venice grand canal

Venice Grand Canal

Venice is an Italian city that is on the route of most people who intend to visit the European country. Today we’re going to talk more about the Grand Canal of Venice, share tips, the best ways to get to know it and much more.

What is the Grand Canal of Venice?

As its name suggests, the Grand Canal of Venice (Italian: Canal Grande or Canalazzo) is the largest waterway in the Italian city. It is the large canal where water cabs, vaporetti (Venice’s water buses) and, of course, the famous and charming gondolas circulate.

The Grand Canal of Venice starts from the lagoon near the train station, makes an “S” shape through the central districts and ends at the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, near St. Mark’s Square.

The Canal Grande is the largest and most important waterway in Venice. It is shaped like an inverted letter S. It crosses the entire city dividing it into two parts, connected by bridges: Ponte degli Scalzi, Ponte di Rialto and Ponte del’Accademia. From the main canal, there are 45 side channels, called rio. The length of the canal is about 4 km, its width from 30 to 70 m, its average depth of 5 m. On both sides, more than 150 marble palaces emerge from the water, built over the centuries from the 12th to the 18th century, mainly in the Venetian Gothic style, as well as in the Renaissance, Baroque and most often a mixture of several styles. These were representative residences of rich patrician families, who competed for a place on the canal and built more and more splendid residences, creating a water street unique in the world, with a fantastic shape and fairy-like architecture. On the canal were placed the commercial offices and warehouses (jondachi) of the countries having relations with the Republic of Venice, and around the Rialto bridge were concentrated the markets of the city, abundantly supplied with various goods, brought daily by the sea.

What is a gondola?

The gondola is a unique type of boat, typical of the Italian city of Venice. Because of its ease of operation and speed, it has long been an excellent means of transporting people along the canals of the Italian city. Find out how to take a gondola ride in Venice.

Tips for Gondola Rides

Although unforgettable, a gondola ride through Venice is expensive and, for the price, takes a short time (on average 20 minutes). That’s why I’ve separated some tips for you:

Where to take a gondola

There is no shortage of gondolas in Venice (and no shortage of people who want to take a ride either). So the advice is to choose a gondola close to the tourist attractions in the central area.

The real Gondolier 

The classic gondolier wears a hat and the famous striped shirt, but not only. The “original” gondoliers tell stories, hum and whistle even during the ride. Make sure you agree with the professional beforehand so as not to be disappointed later.

Duration of the tour

Ask the gondolier how long the trip will take before boarding and time the trip. Indeed, in high season, gondoliers usually shorten the trip and make smaller tours to make more profit.

Time of the trip

Pay attention to the time of day you take the gondola ride in Venice. If it’s hot, for example, and you go at noon, you’ll probably roast in the sun and hate the adventure.


What you see on the tour

You’ll actually see the city from a different perspective. As you walk along Venice’s grand canal and smaller canals, you’ll get a sense of what ancient Venetian residents felt as they moved along the city’s main thoroughfares. Some parts of Venice are only accessible by gondola through the narrow canals.

Moreover, the photos will be beautiful and if the day is sunny, it is not negligible. Take the opportunity to visit Venice after winter. Choose the months of May to September, when the temperatures are good. If it’s midsummer, don’t forget your cap and sunscreen!