Read any number of pamphlets on Venice and I promise they’ll all tell you the same thing: that it was built on 118 islands within a lagoon in the Gulf of Venice; that it has canals instead of streets; that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site; and that it is a unique city, every bit as beautiful and romantic as its reputation suggests. All of that is true. But those same glossy pamphlets will fail to tell you that it is also busy & expensive, and that it has a neglected, unkempt look that, & depending on your outlook, either enhances or overshadows a visit to what is one of the world’s most famous & iconic tourist destinations.
– Truman Capote
The main thoroughfare in the world’s only pedestrianised city is this waterway, The Grand Canal. The reverse s-shaped canal which cuts the city in half, it is almost four kilometres long and between thirty and seventy metres wide, but at no point much deeper than five metres. The majority of the city’s most important buildings stand on the canal with their main façades fronting it, all of which makes the Grand Canal the best place from which to view the city.