Monday, November 19, 2012

Afternoon on the Grand Canal.......



The Grand Canal forms the major water traffic corridor of Venice.  Making a large 3,800 meters S-shaped curve through the islands making up this incredible city on the water, it is 30-90 meters in width and has an average depth of 5 meters (16.5 feet). 



 The traditional dress of the gondolier.



More than 170 buildings line the Grand Canal, dating from the 13th to 18th century. Palazzos of noble Venetian families demonstrate the wealth and art created by The Republic of Venice.


 Here we boarded our gondolas for an afternoon trip to see the wonders of the Grande Canal. As most of the palaces rise directly from the water, and there are no pavements, the only way to see the front of them is to go by water.


Because we were nine we required two gondolas...........above Rob, Kim, Babs, Eric and Paula.....


 ......and sharing with us, Sharon and Gary......


....heading through a side waterway towards the Grand Canal.


Our gondolier had lived for a while in Denver, Colorado. The profession of a gondolier is strictly controlled by a guild which issues a limited number of licenses after training, apprenticeship, and a major comprehensive exam to determine knowledge of Venice history and landmarks, foreign language skills, and practical skills in handling the gondola in the tight spaces of the Venetian canals.






Until the 19th century the Rialto Bridge was the only bridge crossing the Grand Canal...there are currently two more. You can still take a ferry ride across the canal at several points by standing up on the deck of a simple gondola called a traghetto.

A favorite photo I took of gondolas away from the bustle of the Grand Canal looking across Bacino Di San Marco (St. Mark's Basin). 


9 comments:

  1. What a lovely tour. They say Venice sinks more with each passing year Makes you wonder what's in store over the next 50 years. Best wishes to you, Tammy

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  2. Mary, what fabulous photos!!! I love that picture of your and your hubby! Just great!! Lucky you to have experienced Venice this way!!

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  3. Your photos are wonderful, Mary. What an adventure! I wonder...how are the palaces and buildings supported? And does the water level ever rise causing any damage?

    Hope all is well with you and Bob...lovely picture of you both!

    XO,
    Jane

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  4. What gorgeous photos of the Grand Canal. I love the light shining on those warm-coloured buildings. The blue sky, the buildings, all just lovely.

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  5. What a surprise to look at your post. I am still catching up reading blogs after our trip. We were in Venice as well. We stayed there 5 days before taking our cruise to the Black Sea – I wonder if we could have been there at the same time? We came back home at the end of October. Your photos are wonderful – so clear. My photos are still on my memory cards as the laptop I usually use did not want to start and I have to buy a new one. I hope you were there before the aqua alta.

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  6. Mary, found you again on Rose,Lace, Brocanti after all this time.
    I do love your photos of Venice so clear feels like I am there which is good as I have never been. Thanks.

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  7. Mary , your photographs have captured Venice here and on your other post on your arrival. It is such a fascinating place and so many photo opportunities, the reflections in the water and the beautiful buildings and details everywhere you turn. The blue sky tells us you had some lovely sunny days to really see it at its best. I expect you knew that Venice had some terrible flooding, hope you missed that. I am sure you found it to be a magical place. I shall wait to see the rest of your posts and photographs to see where you visited. Hope you had a wonderful time and glad to hear you are feeling well and were able to enjoy your time on holiday.

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  8. Beautiful city, beautiful photographs. I can see why you would like that last one. I had heard that the gondoliers almost had a mafia type organization. Oh how I would love to be drifting along in one of the gondolas in the Grand Canal.

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  9. More beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing. Judy xx

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