“Venice, it’s temples and palaces did seem like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven.” Percy Bysshe Shelly
Welcome to Venice, Italy where more than 150 canals meander through the city’s historic center. The most famous is the Grand Canal. Lined on either side by palaces, churches, hotels, and other public buildings in Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, the Grand Canal measures slightly more the two miles long, 100 – 225 feet wide, and has an average depth of 17 feet.
The canals are the “streets” of Venice. Boats are the transportation choice as automobiles are banned throughout much of the city. Motorized vaporetti, the public-transit water buses and private water taxis carry passengers, while barges bring the delivery of goods throughout the city. From time to time, siren-equipped boats belonging to the police, fire, and emergency medical services traverse the Grand Canal at high speed.
In the busyness of a vibrant city, the traditional poled gondolas grace the waterways with the elegance of a past time where mystery, romance and intrigue entice us with adventures.
The Gondola dates to the 11th century. It began as rowboat that has evolved over the last 1,000 years to the ornate and streamlined form of today. The gondola structure is asymmetrical, designed specifically to accommodate one oarsman using a single oar for ease of navigation along the narrow Venetian canals.
Venice has many names: “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals. To experience the richness of its beauty, architecture, art and history, the gondola is waiting for you.
“To go out in a gondola at night is to reconstruct in one’s imagination the true Venice, the Venice of the past alive with romance, elopements, abductions, revenged passions, intrigues, adulteries, denouncements, unaccountable deaths, gambling, lute-playing and singing.’” Peggy Guggenheim