Travel to Venice
Day 1 Barcelona - Venice (Grand Canal)
Venice: We landed at the Marco Polo airport. To go to Venice we have several options. Cheapest choices are going by the boat "Alilaguna" until San Zaccaria stop in 1 hour 15 minutes or take the shuttle ATVO AIR TERMINAL (or the urban bus ACTV line 5) to Piazzale Roma and then take the line 1 of vaporetto to San Zaccaria. We chose the last option because it allowed us to navigate the Grand Canal.
Venice - Grand Canal
After purchasing the ticket (6.50 Euros) we boarding on the Vaporetto number 1 of ACTV at Piazzale Roma stop. Next to Ponte degli Scalzi, the second of four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, we see the Chiesa degli Scalzi. A little later, to the left, stands the Palazzo Labia. In front of the S. Marcuola stop we find the Fontego dei Turchi, a two-story palace with arches built in the first half of the thirteenth century.
Venice - Fondaco dei Turchi
The next section of the Canal allows us to see the palaces Ca´Pesaro, Ca D´Oro and the Rialto market. Ca 'Pesaro is a baroque marble palace of XIX century. Now houses the Museum of Oriental Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Ca 'd'Oro, with its richly gilded marble facade, is a good example of change that marks the transition from gothic to renaissance in Venice. Builded in 1442, the palace is incomplete and the lack of left wing causes the asymmetry of the facade. On the right side we see Rialto market.
Venice - Ca D´Oro
Then we crossed under the famed Rialto Bridge. The first construction that crossed the Grand Canal was a pontoon floating bridge, built in 1181. The evolution and the importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic significantly near the floating bridge. Therefore, it was replaced around 1250 by a wooden bridge. During the first half of the fifteenth century, two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge.
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Venice - Rialto Bridge
The bridge collapsed and was rebuilt several times. The current stone bridge consists of a single arch, designed by Antonio da Ponte, built between 1588 and 1591, based on the design of the previous wooden bridge: two ramps intersect in a central porch. On each side of the ramps is a row of cubicles topped by arches, which serve as shops.
Venice - San Giorgio Maggiore
The next section of the Grand Canal allows us to see the Palazzo Grassi and Ca´ Rezzonico. The Palazzo Grassi is an imposing white marble building designed by Giorgio Massari and built between 1748 and 1772. Currently the building is used as an exhibition for the visual arts. It also contains a theater with a capacity of 600 seats outdoors. Ca´ Rezzonico houses a museum of Settecento Veneziano.
Venice - Piazza San Marco from Vaporetto
The Accademia Bridge (Ponte dell´Accademia) eis the last of which cross the Grand Canal (or Canal Grande). The original bridge was made of iron and was inaugurated on November 20th, 1854. Later was built a wooden bridge from the project engineer Eugenio Miozzi (1889-1979). It was inaugurated on January 15th, 1933. Subsequent interventions added elements to the original iron bridge. The bridge is 48 m. To the right of the bridge stands the Gallerie dell´Accademia and to the left the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti.
Venice - Grand Canal at dusk
In the last section we went to the Canale di San Marco and enjoyed first the view over the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute on the right and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Finally we cross to the left bank of the channel and we approached to the Piazzetta San Marco, being able to contemplate the set of the Campanile, the Ducal Palace and the Basilica of San Marco just behind. Just before disembarking at San Zaccaria stop vaporetto passes in front of the Bridge of Sighs.