We won’t stop repeating it: The Grand Canal is one of the many marvels found in Venice, it is the backbone of this little island and as we like to say the “blue carpet” you can admire the magnificent city from.
Navigating along the Grand Canal not only lets you glimpse the beautiful facades of the Venetian palaces, with a little imagination you can go back in time to the splendor of this Republican City when this little Adriatic Island dominated a large portion of the Mediterranean Sea and the Grand Canal was its main road. It is the emblem of magnificence and at the same time is the major intersection of commerce today.
Imagine the Grand Canal without any motorized boats, but rather filled of boats with oars. The famous Rialto Bridge that cuts the Grand Canal in two-is one of the most loved areas in Venice- Just until the end of the sixteenth century it was built of wood and would open in order to allow larger cargo ships to pass through the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (where today the new department store is being opened by the Oma studio of the renowned Archistar Rem Koolhaas, opening soon), the Fondaco dei Turchi (where the Museum of Natural History is), and the Fontego del Megio where grains were deposited (today an elementary school.)
In Venice you don’t need much to travel back in time. Justyou’re your imagination going when witnessing the celebrated water show the Regata Storica (the first Sunday of September) a runway show of traditional Venetian costumes.
Even today, traveling along the Grand Canal, you can have not only a historical perspective but also a taste of the Venetian spirit (especially if you tread the waters early morning or late night.) From the Grand Canal it is possible to travel through the many calli and callette that connect like capillaries inside the city. Take a look at the campi that face the water, the gardens that would otherwise be hidden from land and the numerous architectural diversities displayed all incredibly unique.