The Grand Canal is perhaps the most famous waterway in Venice, connecting the various islands of the lagoon, including the Rialto.
Presumably, it was the presence of this channel that was the reason for giving the island the name “Rialto“. The name comes from the Latin phrase “rivus altus”, which translates as “deep channel”, and over time has become “Rialto”. This canal is one of the main transport arteries of Venice.
The Grand Canal runs through Venice, starting at the lagoon near the railway station and crossing the city in a sinuous “S” shape, ending at the Canal San Marco and La Giudecca at the Customs House .
It is 3,800 meters long, 30 to 70 meters wide, and about 5 meters deep.
There are practically no embankments along the banks of the canal, they are replaced by the facades of houses that directly overlook the canal. These houses are usually built on wooden piles and have two exits – land and water.
The Grand Canal is home to some of the city’s most beautiful buildings. That is why the Venetians call it “Canal Palace“. More than 100 palaces are located on its banks, such as Ca’ Rezzonico, Ca’ d’Oro, Ca’ Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and many others.
Since the traffic in the city of Venice is concentrated along the Grand Canal, only four pedestrian bridges cross this canal: the Rialto Bridge, the Accademia Bridge, the Scalzi Bridge and the Constitution Bridge connecting the station and Piazalle Roma.
To move along the canal, you can use gondolas or vaporetto (mini boats). An alternative to bridges to cross canals can be traghettos.
In 1896, a cameraman named Alexandre Promio was the first in the world to shoot on the move, setting up a camera on a boat that was moving along the Grand Canal.