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Photo of Venice and its canals - Italy Travel

Photo of Venice and its canals - Italy Travel


The Grand Canal probably follows the course of an ancient river (perhaps an arm of the Brenta) flowing into the lagoon. Before Roman times, the Venetians live along a river named Rio Businiacus. Under the Roman and Byzantine empires, the lagoon is populated. At the beginning of the ninth century, the doge moved his residence from Malamocco to the safer central island of Rialto.

The increase in commercial traffic finds in the relatively deep Grand Canal an accessible and secure canal port. Drainage operations have revealed that the Grand Canal is then larger than present, and flows between small islands subject to the tide and connected by wooden bridges.

Along the Grand Canal are built Fondachi, buildings combining a warehouse and the residence of the trader. A portico covers the bank and facilitates the loading of goods. A corridor apart, flanked by reserves, towards a courtyard. Similarly, on the first floor, a loggia as large as the portico illuminates the hall that opens into the rooms of the merchant. A low mezzanine with offices separates the two floors. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot

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