparetto
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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    The Grand Canal

    by antistar Updated Oct 24, 2011

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    The first thing you should do on any visit to Venice is take a trip up the Grand Canal on any of the local water taxis that ply its snaking inverted s-shaped length. Take a trip when you arrive, and then take several more trips, in both directions, at night, at sunset, and first thing in the morning. You'll see something different each time, and the water taxis give relatively cheap entertainment in an expensive city. You can ride out on a gondola too, if you feel like splashing out.

    There are beautiful buildings stretching out all along the Grand Canal, but the key sight on the journey from the Stazione to the Plaza San Marco is the Rialto bridge, striding the Canal Grande about half way up its length. This magnificent and famous bridge was originally nothing more than a floating pontoon, set down in the 12th century to serve the market on the east bank. The current stone bridge dates from 1591, and was considered such an outrageous design at the time, that it was thought it could never last very long. And yet here it still is.

    Grand Canal, South from the Rialto Bridge Rialto Bridge Grand Canal Buildings of the Grand Canal Rialto Bridge from the Grand Canal

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Grand Canal

    by spidermiss Updated Jul 23, 2011

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    The Grand Canal is Venice's main thoroughfare. Water buses and water taxis are the main transportation to navigate Venice's central districts. Visitors usually explore the canal by hiring gondalas. The canal is around 3,800m in length and approximately 30-90m in width.

    The main attractions on the Grand Canal are the many palaces and buildings that were built between the 1200s to 1700s. Wealth and art were big things in the former Republic of Venice and flaunted by the noble proud venetian families.

    There are three bridges on the Grand Canal with the most famous and oldest one being the Rialto Bridge.

    Every year the Canal hosts the Historical Regatta.

    The Grand Canal Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, Grand Canal The Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge The Grand Canal The Grand Canal
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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Luxe Hotels in former Palaces.

    by breughel Written Oct 27, 2010

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    The Grand Canal counts a number of palaces which belong to the 5* Luxe hotels.
    On the left bank one finds the Gritti palace at the S.Maria del Giglio vaporetto stop, the Europa e Regina facing the Salute, the Bauer facing the Dogana to end with the most known Danieli on the basin of San Marco.

    The most sumptuous from the exterior is the Palazzo Gritti from the 16th c (photo 1). I dreamed of staying in this Palazzo hotel until I read the comments on Trip Advisor:
    141 comments of which 10 "terrible", 21 "poor", 18 "average", 25 "very good" and 66 "excellent".
    I felt from my chair. How is it possible that a prestigious hotel like the Gritti gets 22% bad critics when guests pay between 500 and 900 €/night and only 62% of the guests recommend this hotel!

    The Westin Europa & Regina (photo 2) gets a better score: on 420 comments are 20 "terrible", 34 "poor" that is 13% bad critics and 79% recommend. Prices are somewhat lower from 400 till 800 €/night.

    Palazzo Bauer (photo 3) gets the best score from these 4 Luxe Palace hotels: on 359 comments 12 are "terrible", 19 "poor" that is 9% bad critics; 86% recommend. Prices between 500 and 1000 € (this is for the Palazzo on the Grand Canal, there are lower prices for the building in the back called Bauer hotel).

    These 3 palace hotels have private terraces with restaurants directly on the Grand Canal and their own embarcadero for the water taxis.

    For the most famous Danieli on 383 critics 29 are "terrible", 34 "poor" that is a total of 16% bad critics; 73% recommend. Price between 400 and 700€/night. As you can see from my photo the hotel occupies 3 buildings (photo 4). The ochre one in the middle has the monumental hall and staircase. The Danieli has no terrace on the water but on the roof. The entrance is on the very crowded quay with souvenir shops for tourists (photo 5).

    The prices I mention are from Expedia, Westin and Bauer for the period of May 2011.
    The lowest are for standard rooms (no view) the higher ones for de luxe rooms but not necessarily with a Canal or Lagoon view. The rooms with good views are generally suites with prices between 1000 and 2000 €/night.

    What I find terrible is that 5* Luxe hotels in Venice are unable to obtain a minimum of 95% satisfaction from customers who pay such high prices. What is even more terrible when you read the critics of their guests are the many complaints about bad service!

    Gritti Palace Europa & Regina Palace Bauer Palace Danieli Palace (3 buildings) Danieli on the quay.
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    Palazzo Barbarigo - the palace with mosaics.

    by breughel Updated Sep 21, 2010

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    If I was a rich man I would buy this palace on the Grand Canal close to the Salute and facing the beautiful Palazzo Corner della Ca' Grande.
    From my first visit to Venice in the 1970's my wife and I liked this palace with a façade covered with mosaics from Murano what makes it unique in Venice.

    It was originally built in the 16th century but the mosaics were added in 1886 by the new owners who had a company producing glass art in Murano (Compagnia Venezia Murano now Pauly & C). The transformation with the mosaics was not appreciated by the neighbours of the palace who found this bad taste of "nouveaux riches".

    It needs to be said that Palazzo Barbarigo is located on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro sestiere at the junction with the Rio San Vio.
    Actually as discussed with MM212 there are several Palazzo Barbarigo in Venice.
    Most confusing is Hotel Palazzo Barbarigo which was also called Barbarigo della Terrazza Palace located on the Grand Canal but in the Sestiere San Polo at the junction with the rio San Polo (near the S. Toma vaporetto stop).
    There is also a Palazzo Barbarigo-Minotto on the other side of the Canal near the S. Maria del Giglio vaporetto stop where classical music including opera's is played.
    To make it more confusing there is also a Palazzo Barbarigo Nani in the Dorsoduro sestiere near the campo di San Trovaso.

    Palaces with the same family name are rather common in Venice. It's part of the game finding the right one. The Palazzo Barbarigo with the mosaics cannot be missed.

    Palazzo Barbarigo - the palace with mosaics. Palazzo Barbarigo - the palace with mosaics.
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    Palazzo Barbarigo

    by MM212 Updated Sep 20, 2010

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    Famous for the Murano glass mosaics covering its Grand Canal façade, Palazzo Barbarigo is one of the most unique in Venice. It was built in the 16th century, but its façade was not covered in mosaics until the 19th century. The owners of Palazzo Barbarigo had the mosaics custom made at their family's very own glass factory on Murano Island.

    NOTE: the Palazzo Barbarigo I describe is NOT the same as the hotel with the same name. For information about the hotel, go to their website at: www.palazzobarbarigo.it.

    Palazzo Barbarigo (Apr 09) Palazzo Barbarigo (Nov 05)
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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Architecture along the Grand Canal

    by Jefie Updated Aug 28, 2010

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    Venice's Grand Canal is the main "water road" running through the heart of the city. From Piazza San Marco to the Santa Lucia train station, the S-shaped canal covers a distance of about 3.8 km. Because of the heavy water traffic, building on the Grand Canal was a way for Venitian citizens and parishes to show off their wealth and importance - for this reason, the canal is bordered on both sides by beautiful palazzi and some of the city's nicest churches. A really great way to see these colourful buildings is to take one of the vaporetto lines that goes up the Grand Canal (see my transportation tips). Apart from the Rialto Bridge, there are three more bridges crossing the Grand Canal: the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell'Accademia, and the Ponte della Constituzione. The latter is the most recent of the bridges - it was built in 2008 to connect the bus station to the train station, and its design is surprisingly modern and therefore rarely appreciated by visitors and locals alike. Other than this "sore thumb" feature, however, the Grand Canal and its surrounding architecture greatly contribute to making Venice one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

    Grand Canal palazzi seen from the Rialto Bridge Another view of the Grand Canal More palazzi on the Grand Canal
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