The Grand Canal is main waterway in Venice, and as old as the settlement itself. It snakes through the heart of this unique city, its sides lined with buildings that chronicle Venice’s economic and social history. Many of these buildings stand right up against the water, so the only way to see them is from a boat.
Not a bad front door!
Of course, the most appealing way of travelling around Venice is by gondola, but that can be very pricey. The same goes for water taxis. Fortunately, there’s a third option, that’s much lighter on the wallet.
The vaporetti (singular vaporetto) are the transportation workhorses of Venice and its surrounding lagoon. Just like a regular bus service, these water buses have scheduled routes and timetables, to move locals and tourists from one part of the city to another, and between the lagoon’s numerous islands. They’ll even take you to the airport!
A vaporetto leaving the island of Murano
Unsurprisingly, several of the main vaporetto routes run along the Grand Canal, making them a great means of sightseeing, while crossing the city. And early one morning in August, during our most recent visit to Venice, we did just that.
The Grand Canal from Santa Lucia railway station.
Venice’s main waterway runs roughly 2.4 miles from near here to St Mark’s Basin
A Venetian ‘bus stop’ outside the railway station
The vaporetti can be pretty crowded at certain times of the day, but it’s all part of the fun!
The canals of Venice, Grand or otherwise, are full of working vessels
A gondola parking lot
The Pescheria (fish market)
Approaching the Rialto Bridge, the only bridge across the Grand Canal until 1854.
Today it is one of four bridges spanning the canal.
Passing beneath the Rialto
View of the Grand Canal heading towards St Mark’s (taken from the Rialto Bridge)
A vaporetto heading back towards the Railway station (also taken from the Rialto)
Following another vaporetto ‘downstream’ from the Rialto
Looking back at the Rialto Bridge
The sides of the canal are thick with brightly-coloured mooring poles
A gondolier readying his craft for another day’s work (note that he’s not in uniform yet)
The stunning Palazzo Barbarigo, decorated with mosaics made of Murano glass
The Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
Another gondolier getting ready for the day
Approaching the mouth of the Grand Canal
Some friends reflecting on our Journey
The Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute
The Dogana da Mar at the entrance of the Grand Canal
San Giorgio Maggiore across St Mark’s Basin
Our Destination – St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace (taken from San Giorgio Maggiore)
Vaporetto stops line the Riva degli Schiavoni near St Mark’s Square (photo taken from the Doge’s Palace)
Destination reached… St Mark’s Square
This post was inspired by Cee’s Which Way Challenge.
While you’re daydreaming of messing about in boats in Venice, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?
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