Gondola Ride in Grand Canal
It is the most important in Venice and crosses the entire city. It is 3,800 meters long and between 30 and 70 wide. Its route covers four of the six districts of the city. It is crossed by four bridges: Rialto, the oldest; of the Academy; of the Barefoot and the Constitution.
River transports such as traghetto run from end to end throughout the day and have several stops, so the walk along the Grand Canal can be a bit hectic, especially in the mornings. The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century, and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice. The noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos; this contest reveals the citizens’ pride and the deep bond with the lagoon. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca' Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Centuries-old traditions, such as the Historical Regatta, are perpetuated every year along the Canal.
Because most of the city's traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, only one bridge crossed the canal until the 19th century, the Rialto Bridge. There are currently three more bridges, the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell'Accademia, and the controversial Ponte della Costituzione from 2008, designed by Santiago Calatrava, connecting the train station to Piazzale Roma, one of the few places in Venice where buses and cars can enter. As was usual in the past, people can still take a ferry ride across the canal at several points by standing up on the deck of a simple gondola called a traghetto, although this service is less common than even a decade ago. The small and less traveled canals (called "rivers"), especially those behind San Marco, are a very good variant if you want to enjoy a quiet and charming walk.
In general, the tour depends on the neighborhood where you go to the gondola, but you can negotiate if you have a previous idea of what you want to see (we suggest you check our map of Venice). You can also ask to avoid the Grand Canal. Some "rii" are only passable when the tide allows, due to their shallow depth.
Among these small channels is the Rio di Palazzo, one of the best known in Venice, although many do not know its name. It is the one that passes under the famous Bridge of Sighs. Along the course of this watercourse there are interesting palaces, such as the beautiful Soranzo dell 'Angelo, which hides a sinister legend.
*Location: 395 Km north from Rome.
*Rates: (All prices are in Euros).
*Duration: 40 minutes.
*Best time: Afternoon.