As the main attraction of Venice is its canals,it is only expected to experience fully the canal scene via a gondola ride - through the grande canal!
We walked a couple of hours from Piazzale Roma after riding a bus from our hotel using a pre-paid daily ticket for the four of us.
Then after the exhaustion from the heat of the daym we decided to ride the gondola- paid 100 euros for the privilege! This sounded a bit steep but we were really tired so we opted for this tour. our gondolier was friendly enough and told us a lot of facts about Venice itself. He said Venice has more than 180 canals and he would to take us to some of the smaller ones before going through the main Grande Canal which is the centre of the main island of Venice. The canals are accessible by foot via its more than 400 bridges accdg to Matin.
Built for the nobility of Venice in the olden days, each gondola costs about 35,000 euros accdg to Matin oir gondolier. he said the gondola was mnade alkso for thre nobility- particularly the owners of the Doge Palace which is in the Grande Canal.
We sailed through various historical buildings- artistic, culturally and socially important part of Venetian society.
It is not to be missed. As, what's the point of going to canal-packed Venice if you will not try sailing through its waters? Ciao for now!
Considered one of the most beautiful Renaissance-style palazzi in Venice, Ca' Vendramin Calergi was designed by the architect Mauro Codussi and completed in 1509. It was commissioned by the Loredan family, but was sold and changed hands numerous times in the following centuries. Among them are the Vendramin-Calergi families whose names remained attached to the palazzo. Nowadays it serves as il Casinó municipale di Venezia. It is overlooking the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio sestiere.
One of Venice's oldest surviving palazzi, Ca' Da Mosto was built in the 13th century by the Da Mosto family. Originally, the palazzo was composed of two floors, the canal level and the piano nobile, both of which have conserved the Veneto-Byzantine arches which were typical for that period. During a later-period restoration, the two top floors were added, and between the 16th and 18th centuries, the building was converted into what became Venice's most famous hotel, l'Albergo Leon Bianco. The palace is currently empty awaiting restoration.
This unique Renaissance style palace, Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, lies adjacent to Ponte di Rialto, right on the Grand Canal. It was built in 1528 by the architect Giuglielmo dei Grigi as the seat of the Camerlenghi, the magistrates running the Venetian Treasury. Unusual for Venice, the edifice is detached from other buildings and follows an octagonal plan with not a single façade, but a decorated exterior that follows the length of the building. At the time of its construction, the palazzo was covered in coloured decorations, much of which has faded over time. The interior of the palace once possessed some of Venice's richest collection of artwork, which was removed during the Napoleonic occupation. Only some of this artwork was returned to Venice, though placed in buildings and museums other than its original home. Nowadays, il Palazzo dei Camerlenghi serves as a government building.
Overlooking the Grand Canal, this somewhat modest palazzo was built in the 14th century. Its distinctive features are the two side wings extending from the main palazzo to the Canal, which are original, despite an early 20th century restoration. The piano nobile (main floor) of the palazzo contains a loggia made of a row of Venetian Gothic arches over Corinthian columns. Palazzo Falier Canossa is still a private residence to this day.
Overlooking the Grand Canal, Ca' Foscari is one of the largest and most important of Venetian palazzi that are built in the gotico fiorito style. The palazzo was completed around 1450 for the doge Francesco Foscari, but was eventually acquired by the municipality of Venice before it was turned into an educational establishment, the Scuola Superiore di Commercio. It is adjacent to Palazzo Giustiniani, which was built in a similar architectural style.
Built in the 15th century, Palazzo Loredan is a typical gotico fiorito palace located in Dorsoduro, overlooking the Grand Canal. It is distinguished by the double coat of arms added to its façade during the Renaissance period. In the 18th century, the doge Francesco Loredan gave the palazzo to the ambassador to the Holy Roman Empire, hence the inclusion of "dell'Ambasciatore" in its name. Nowadays, the palazzo is a private residence.
Located in the San Marco sestiere, overlooking the Grand Canal, Palazzo Garzoni is identifiable by the coat of arms on the third floor. It was built in the 15th century, but the top floor was added in the 16th century. The palazzo had remained empty for a while, though it was recently purchased by the Università di Ca'Foscari.
No city in the world boasts a larger collection of sumptuous palaces than does Venice. Erected mostly during the apogee of the city-state of Venice between the 13th and 16th centuries, these palazzi are a testament to the prosperity of la Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia. The grandest palazzi were built on the Grand Canal by influential merchant families made wealthy through Venetian trade around the Mediterranean and with the Orient (i.e., Middle East). Each palazzo is unique and built in one of several distinctive Venetian architectural styles. Byzantine elements are apparent in older palaces, while later ones are either Baroque or Neoclassical in style, though the signature look is Venetian gothic (gotico fiorito) as in the attached pictures (see additional tips in this page and also Travelogues Palazzi di Venezia I, II and III for more examples). Venetian palaces continue to this day to serve as architectural models for mansions around the world.
Built in the 15th century, Palazzo Pisani Moretto has long been owned by the Pisani family. It has a distinctive pink façade with beautiful gotico fiorito windows, but it is most famous for its interior paintings by Giambattista Tiepolo. The famous Venetian artist worked on this palace during an 18th century renovation. The palazzo is located on the Grand Canal in the San Polo sestiere, not far from the Rialto.
Palazzo Corner Spinelli was built in the late 15th century by the architect Mauro Codussi, whose most famous work is la Torre dell'Orologio. This palazzo is also known as Palazzo Lando Corner Spinelli, which traces its initial ownership to the doge Lando. It has distinctive Renaissance-Romanesque style windows, overlooking the Grand Canal in the San Marco sestiere.
The Grand Canal meanders through Venice like a river. It is the city's widest canal and a showcase of many of its greatest palazzi with the most elaborate façades. It is crossed only by three bridges, the most famous of which is Ponte di Rialto. The best way to see the canal and its architectural masterpieces is to take the vaporetto (public ferry) from the southern tip of the canal to the railway station at the northern end. This is a MUST for first time visitors to Venice! For a more romantic (and expensive) ambiance, you may choose to take a private boat ride. Many of the Grand Canal's palaces are described in tips further below, and others are included among the photos in the travelogues: Palazzi di Venezia I, II and III.
Completed in 1575 in the Renaissance style by architect Michele Sammichelli, Palazzo Grimani was the residence of Venice's doge Antonio Grimani. It remained the residence of the Grimani family until around 1800, but is now occupied by the Corte d'Appello (Appeals Court, part of which is also housed in Palazzo Corner Contarini dei Cavalli). This palazzo is located in San Marco, overlooking il Canal Grande, near Ponte di Rialto.
Built in the 13th century, this overly renovated grand palazzo changed hands several times before it was loaned to Turkish merchants in 1621. Turks were among many foreign merchants present in Venice, many of whom established a fondaco, a caravanserai of sorts. The word fondaco (fontego in Venetian dialect) itself derives from the Arabic (and also Turkish) word fondouk. Today the palazzo is occupied by the Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum).
Adjacent to the church of San Geremia and its campanile, Palazzo Labia is a masterpiece of Venetian Baroque architecture. It boasts three façades, one on the Grand Canal, a second on the side of the canal, and a third facing Campo San Geremia. The palazzo was commissioned in 1646 by the Labia family, of Spanish origin and a new addition to the Venetian aristocracy, but took a century to complete. Thus, several architects worked on the project. Carlo Corbellini worked on the initial design, but it was the renowned architects, Alessandro Tremignon, Andrea Cominelli and Giorgio Massari, who finished its Baroque façades, while Tiepolo decorated parts of the interior. The palazzo is currently owned by RAI.