The Grand Canal of Venice - Part One

Although the canals of Venice are surely a tourist attraction, they are not just a tourist attraction. On the island city there are no cars, you either walk or take a boat (I did not see anyone on a bicycle except one small child). The canals of Venice are the streets of Venice, and you will find the same things on the canals that you find on streets anywhere; taxis, buses, the milk man & the mail man, and I saw one ambulance on an emergency run. During rush hour the canals are clogged with buses and work boats, competing for space with the gondolas that are so popular with tourists. There is no directional discipline; boats on both sides of the canal go in both directions (and cross-ways). Each boat pilot is constantly on the alert, and boats often wander right & left, back & forth as they ply the Grand Canal.

In part one of the Grand Canal pages, I present several "panoramic" views. Not pictures of specific buildings, but pictures that try to express the variety of architecture, of form and color along the Grand Canal. For the most part, the view along the canal is little changed over the last several hundred years. The buildings, and the sweeping view of the canal are not much different now than they were 400 years ago, except for the boats and other trappings of modern life.

All of my pictures were taken with a Sony Mavica digital camera, in the lowest resolution mode (640x480).

Satruday, March 31, 2001

An evening view (about 6:40 PM) of the Grand Canal, from the water taxi, inbound from the Venice airport. We have turned into the Grand Canal from the Canal di Misercordia; the large red building on the left may be the Casa d'Oro.

Saturday, March 31, 2001

An evening view of the Grand Canal, coming out from under the Rialto Bridge on a water taxi from the airport, and heading for Hotel Marconi, away on the right.

Sunday, April 1, 2001

A morning view of the Grand Canal, as seen from the Rialto Bridge, looking roughly southwest. This is the same view as in the previous picture, but this time looking down. The covered boat on the left is a bus boat, the Venice equivalent of the MTA. On the left, further down, one of the buildings along the canal is undergoing refurbishment, and a large white cover separates the scaffolding from viewers. The Hotel Marconi is just out of view to the right.

Sunday, April 1, 2001

A morning view (about 10:00 AM) of the Grand Canal, from the Accademia Bridge, in front of the Accademia Di Belle Arti de Venezia.

Sunday, April 1, 2001

From the same spot as the previous picture, just turn around and look behind the photographer. The large dome in the distance is La Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, where the Grand Canal meets the Canale di San Marco.

Sunday, April 1, 2001

About 11:45 AM; a gondola in the Grand Canal. From a bus, heading north from Rialto Bridge. The building on the right, with the white arches at the bottom, is the fish market (Pescheria).

This is the end of part one, which has consisted of wide angle views of the canal. Now, on to Part Two, where we will look at some of the buildings encountered along the Grand Canal, in some more detail.

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