All Watercourses

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    Canal Grande

    Canal Grande (Grand Canal) is the main boulevard of Venice, a navigable watercourse which crosses the historical center of the city from west to east. About 3800 meters long, with a width between 30 and 70 meters and an average depth of 5 meters, Canal Grande divides the historical center of Venice into two parts, tracing on the map an inverted S, which goes from the Liberty Bridge (Ponte della Libertà) to the Saint Mark’s Basin (Bacino San Marco).   SHORT HISTORY OF CANAL GRANDE Already in pre-Roman times, groups of ancient Veneti people built stilt houses on the banks of the Grand Canal, and lived mainly from fishing and salt trade. Under the rule of the Roman Empire, and later of the Byzantine Empire, the lagoon was populated and acquired a certain importance. At the beginning of the 9th century, the doge moved his seat from the island of Lido to the more defensible land along the canal. The trade also moved to the Rialto area, which found a safe harbor accessible even to large boats, and various warehouses (fondachi), buildings designed specifically for trade, were built along the canal.   ARCHITECTURE ON THE GRAND CANAL The Grand Canal Read more [...]

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    Canale di San Donato

    Canale di San Donato is a watercourse on the beautiful island of Murano, in Venice.   DESCRIPTION OF CANALE DI SAN DONATO The Canal of Saint Donatus is preceded by Canale San Giovanni to the south and divides into Canale Zenobio to the north and Canale di San Mattia to the west. The canal has a length of about 700 meters and a width between 15 and 25 meters.   ARCHITECTURE Canale di San Donato has on its banks some remarkable monuments. The most important of them is the Basilica of Santa Maria e San Donato, also known as Duomo di Murano, one of the oldest churches in the Venetian Lagoon. The church was originally built in the 7th century and rebuilt in the 11th century. According to legend, the church contains the relics of Saint Donatus of Euroea and three large bones behind the altar said to be the bones of a dragon slain by the saint. On the banks of the canal, we can find ancient structures, such as Palazzo Giustinian, which houses the Glass Museum of Murano (Museo del Vetro), the former Monastery of San Martino, Ca’ Trevisan, Ca’ Pesaro-Pavanello, Palazzo Cappello, and the Tiepolo House (Casa Read more [...]

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    Rio dei Vetrai

    Rio dei Vetrai is a small watercourse in Venice, located on the beautiful island of Murano. The canal is dedicated to the local glassmakers (vetrai meaning glassmakers), and on its banks you can find many ancient glass factories.   DESCRIPTION OF RIO DEI VETRAI Rio dei Vetrai has a length of about 500 meters and connects the Grand Canal of Murano, to the north, with Canale dei Marani, to the south.   ARCHITECTURE The Church of San Pietro Martire is a church located on the western bank of the canal, in its northern part, dedicated to Saint Peter Martyr, a 13th-century Catholic priest. Across the canal, there is the former Church of Santo Stefano, dedicated to Saint Stephen, with its beautiful Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio), one of the symbols of Murano. The banks of the canal (Fondamenta Daniele Manin on the eastern bank and Fondamenta dei Vetrai on the western one) house many of the Murano glassworks. Among others, there are the former Franchetti Murano Glassworks from the 19th century, the Gino Mazzuccato Furnace, the CAM Furnace from the 16th century, the AVEM Glassworks founded in 1830, and the Mosaic Factory from the 16th century. On the banks of the Read more [...]

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    Rio dell’Arsenale

    Rio dell’Arsenale is a watercourse in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of Castello, near the Venetian Arsenal (Arsenale di Venezia). Initially called Rio de la Madonna, the canal was later named after the Venetian Arsenal.   DESCRIPTION Rio dell’Arsenale has a length of about 260 meters, and practically expands Canale delle Galeazze, the main artery of the Venetian Arsenal, towards the south, where it joins the San Marco Basin.   ARCHITECTURE From north to south, along its course, we can see the magnificent gate of the Arsenal of Venice, Ponte dell’Arsenale, also know as Ponte del Paradiso, the Naval History Museum of Venice (Museo Storico Navale di Venezia), Campo San Biagio with the Church of San Biagio, and finally, before the canal joins the San Marco Basin, Ponte San Biasio delle Catene. Porta Magna, the main gate of the Arsenal of Venice, was built around 1460 in Venetian Renaissance style. The gate was probably built by Antonio Gambello after a design by Jacopo Bellini. Two sculptures of lions were brought from Greece in 1687, and placed in front of the gate. The Naval History Museum is a museum owned by the Italian Navy. The museum collects historical evidence concerning Read more [...]

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    Rio del Ponte Longo

    Rio del Ponte Longo is a watercourse in Venice, located on the island of Giudecca, in the sestiere (district) of Dorsoduro.   DESCRIPTION Rio del Ponte Longo has a length of about 300 meters and a width varying between 30 and 40 meters. It crosses the island of Giudecca from north to south, where it joins the Giudecca Canal. The canal is crossed by Ponte Longo (Long Bridge), connecting Fondamenta Ponte Longo and Fondamenta San Giacomo. The bridge was originally built of wood in 1340, to connect the older part of the island with the newer one. Later, the wooden bridge was replaced by an iron bridge.   HOW TO GET THERE The closest vaporetto stop is Redentore, about 350 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 2, 4.1 and 4.2.

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    Canal Grande di Murano

    Canal Grande di Murano (Grand Canal of Murano) is the main watercourse of Murano, which flows from east to west for about 1.3 kilometers, dividing the island in two.   DESCRIPTION From east to west, the canal has three distinctive parts: Canale San Giovanni, Canale Ponte Longo and Canale degli Angeli. The first part, Canale San Giovanni, flows from south to north, has a length of about 300 meters and a width of 60-70 meters. At one point, Canale San Giovanni intersects with Canale di San Donato, which flows to the northeast, and changes its course to the west, transforming into Canale Ponte Longo. The second part, Canale Ponte Longo, has a length of about 300 meters and a width of about 40 meters. It stretches from the intersection with Canale di San Donato up to Ponte Longo, the only bridge crossing the Grand Canal of Murano. After the bridge, to the west, there is the third part of Canal Grande di Murano: Canale degli Angeli. This part has a length of about 700 meters, and a width between 40 and 150 meters. It flows into the Venetian Lagoon, west of Murano.   ARCHITECTURE The only bridge over the Grand Read more [...]

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    Canale di Cannaregio

    Canale di Cannaregio is one of the most important waterways in Venice. It connects the Grand Canal with the northern lagoon by crossing the western area of the Cannaregio district (sestiere), between Fondamenta di San Giobbe and Fondamenta di Cannaregio.   DESCRIPTION Canale di Cannaregio has a minimum width of 22 meters as it passes under Ponte delle Guglie, a maximum width of 27 meters in front of the Ca’ Foscari University Campus, and is about 800 meters long. Due to its size, the canal allows crossing not only for small boats, but also for the ACTV waterbuses.   ARCHITECTURE Two bridges cross the canal – Ponte delle Guglie (Bridge of Spires), dating back to the 16th century, the only one in Venice adorned with pinnacles, and Ponte dei Tre Archi (Bridge of the Three Arches), the only example of a multi-arched bridge in the city. At the intersection with the Grand Canal, there is the Church of San Geremia e Santa Lucia, built starting with 1753. The two facades of the church were built in the second half of the 18th century, one facing Campo San Geremia, and the other overlooking the Cannaregio Canal. Next, on the western bank Read more [...]

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    Grand Canal of Trieste

    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.   SHORT HISTORY 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.   ARCHITECTURE 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 Read more [...]