Our real estate proposals on the Grand Canal
The Grand Canal (for Venetians also Canalazzo or “Canalaso”). About 3800 meters long (width from 30 to 70 m, average depth of 5 m), it divides into two parts the old town by drawing an upside “S” going from the intersection of the Liberty Bridge to St. Mark’s Basin.
It is flanked along the lenght by magnificent buildings (mostly between the XII and XVIII centuries), which demonstrate the welfare and the art created by the Republic of Venice, making it a symbol of the city. Every year the Venetians will relive old traditions of the Serenissima as the Historical Regatta.
« I was invited to sit in betweeen two ambassadors, and they led me to the main road, which they call the Grand Canal and it is indeed very large. The galleys go through, and I also saw ships of 400 ton and more close to homes. It’s really the most beautiful street that can exist, I believe, in the world […]. The houses are very high and large, the old ones are buld of good stone and they are all painted […] the others date back a hundred years ago […] they all have marble façade from Istria, 100 miles beyond, and large pieces of porphyry and serpentine. »
(Philippe de Commynes, ambassador in Venice, 1495)
«The houses so arranged on either bank of the canal, made one thinking of objects of nature,
but of a nature which seemed to have created its works with a human imagination.»
(Marcel Proust, The Sweet Cheat Gone)
Video about the Grand Canal
“Venice: travel among the treasures of the Grand Canal” is a TV program by Alberto Angela and Piero Angela.
In this episode Alberto Angela invites you to a little but fascinating trip: the about four kilometers of the Grand Canal to discover the many beautiful buildings overlooking this waterway and that make Venice a unique city in the world. Behind every door, in every dome many stories are hidden. Visiting some of the most famous Palaces, you will see how the patrician families lived. Navigating the Grand Canal, you will find out what supports the Palaces of Venice, why some of them are crooked, which famouse people have lived here. But Venice is not a city museum, which has remained frozen in time: this is also demostrated by new bridge over the Grand Canal, bridge designed by the Architect Santiago Calatrava. Today, living in Venice is a privilege envied by many: here everything is different from a normal city: so Venice has another dimension, and you have more time to admire the beauty in which you are immersed.
The Rialto’s Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges, together with the Accademia bridge, the Scalzi bridge and the bridge of the Constitution, which cross the Grand Canal in Venice. Of the four, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest and certainly the most famous.
According to the chronicles, the first way on the Grand Canal consisted of a bridge of boats. A real bridge, supported by wooden poles was built by Nicolò Barattieri under the Doge Sebastiano Ziani or Orio Mastropiero (second half of the twelfth century) and it took the name of “the Coin Bridge” because at the eastern end of the work, the ancient Mint arised.
The growing importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank of the canal increased the traffic on the floating bridge. Around 1250 it was replaced by a structural wooden bridge. The structure consisted of two ramps that were joined together at a movable central section, which could be raised to allow the passage of the highest vassels. Given the close association with the market, the bridge was renamed and became the Rialto Bridge. In the first half of the fifteenth century along the sides of the bridge, two rows of shops were built. Revenues from rents, collected by the state treasury, contributed to the maintenance of the bridge.
In 1330 the bridge was damaged during the retreat of the rebels led by Bajamonte Tiepolo. In 1444 instead it collapsed under the weight of the large crowd gathered to watch the passing of the procession of the Marquis of Ferrara’s wife. Another collapse occurred in 1524.
In 1503 the construction of a stone bridge was proposed. In the following decades several projects were evaluated. In 1551 the Venetian authorities made a public call for the reconstruction of the Rialto Bridge. A commission of three providers was elected, consisting of Antonio Cappello, Tommaso Contarini e Vettor Grimani. Famous Architects such as Jacopo Sansovino, Andrea Palladio, Vignola and Michelangelo presented classic projects, with several arches, which were not judged suitable to the situation. Of Palladio there are two projects, both providing the rationalization of the entire area of Rialto, with two trade forums at the bridgeheads, in a manner inspired by the ancient world, anticipated by Fra Giocondo in the project of 1514.
The current single arch stone bridge, built by Andrea Da Ponte in cooperation with his nephew Antonio Contin was completed in 1591 during the period of Doge Pasuqle Cicogna. As for the design, da Ponte probably was the coordinator, but Alvise Baldu and Vincenzo Scamozzi are also acrredited. The structure is very similar to that of the previous wooden bridge, a sign of the correct original conception. Two inclined ramp, with shops on both sides, leading to a central section. The whole bridge is covered by an arcade. The project was considered by some too audacious from the engineering point of view, to the point that according to the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi the bridge would collapse. The bridge instead still resists, and has become one of the architectural symbols of Venice.
Alberto Toso Fei: mysteries, anecdotes, curiosities about the most beautiful street in the world
Beyond the windows of the buildings on the Grand Canal, the most prestigious and important in Venice, legends, mysteries, curiosities, ingrigues and passions of the Serenissima are hidden. In their roooms, the ancient history of the Republic was built over the centuries. From their balconies appeared the most beautiful courtesans, the most acclaimed poets, the most cunning rulers, the most prestigious guests, who made the lagoon city legendary.
“The Secrets pf the Grand Canal” – published by Studio LT2 – tells all this, “surfing” the history: it is, in fact, travelling the banks of the “most beautiful street in the world”, as defined by the French Ambassador Philippe de Commynes over five centuries ago – in a double journey De Citra and De Ultra, or on either side of the city – that it is possible to relive the history of Venice through its events, its secrets or simple anecdotes, letting ourselves be charmed by the voices of the past. A journety to discover the unknown looks, curious and legendary of the Republic that, through an intriguing reading, lets know a little more Venice with its extraordinary history among the lagoon islands.
Moving on the Grand Canal
During a visit to Venice you cannot miss a tour of the Grand Canal on the water-bus. Tickets must be purchased on the mainland or, at extra cost, directly on the boat.
There are different rates, simply find the most convenient to suit your needs. The service is run byATCV, that manage the public transport in the lagoon. Tickets can be purchased at tobacconists, news-stands, bars and must be obliterated before getting on board.
The lines regarding the Grand Canal are called “City Center” and connect several accesso points such as Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma and the railway station, with the Venie of the monuments and museums.
Many do not know, but in Venice there’s a kind of Taxi gondola (ferry) that crosses the Grand Canal leading people from one bank to the other, no need to get to the nearest bridge. Gondolas, so-called by the Venetians, are ferries on which you are standing, and linking the two banks of the Grand Canal. The cost of the ticket for the Venetian ferry is 70 cents. This means of transport is much used by inhabitants of the city and can be tried by the tourist to experience a moment of a true lagoon citizen. The starting points of the ferries are as follows: Santa Sofia, San Marcuola, Riva del Carbon, San Tomà, San Barnaba e Santa Maria del Giglio.
If you need to move quickly on the waters of the lagoon, just like on the mainland, a Taxi can be hired, boat recognizable by the license number printed on a yellow band at the height of the window.