Things to Do in Venice
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
The Grand Canal in Venice is indeed grand; it is wide and deep enough to take ocean-going vessels, but these have become a local issue as the Grand Canal is busy with smaller traffic in its role as the main water thoroughfare in the city. Curved in a reverse “S” configuration, the Grand Canal is just under 4km (2.4mi) long, and varies in width from 30 to 90 metres (98-295 feet).
Its depth, at an average of 5 metres (16 feet), is sufficient to support hulls of varying sizes, but as aforementioned, cruise ships are a testy matter with residents (55,000 people live in the core of Venice), causing too much wake and noise, and dumping tens of thousands of tourists at once, more than the contained area can manage.
This is the main and central water traffic corridor in Venice, with floating water-buses, gondolas and small personal craft, motorized and not. It runs from the basin at San Marco, through the centre of town to the Venetian Lagoon near Santa Lucia Railway Station. It’s a conduit, flanked with residences, restaurants and shops, and dotted with bridges, the most famous being Rialto, which itself is lined with boutiques and kiosks.
Visitors who opt for a ride along the canal will view the classic Italian-Byzantine architecture of Venice and get a real sense of the layout of the city’s core. It is especially lovely at sunset with lights reflecting off the water. Watch for the annual regatta held on the Grand Canal; it’s a popular event!