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).