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The Grand Canals Of Venice
cwo3ward @ 09/ 16/ 2010

The Grand Canals of Venice

The Grand Canals of Venice is an absolutely beautiful place to visit and see. The canal is part of the largest water travel corridor in the world. Public transportation is provided by water bus as well as water taxis.  Travel the canal by Gondola and see a major part of Venice. This is one the most popular things for tourists to do while visiting Venice because of all the wonderful sites they can see along the way.

The canal almost forms the shape of an upside down S and goes through the central districts of Venice. One end of the canal will take you right into the Lagoon and the other will take you to Saint Mark Basin. It is about 2 miles long and 350 feet wide at that widest point. The canal has an average depth of 16.5 ft.

As you travel the canal you will see banks that are filled with well over 170 thousand buildings that can date all the way back to the 13th Century. The architecture of these buildings is just amazing and full of such beauty.
There are only four bridges that cross the entire canal and up until the 19th century, there was only one. One of the bridges only connects the train station to the vehicle-open area of Piazzale Roma. The most famous of these bridges is the absolutely stunning Rialto Bridge.

The first settlement in the area grew around the canal near the Rialto Bridge. During the 10th century the Grand Canal of Venice was home to merchants who made their money by sea because it was a center of trade. Trade was safe here and yet was easily accessible by ship.

The 12th and 13th Centuries brought about homes along the canal that had Byzantine-style décor such as arches and loggias. The Venetian-Gothic style of architecture became apparent around the 15th century that was followed by the 16th century that brought about Renaissance and Classical styles. Baroque-style buildings were added to the already exciting buildings during the late 16th and 17th century. By the 18th century the building had almost stopped as there was not any room left to build.

We took a gondola ride from the area near Saint Mark's Square.  There are, of course, a lot of gondolas to choose from.  Since we were on a guided tour, our guide took us to an area where they load the tourists into the boats with amazing efficiency.  I thought a gondola ride would be interesting, but not terribly exciting.  I have to admit that I enjoyed the ride between the buildings and under the bridges.  Our gondolier even sang for us!  I took some pretty good video of the ride.  It's amazing to see how high the water gets on the buildings and to learn that the buildings flood on a pretty regular basis.  That's one of the challenges of living in Venice!

The Grand Canals of Venice is a must visit place when in Italy. The rich history and wonderful sites you will see will be something that will remain in your memory forever.

What were the WOW moments you experienced?
The gondola ride was great! I'm looking forward to a return to Venice now so I can wander all over Venice and experience it on foot.
Italy, Venice, The Grand Canals of Venice
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