The Grand Canal of Venice is the main water corridor of this beautiful Italian city. Shaped as an inverted S, the Grand Canal crosses all the city centre and is irrigated by the many rivers and little canals that divide the city centre. Beautiful buildings from different ages (they date back to the 13th to the 18th century) stand at the sides and create, together with the water and the boats, some of the most beautiful views of the city. The Grand Canal of Venice, which is thought to follow the path of what used to be a river, contributes to the beauty of the city and is also a constant reminder of its future and the menace of the future floods.
During your stay in the apartments near the Grand Canal, you will be able to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Venice. You will be able to see and to experience the differences between the Venetians and the “inhabitants of the inlands”, you will be able to mingle with other tourists or with some of the 300.000 locals – as you can see, Venice isn’t a large city nowadays, even if it used to be one of the most important European cities during the High Middle Ages. The Grand Canal is a great place to get to know Venice, since you will be able to see how the tourist part of Venice and the local one are mixed and combined in the city’s vaporettos and gondolas.
One of the best things that you can do around Venice is to go explore the little streets of the city centre, which is sort of surrounded by the Grand Canal. It is actually between St. Mark’s Square and The Grand Canal that you will find Calle della Mandola, a beautiful little street full of local boutiques where you will be able to buy unique items such as clothes and bags. But don’t stay just there: around this street you will find many other little gems!
Besides this, there is another great option for shopping if you travel to Venice, although you will need to travel a bit further away from the Grand Canal. We’re of course referring to the island of Murano, famous for its colourful houses and also for its production of crystal and glass – it is actually one of the largest glass producers in Europe. You can travel to Murano with a vaporetto and it will take you just 15 minutes, so it is a great option if you want to bring beautiful crystal pieces as souvenirs for your loved ones.
If you’ve travelled around Europe, you have probably mastered metro systems, tramways, trains and even buses and bikes. In that sense, Venice is going to be a challenge – and a beautiful one! Considering that Venice’s Grand Canal is one of the main tourist attractions of this beautiful Italian city, you can imagine what one of the main means of transportation is… Boats!
But did you know that there are several kinds of boats in Venice? Of course you know the traditional and romantic gondolas, although that is nowadays more of a tourist attraction than a transportation system. To move around the city, there are vaporettos and water taxis. The vaporettos move mainly around the Grand Canal, which is the main “highway” of the city of Venice.
If you just want to cross the Grand Canal, you can use a traghetto, which is a passenger boat that looks like a bigger and undecorated gondola what works as a small ferry.
However, remember that Venice is small enough for you to be able to enjoy it by foot. Some say you can cross it in just a half an hour! However, don’t miss on the opportunity to experience the city from a boat, moving to the rhythm of the waves of the Grand Canal.
The beautiful Grand Canal divides the city of Venice in two, and offers some of the greatest views of the city: The unique and starting-to-sink buildings stand at both sides, guarded by boats and piers, and beautiful bridges that appear in the middle when you least expect it. This is why one of the best things that you can do is go on a Grand Canal cruise. As the boat sails along the Grand Canal, you will be able to experience the magic of the city.
If you don’t want to do the tour, you can cross the canal with a beautiful traghetto, or you can walk along the little streets located a both sides of the canal, and keep going back to see where you find a little bar or terrace with a view. You can even find a gondola to sail inside some of the little canals and rivers that go into the city centre from the Grand Canal. Some of them will also offer a private tour along the canal, which you will be able to do at your own pace as you enjoy the romance!
Besides the tour, don’t miss out on the beautiful little places that you will find in the city centre, around the Grand Canal, such as the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Giglio, the church of San Barnaba, the church of San Giacomo dall'Orio or the Fortuny Museum.
One of the best parts of staying in the apartments near the Grand Canal is how close you’re going to be to the different vaporetto stops – this means you’re going to be able to sail from one part of the city to another, and you will be able to try wonderful restaurants at different parts of Venice. Get ready to try some yummy local Italian food!
Understandable, Venetian cuisine specialises in fish and seafood – and you will be able to experience its deliciousness in restaurants such as the Taverna Al Remer, located past the Rialto Bridge, which offers an excellent range of options.
If you prefer meats, further north, near the stop of San Stae, you will find the restaurant La Zucca, which offers as much meat as fish in its menu. If you’re travelling with children and they are getting fussy with food, right at the previous stop (Ca L’Oro), you will find a McDonald’s restaurant.
As all Italian cities, Venice has a great and lively nightlife – and you will find some of the best places very close to the Grand Canal. Close to the sea, to the West, you will find the famous Venice Jazz Club, which offers live jazz performances every evening and it is a great option for the music lovers. To get there, you can take a Vaporetto up to the vaporetto stop Ca’ Rezzonico. If you prefer to go have a drink, or you’re going to do that before or after the live jazz performance, you will find some great bars close by: The Caffè Rosso and the pubs Marguerite Duchamp and Orange, which open late into the night.