The Grand Canal Venice
When people mention the city of Venice, there is hardly any doubt that most will think of the same thing: the famous Grand Canal, or Canalazzo. Almost instantly their heads will be filled with images of a starry night or beautiful sky, glistening reflections on the water, and of course, mandatory music playing in the backgrounds of their mind. When people think of this place, it’s hard not to get a little warm inside. The inner romantic that resides in everyone comes out, and once again you feel like a child happily lost in a wonderland.
But imagine, some people will think of this image even if they haven’t seen the place with their own eyes. A bunch of them would only think of what they saw in a movie, or read about in a book, yet they will be mesmerized all the same. Now, if just imagining this place brings about these kinds of feelings, think about what it would be like if you were actually there? "Heaven on earth", people have described it as. And really, it’s hard to disagree.
This was yet another wonder for Venice to be proud of. One thing that has many tourists fascinated with this place is that the Grand Canal was used as the main mode of transportation of Venetians centuries ago, and it still remains so today. It’s not everyday that you see people kissing their wife and child goodbye then hopping onto a boat to get to work. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always enjoyed boat rides because there’s something about gliding along the water that instantly gives you a sense of peace no matter how stressed out you could be. Imagine a city that gets to do this everyday. And you, a tourist on your well-deserved vacation, can experience it too!
The Grand Canal curves around the city of Venice in a reverse S shape, and it divides the city in half. It’s really long, around 2.36 miles, and it’s around 5 meters deep too so you wouldn’t want to fall in! If you find yourself near the Grand Canal, the best way to truly experience it is of course, from the water. Every scene in both mind and movie shows the Grand Canal with its famous gondolas. What’s interesting to note is that back in the day, these boats were what everyone used to get around—in fact, there were 10,000 of them in the city. Nowadays, though you still see the famous gondolas on the canal, there are only 400 of them left in operation.
You’ll also see other boats like water taxis, ferries, even police boats and funeral barges. Take the vaporetto—which is what locals call the ferry—and watch as you slowly drift past the beautiful palazzos. These buildings were owned by the wealthy Venetians and they boast majestic architecture from the 13th up to 18th century. If you visit this city on the first Sunday of September, you’ll be lucky to witness the Regatta Storica, which is a long tradition of boat races and parades held on this historical canal.