Thursday, April 18, 2013

Venice, Part II--The Grand Canal

 Above is a satellite photo of Venice, from Wikimedia Commons. The backward "S" running through the middle of the photo is the Grand Canal. The beginning is at the top left corner, near the train station and the port. The mouth is at the bottom right corner, next to San Marco's Square and the Doge's Palace. There are four bridges, the Scalzi, the Rialto, the Academia, and the Constitution. The latter is new and controversial, near the parking lot and train station. The length of the Grand Canal is about two miles. In this post we will begin near the train station and end at the lagoon.

 The photo above shows the Scalzi bridge. Note the ambulance boat in the foreground. Taxis, municipal buses(vaporettos), sightseeing boats, police, fire, ambulance and freight delivery are all water vehicles. A number of private motor boats are also present on the canals as are the famous gondolas.

Above are typical Venetian buildings along the Grand Canal. I think the brightly painted posts are to keep boats from banging into each other as well as the buildings.

The building shown above is a Fondaco house. These houses were built by merchants as a combination office, warehouse and residence. This one is apparently being used as a natural history museum now. It was built in the 13th century, and called the Fondaco dei Turchi.

I don't know the history of this building but notice the private motor boat.

This building is at the market area around the Rialto Bridge. It is the Pescheria or fish market. The Rialto bridge is the oldest of the bridges and has a number of busy markets around it.

Here is the Rialto Bridge. I hate the graffiti, but there it is. It 's the Venetian's problem, not mine.

Above is what you do when you want to cross he Grand Canal and there is no bridge handy. The traghetto is a gondola that ferries passengers from one side of the canal to the other. Traditionally the passengers stand up during the crossing. As I recall it costs somewhere around 5-10 euros.

Attractive buildings--at least one of them is a hotel.

A gondola stop. Gondolas are expensive. During the day they cost about 80 euros per person. That's for 40 minutes. Oh, you wanted evening? Try about 120 euros. You wanted singing? You have to hire a separate singer--I have no idea what that costs. But don't ask for any Neapolitan love songs--this is Venice, not Naples.

Very attractive buildings and side canal.

This is a good size canal coming into the Grand Canal. Note the street lamp  on the left and what appears to be a traffic light on the right. This was the only light like this I saw in Venice.

Venice was heavily influenced by the Byzantine, as you can tell by the arched windows.

Bridge over a small canal where it joins the Grand Canal.

The building on the right houses an art gallery.

I know nothing about this building; the photo was taken from a vaporetto as we traveled along the Grand Canal.

This is a rather plain building except for the medallion over the door and the gull perched on the piling in front.

Interesting set of buildings. I don't know anything about them.

The dome in the background is the Church of Santa Maria della Salute.

There is a traghetto stop here--thus all the gondolas.

The Church of Santa Maria della Salute.

Gondola passing in front of attractive buildings.

Above are three photos of  buildings along the Grand Canal.

Gondolas on the Grand Canal with the Academia Bridge in the background.

The Academia Bridge.

Family in a gondola complete with flower. I suspect these kids had a great time. Academia Bridge in the background.

I believe this is the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti. The Academia Bridge is just out of view to the left.

Buildings along the Grand Canal.

The photo above is taken at the point the Grand Canal enters into the lagoon; a very popular place to grab a gondola ride. In the background is the Church of San Georgio Maggiore.

Above is another photo of San Maggiore. The Campanile has an elevator and is open to the public for a small fee. It's about a 5 minute vaporetto ride to San Maggiore.

All the photos on this blog entry were taken from a vaporetto on the trip between the train station and the mouth of the canal where it meets the lagoon. An absolutely marvelous ride!

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