Everyone around the world knows that Venice is the city of canals. But one channel is more familiar than the others. The Grand Canal runs through the city and looks like an upside-down letter S when seen from above. In a free translation, the Great Canal.
The people who live there won’t call it the Grand Canal or the Canal Grande. Residents of the city call this waterway Canaletto. A sweet name for this body of water that makes Venice what it is.
So, what does the Grand Canal look like? It flows for 3.8 km and is between 30 and 70 meters wide and 5 meters deep on average. Is it really the biggest? Not at all. It is not as big as the Jodaka Canal, which has become a major transportation route for much bigger ships. But the word “large” can mean different things, and for the city’s residents and visitors, the Grand Canal is the largest.
This name comes from the fact that the Grand Canal runs through the city from east to west and is the city’s main street. Venetians also love the Grand Canal.
Because of this, it is close to all the main tourist attractions that no one should miss. St. Mark’s Cathedral has many things to see and do. On the bank of the Grand Canal. The Campanile, the Ca d’Oro, and the Doge’s Palace? Like above. The six bridges that cross the Grand Canal have become attractions in their own right. The most famous ones are the Rialto Bridge and the Freedom Bridge, both of which you won’t want to miss.
The Grand Canal is wide enough that you can cross it by gondola, water taxi, floating bus (Vaporto), or even passenger ferry. No matter how you choose to sail the canal, it will be a unique experience. The price is the biggest difference. The most expensive option is the water taxi, and the cheapest is the Vaporetto (but it should be considered more popular and crowded and significantly less romantic). Another benefit of the water bus is that you can get on and off at the stations and visit all the interesting places you pass by.
Pay attention to the beautiful buildings next to the canal as you watch the water go by. Like in any other city, those with money and power wanted to see, be seen, and show off their wealth. And the city’s wealth is clear in the center, where there are many people. Rich people in the city and its leaders built palaces, beautiful buildings, and beautiful churches right on the banks of the canal. Some are still being taken care of, while others are already showing signs of wear and tear.
If you want to see less of the Grand Canal or just want to do something romantic, you can sail a small section of the canal in a gondola. Due to the size of the local boat, you can get off the main channel and into the smaller side streets. And this is a great show in and of itself.
A small but important piece of advice for those who want to take the Vaporetto: make sure you get on line 1 and not line 2. Line 2 is a fast line that doesn’t stop at every station. If you take it, you won’t have time to see the beautiful views and sights of the city.