The Grand Canal – or Canale Grande in Italian – is the main waterway that snakes a whole 3.8km through the historical centre of Venice.
A boat ride along the Grand Canal gives you the most fabulous perspective on the architectural history of one of Italy’s most charming cities, most of which were built by some of the city’s most well-known families.
Whilst originally wider, the Venetians have built over the waterway, narrowing Grand Canal to just 30-90 metres in width.
The Grand Canal is lined with stunning buildings mostly from the 13th-18th centuries. Not all of them have walkways along the water’s edge, meaning that some of the spectacular façades are only visible from the water.
Four bridges cross the canal, the most historical and famous being the Rialto.
Otherwise, to cross the Grand Canal, one would have to use a traghetto, a gondola-type boat in which people stand all together to get from one side to the other.
And then there are the gondolas.
From the Grand Canal, many smaller canals then vein out through the rest of Venice.
Enjoy a luxurious boat ride, hear all the fascinating stories (and a touch of gossip) on our Grand Canal Tour.