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The Grand Canal of Venice

The most characteristic aspect of Venice are the beautiful canals that run through every corner of the city as if these were streets. The largest and most important of all is the Grand Canal that runs through Venice dividing it into two, measuring four kilometers in length.

How to cross the Grand Canal?

Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge
Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

Grand Canal, gondola at dusk
Gondola in the Grand Canal at dusk

Visitors and locals can cross the Grand Canal in a number of different ways, including a Water Bus or a Traghetto.

If you prefer to walk, you can also traverse one of the four bridges to span the canal:

  • Rialto Bridge: This is the city’s most charming and oldest bridge.
  • Ponte dell’ Accademia: The Ponte dell’ Accademia was originally built in steel in 1854. It was later replaced by a wooden structure.
  • Ponte degli Scalzi: Ponte degli Scalzi, which means in English, the Bridge of the barefoot is called Bridge of the Station and Bridge of the railway due to its closeness to the railway station.
  • Ponte della Costituzione: This is the most famous bridge in Venice and it was designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava. It connects Piazzale Roma with Venezia Santa Lucia train station.

The Grand Canal by vaporetto

The Water Buses cruises down the Grand Canal stopping in both sides of the canal. It is a great and inexpensive way of observing the beautiful buildings and palazzos located on either side of the city’s main artery.

The best vaporetto to explore the Grand Canal is the line 1. The journey includes the Ca’ d’Oro Palazzo, Gallerie dell'Accademia, the palazzo Ca’Rezzonico, Santa Maria della Salute and the well-known Rialto Bridge.

Location

Runs through Venice dividing it into two

Map

The Grand Canal of Venice, location map

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