The Grand Canal of Trieste (Canal Grande di Trieste) is a navigable canal located in the center of the city, halfway between the Trieste Centrale railway station and Piazza Unità d’Italia.
The Grand Canal was built between 1754 and 1756 by the Venetian Matteo Pirona. The canal was built to allow boats to sail to the city center to unload and load their goods.
In its initial conformation, the canal was longer than is today, and stretched as far as the Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo. The final part of the canal was filled in 1934, with the rubble resulting from the demolition of the old city, thus obtaining the current Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo.
The canal is overlooked by Palazzo Aedes, known as the Red Skyscraper, built in 1928 by the architect Arduino Berlam, by the Palazzo Gopcevich, built in 1850 by the architect Giovanni Andrea Berlam, by the Neoclassical Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, built in 1849 by the architect Pietro Nobile, and by the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Spyridon, built in 1869 by the architect Carlo Maciachini.
Other notable buildings near the Grand Canal are Palazzo Genel, built in 1873 by Domenico Monti, Palazzo Carciotti, built in 1805 by the architect Matteo Pertsch, and Stella Polare Caffè, one of the historic cafes of Trieste.
The canal is crossed by two bridges and a pedestrian walkway. The Red Bridge (Ponte Rosso), halfway through the canal, was built in wood in 1756, as soon as the construction of the canal was completed. It was rebuilt about ten years later and again, this time in iron, in 1832.
The Green Bridge (Ponte Verde), located at the beginning of the canal, was built in iron in 1858. In 1904, another bridge was added to it, called the White Bridge or Ponte Nuovo, over which the railway that once connected the port passed.
A 25 meters long pedestrian walkway which connects Via Cassa di Risparmio with Via Trento was laid over the canal on December 4, 2012, and inaugurated on March 23, 2013. It was made with a steel structure, glass parapets and a handrail on both sides. The bridge was officially named Passaggio Joyce, but now is commonly called Ponte Curto.
Next to Ponte Rosso, there is the square of the same name, Piazza del Ponte Rosso, home to an outdoor fruit, vegetable and flower market. On one side of the square, there is a fountain built in 1753 by Giovanni Battista Mazzoleni.
At the end of the canal, there is the aforementioned Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo, set up as a small park, with a large fountain in the center.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Grand Canal of Trieste is located about 550 meters from the Trieste Centrale railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza Duca degli Abruzzi 2, about 120 meters away, on the bus Lines 8 and 30.