Venice Italy, Salute Church, St. Mark's Square Venice, Grand Canal Venice, Bridge of sighs, Rialto Bridge, Venice sightseeing

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is an upside-down “S” three kilometres long dividing the city into two parts.
Called by many the “most beautiful street in the world”, the Grand Canal is celebrated for both its beauty and uniqueness.

Lined by an uninterrupted series of splendid palazzos and churches the Grand Canal is a magnet for tourists wishing to see Venice from the water, whether on board vaporettos or gondolas.

The famous edifices overlooking this waterway include the baroque church of the Scalzi next to the railway station, Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, home of Venice’s casino, the Ca' d'Oro, a splendid Gothic building housing the Franchetti Gallery, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, former residence of German merchants and now the main post office, the Palazzo della Pescheria housing the Rialto market, Ca' Farsetti, current town hall, the 18th-century Palazzo Grassi, recently purchased by contemporary art collector François Pinault and used as an exhibition venue, the Fondaco dei Turchi which holds the Natural History Museum, Ca' Pesaro, home of the Museum of Oriental Arts and Modern Art Gallery, Ca' Foscari, the seat of the University of Venice, Palazzo Pisani Moretta, Ca' Rezzonico, home of the Museum of the Venetian Eighteenth Century, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni housing the Peggy Guggenheim collection, and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, another superb example of Baroque religious architecture.

The Grand Canal is crossed by four bridges: the Rialto bridge, the Ponte degli Scalzi near the railway station, the Accademia bridge near the eponymous art gallery, and a fourth bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava, recently put into place but awaiting completion and therefore closed to the public, which will soon link the railway station and Piazzale Roma.

An alternative way of crossing the Grand Canal is to take a "traghetto”, a gondola-like boat capable of ferrying a dozen or so passengers from one bank to the other; for a small fee you too can enjoy the experience of being rowed across the Grand Canal and of having an original perspective of it.

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