Things to see and do - Venice
Along The Grand Canal :
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Along The Grand Canal
Along The Grand CanalPedestrian, Other, 8 km, 1 day
The main artery and backbone of Venice, the Grand Canal weaves a reverse S shape along 3.8 km. Traveling its course by boat offers the best views of the palaces and churches built specifically shimmer in the water. This walk, that allows for breaks to visit some museums and monuments, is a delight.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
Begun by Baldassare Longhena and finished by Antonio Gaspari, this elegant palace with its ground-floor level ornamented with bossages and its large windows in the form of an arch, separated by a series of columns that lead out to a balcony, houses the Oriental Art Museum and the International Gallery of Modern Art.
Although stripped of the ornamentation from which it derives its names (oro is gold), this delicate, floral, Gothic creation is stunning, both in terms of its façade and what lies within. Above the magnificent mosaic-paved inner courtyard, the Galleria Franchetti has a fine St Sebastian by Mantegna, The Alchemist by Jan Seen, The Tower of Babel by Jan van Scorel, Portrait of Procurator Nicolo Priuli by Tintoretto, and a Sleeping Venus and cupid by Paris Bordone.
With its humped shape covered with arches, this bridge is emblematic of Venice. So it shouldn't surprise us to see it besieged by a crowd coming to take "the" photo of the Grand Canal, and the small shops, once occupied by bankers and financiers, that are today souvenir shops. Built in 1591 by Antonio Da Ponte, it was designed to allow navigation on the grand Canal.
At the beginning of the 20th C., Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1861-1949), a Spanish painter, photographer, interior decorator and fabric creator, bought this 15th C. palace (which had belonged to the Pesaro family). It stands out for its two beautiful series of windows with seven bays each. In this palace you will be able to visit a museum dedicated to the works of art of the man himself, and in particular the delicate and refined fabrics that made his reputation.
The last palace designed by Baldassare Longhena (built by Massari) is now a museum dedicated to 18C Venice (Museo del Settecento Veneziano). It has works by Tiepolo ( Virtue and Nobility putting Ignorance to Flight), canal scenes by Canaletto, portraits by Francesco Guardi and fine genre paintings by Pietro Longhi.
Built in the 18C by Giorgi Massari, this is the last of the great Venetian palaces to be built before the fall of the Venetian Republic. It was purchased in 2005 by French tycoon François Pinault, who commissioned Japanese architect Tadao Ando to remodel it with a view to holding exhibitions (two or three times a year) of his 2 000 contemporary artworks, including Arte Povera and Pop Art (Andy Warhol and Lucio Fontana), and works by up and coming young artists.
Running from the Campo Santo Stefano to the Museum of the Academy and to the Zattere, this wooden bridge, which in the 30s replaced an older bridge made of iron, is especially attractive for those among you who really would rather not cross the Grand Canal standing up on a traghetto!
Housing the city's finest art collection, the museum occupies a group of buildings comprising the Lateran convent, church of the Carità and the Scuola Grande della Carità, granted to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1750 and a museum since the 19C. Today, the entire spectrum of Venetian painting from the 14C to the 18C is represented, encompassing a prestigious group of names: Vittore Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Titian and Giambattista Tiepolo. Some rooms may be closed for restoration.
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni is home to the collection of Peggy Guggenheim, niece of collector Salomon Guggenheim. She amassed a fabulous collection of contemporary paintings and sculpture (most of which are surrealist works and pieces from the Dada movement) in which feature major works by many of the big names of 20C art. Sculpture garden with pieces by Giacometti, Germaine Richier and Henry Moore. Not to be missed!
Built in 1630 by Baldassare Longhena to ward off a plague epidemic, this immense church crowned with a domed and standing almost exactly at the mouth of the Grand Canal, is one of the best-known sites of Venice. If the interior can seem quite cold within its majestic solemnity, it does contain some priceless works of art: The Wedding of Cana by Tintoretto, and works by Titian whose topic is sacrifice (ceiling of the Sacristy) and altarpieces by Luca Giordano.
Unmissable, this amazing palace reveals Venice's entire history, both the public history of its doges and the more secret, tragic one of an uncompromising Republic. On the brighter side are the sumptuous ducal apartments with a visit culminating with the extraordinary Hall of the Great Council. On the darker side are the sinister prisons accessible via the Bridge of Sighs and the secret itineraries tour that unveils the hidden face of the Venetian Republic.
If the facade of Saint Mark's Basilica is superb, the interior will leave you in awe with its mosaics on golden backgrounds that cover the walls, cupolas, and illuminate this oriental looking basilica! If you want to see them more closely, you will have to the gallery from which get a panoramic view of the interior of the Basilica, you will see the magnificently alive bronze horses and will be able to access the balcony from which you will have a spectacular view of Piazza San Marco.
This extraordinary architectural ensemble is the very embodiment of Venice. Everything here is graceful and beautiful, albeit teeming with pigeons and tourists. This vast trapezoidal space is harmoniously framed by the Procuratie, under the arcades of which are cafés like Florian (1720) and Quadri (1775), and boutiques. The square opens onto the Grand Canal across the lovely Piazzetta.