The Intriguing Canals and Bridges of Venice… Sea Ports of the Mediterranean

I shot this photo from the Rialto Bridge looking down on the Grand Canal.

I shot this photo from the Rialto Bridge looking down on the Grand Canal.

It is impossible to think of Venice without thinking of canals and romantic gondolas with singing gondoliers. Or possibly your vision of Venice is of fast boats with roaring engines and good guys/bad guys chasing each other with guns blazing as depicted in any number of movies.

A gondolier works his boat on cold, rough waters in the Grand Canal as his passengers enjoy the ride, bundled up in warm clothes.

A gondolier works his boat on cold, rough waters in the Grand Canal as his passengers enjoy the ride, bundled up in warm clothes.

We were on off-season, however. Only a few hardy tourists braved the cold for gondola rides and no movies were being made. The canals had reverted to their primary role as transportation corridors, a role which they have played for a thousand years.

This is a sight you wouldn't see during the summer when these gondolas would be filled with tourists. I thought of the gathered gondolas as a gondola parking lot.

This is a sight you wouldn’t see during the summer when these gondolas would be filled with tourists. I thought of the gathered gondolas as a gondola parking lot.

Luxury accommodations gondola style.

Luxury accommodations gondola style.

Peggy took this photo of parked gondolas looking from Venice proper across at the island of La Giudecca

Peggy took this photo of parked gondolas looking from Venice proper across at the island of La Giudecca. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

We chose to walk on the carless streets that parallel the canals and cross over them on bridges that have as much personality of the canals and provide intriguing glimpses of life along the canals. The highlight of our journey was the famous Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal but the smaller canals, known as rivers, provided more intimate views.

This photo shows the famed Rialto Bridge that served for centuries as the only bridge across the Grand Canal, which snakes its way through Venice as the major transportation corridor.

This photo shows the famed Rialto Bridge that served for centuries as the only bridge across the Grand Canal, which snakes its way through Venice as the major transportation corridor.

The more recent Accademia Bridge across the Grand Canal has a totally different look and construction.

The more recent Accademia Bridge across the Grand Canal has a totally different look and construction. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

I took this photo from the other side of the Accademia Bridge to capture the parked gondolas and the boat taxi that is crossing under the bridge.

I took this photo from the other side of the Accademia Bridge to capture the parked gondolas and the boat taxi that is crossing under the bridge.

Smaller canals, known as rivers in Venice, provide a more intimate view of life in the city. The buildings here were built by wealthy Venetians when Venice was a major world power controlling trade between the East and the West. Houses then, as now, were a symbol of wealth and power.

Smaller canals, known as rivers in Venice, provide a more intimate view of life in the city. The buildings here were built by wealthy Venetians when Venice was a major world power controlling trade between the East and the West. Houses then, as now, were a symbol of wealth and power.

Peggy captured this interesting entrance way. I assume it would have been taller in the early years before sinking and global warming.

Peggy captured this interesting entrance way. I assume it would have been taller in the early years before sinking and global warming.

Flower/plant boxes are found throughout the city. I liked how these were next to the canal.

Flower/plant boxes are found throughout the city. I liked how these were next to the canal.

I'll conclude with this reflection shot. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

I’ll conclude with this reflection shot. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

NEXT BLOG: Having fun getting lost in Venice.

12 comments on “The Intriguing Canals and Bridges of Venice… Sea Ports of the Mediterranean

      • Have never ridden in a gdnlooa (except the traghetto), and possibly never will—but they are surely the world’s most photogenic boats. It’s a pleasure just to watch them gliding so elegantly along the canals.

      • We didn’t ride in them either, but you are right, they are beautiful and graceful… gliding along under pollution free human power. Thanks for your comment.

  1. I love the color of the water. I would have expected it to be a murky color but it’s really blue.. I still get amazed at how these homes and buildings do not spring leaks..another set of gorgeous Venetian photos!!

    • The water is amazingly clean and fresh smelling, Lynne. Given the nature of the canals it is constantly refreshed by the sea. I think they must live with basements full of water.

  2. Another post I will be sharing with my boy, for our study of Italy. He’s known about the gondolas and canals since he was four from an audio on Vivaldi. He could tell you if it’s Bach, Beethoven, V, Pachelbel, Tchaikovsky by hearing their music.

    Beautiful shots, informative post as always, Curt. An amazing trip for you.

      • “we took full advantage ”

        I leave it to you to live to the hilt, Curt (while keeping to the law LOL)!

        As to my boy, I’d say we underestimate our kids. Give me any 4.5-yr-old without a severe learning disability, and s/he could do what he did at that age with the CDs we played. I didn’t teach anything. He just absorbed.

        And shoot me those answers to the race ques when you can so I can plug you into the queue.

      • Back to the race piece today, Diana! 🙂 I needed to get my book title blog out because the publishing clock is ticking. Tick tock, tick tock,tick tock. Be sure to check out my blog and give your two cents worth. Thanks. –C

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