Gorgeous Sights ~ Beyond the Grand Canal, Venice
Italy Travel City Trip

Gorgeous Sights ~ Beyond the Grand Canal, Venice

This post is part of the series Italy

Other posts in this series:

  1. Gorgeous Sights ~ Beyond the Grand Canal, Venice (Current)
  2. Getting Lost in Venice!

This post is part of the series Venice

Other posts in this series:

  1. Gorgeous Sights ~ Beyond the Grand Canal, Venice (Current)
  2. Getting Lost in Venice!
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Oh Venice, where do I start? Let’s start with July 1997, 20 years and a “few-wrinkles-less” ago, I visited Venice for the first time with my mother and aunt. To be honest, the only thing I can remember was the burning heat, millions of tourists, some disgusting stench from the canals and fish-market, as well as the best vanilla ice cream I got before leaving the city. 11 summers later, in the year of 2008, I visited Venice for the second time in my life. Again – I do not have any major recollection of what I have experienced during the day spent in Venice together with my best friend. The holy reason was the student party we were attending the night before travelling to Venice (which lasted to 5:00 a.m. in the morning and we had to be at 6:30 a.m. in the bus heading to Italy …). But again, the Venice pattern was repeated – stench, heat, tourists, ice cream, and (new!) damn hangover.

 

My first visit to Venice, 1997

 

San Simeone Piccolo, Venice
Church of San Simeone Piccolo

 

We are getting closer to my third and last visit to the beautiful Italian city and the source of this current story. I and my husband decided to spend a weekend of April 2017 in one of the most visited cities of Europe. Venice is a perfect weekend getaway when you live in Innsbruck as it takes only 4.5 h by car and 5 h by train/bus in order to reach its mainland. “Some Miracles Take Time” – till I found the magic ingredient for the perfect Venice visit and it is called “rain”! The fish stench was gone and together with it – the tourists and the burning heat too! Perfection!

 

Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande

 

Just to make sure it has been said – you don’t expect to see the whole of Venice in a weekend. The city of Venice is an enchanted place, actually 118 different places! Venice is built on an archipelago of 118 islands, separated by 177 shallow canals connected by 409 bridges and maze of narrow, twisting streets. So even if you’re the best city-walker of all time, it could be a bit hard to see everything mentioned above in a weekend. Second thing to be mentioned:  you can choose among the only two modes of exploring Venice – by foot or by boat.

 

Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Fondamenta Turchi and the Natural History Museum

 

If you arrive in Venice by bus or car, your end-stop will be the bus station Piazzale Roma or Santa Lucia railway station, if you travel by train. From here you can see the Church of San Simeone Piccolo (built during the 18th century) and on the opposite side the Canal Grande – the main gateway to the city of Venice!

 

Canal Grande, Venice
San Stae
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande

 

The Grand Canal connects the bus and railway station of Venice with Saint Mark Basin. Canal Grande is 3.8 km long S-Shaped canal that ranges between 30 to 90 m in width and 2 to 5 m in depth. Probably the best and cheapest way to travel is by “vaporetto” – the water bus ( Line 1 and Line 2) which travel from one end to the other end and connects the main tourist attractions of Venice.

 

Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande

 

The history of the Grand Canal is as long (… or even longer) as the history of Venice. Many historians suggest that the main Canal follows the course of an ancient river; that the first settlements grew along the main canal, and later – the whole city too. Canal Grande not only connects some of the most top tourist attractions in Venice, but it also has become one of its top attractions!

 

Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande

 

Not only the Grand Canal itself, but also the historic buildings located along its shoreline are must-see in Venice! The majority of all 170 “Palazzi” of Canal Grande were built between the 12th and 18th century by wealthy Venetian families. Nowadays the canal is a living museum of majestic palaces, which represent every single style of architecture from these centuries: Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles: Merchants’ houses from 10th century; Byzantine style architecture from 12th and Gothic style form 13th century (Ca’ d’Oro, Fondamenta Turchi); Renaissance and Classical styles from 15th and 16th century (Santa Maria di Nazareth, Scalzi Church, Palazzo Dario, Palazzo Corner della Ca’ Grande, Santa Maria della Salute Church).

 

Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
L’Alcova Restaurant, Venice
L’Alcova Restaurant
L’Alcova Restaurant, Venice, Italy
L’Alcova Restaurant
Ponte di Rialto, Venice, Italy
Ponte di Rialto

 

There are more than 400 bridges in Venice, but only four bridges span across the main Grand Canal. The first wooden bridge was built in 12th century and later replaced by a drawbridge, which completely broke down in 15th century. 150 year later the Venetians decided to build the most monumental stone bridge in Venice – Ponte Rialto! The second bridge is Ponte di Calatrava (“Ponte della Costituzione,”) which was built in 2008 and is still the most modern one in the city.  Degli Scalzi Bridge connects the train station with the Santa Croce neighbourhood. And the last bridge, Ponte dell’Accadmia, has wooden construction that connects San Marco neighbourhood with the Accademia Gallery in Dorsoduro.

 

Ponte di Rialto, Venice
Ponte di Rialto
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande
Canal Grande, Venice
Canal Grande

 

All in all, the Grand Canal Tour is a Must-Do when you travel to Venice! “Vaporetto” lines are great option to explore the unique architecture dating from 12th to 18th century of Italian history. Make sure you take “Vaporetto” Line 1, and not the express Line 2, which moves too quickly and skips several stops. Standing outside is the only way to see the both sides of Canal Grande. Be there in the very early morning to miss the crowds. And last but not least, take “Vaporetto” in only one direction – Venice is at least, or even more beautiful, when you explore it by foot!

 

Canal Grande
Santa Maria della Salute
Canal Grande
Canal Grande
Santa Maria della Salute, Venice
Santa Maria della Salute
San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
San Giorgio Maggiore
Canal Grande, Venice
Palazzo Ducale, Plaza San Marco

 

Did you know that you can visit the Venice Canals in Los Angeles too? Find more Information here!

 

Enjoy the day!

Continue reading this series:

Islands

Road Trip

Tips

Trips

City Trip

LillaGreen

Tsvete Popp is a travel and lifestyle blogger based in Innsbruck, Austria. LillaGreen is about living the life of a dreamer with passionate devotion to travel and photography. LillaGreen encourages you to explore the World by creating your own rules to follow.

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LillaGreen

Hello, I'm Tsvete Popp and LillaGreen is my sweet escape from reality where I share my adventures from around the World, travel and photo diaries, interesting stories and useful tips. Enjoy with me!

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