The Grand Canal is the main maritime artery that runs through Venice, Italy. The Grand Canal is the largest and widest canal in Venice. Beginning south in front of St. Mark's Basin, it ends north-west of the city, near the Liberty Bridge. It measures a total of 3.8 km long, 50 to 70 m wide and 5 to 10 m deep.
To the south, the canal opens on the Saint-Marc basin. It first follows a long, inverted "S" shaped path to the Constitution Bridge. It ends with a more direct 500-m journey north-west to its exit at the foot of the Liberty Bridge. The canal physically separates Venice in two: on its right bank are the sestieri of Cannaregio, San Marco and Castello, on its left bank those of Dorsoduro, San Polo and Santa Croce.
The Grand Canal is joined by 45 smaller canals and is crossed by 7 bridges (4 pedestrian bridges, 2 automobile bridges and 1 railway bridge, the latter three located at its north-west end). The banks of the Grand Canal contain more than 170 buildings, most dating from the 13th to the 18th century and illustrating the richness of the Republic of Venice. Many are palaces that emerge from the water without any sidewalks; the only way to pass ahead is by boat. There are also some churches and campi. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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