Il Grande Canal

The Grande Canal

Venice is not a city that can be described but must be experienced. Boats crowd main canals as tight as cars on highways. Police boats, fire boats, ambulance boats, even delivery “truck” boats replace their 4 wheeled counterparts while the back “alleys” or smaller canals are littered with gondoliers or residents boats moored in the narrow waterways.

In the fall, Venice floods daily with the tides and the city doesn’t skip a beat. Elevated walkways are set out for the tourists to clamber onto while the citizens just pull on their galoshes and continue with their day as if nothing is happening.

Venice is a city of twisty narrow corridors and tiny shops. While the main squares and corridors have a bit of a tourist trap feel to them, the back alleys, tiny restaurants, and shops have an oddly safe feel to them and an authenticity that is pure Italy.

Excerpts From Wikipedia:  Venice (Italian: Venezia) is a city in northeast Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.  The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities.

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.
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