"The main arterial road." Canal Grande Tip by breughel

Canal Grande, Venice: 205 reviews and 361 photos

  Cargo traffic on the Grand Canal
by breughel
  • Cargo traffic on the Grand Canal - Venice
      Cargo traffic on the Grand Canal
    by breughel
  • Traffic congestion at Rialto. - Venice
      Traffic congestion at Rialto.
    by breughel
  • Traffic congestion by gondola. - Venice
      Traffic congestion by gondola.
    by breughel
  • A kayak on the Grand Canal. - Venice
      A kayak on the Grand Canal.
    by breughel

On my last visit to Venice my perception of the Grand Canal was different from the previous visits where I had been, sitting at the bow of the vaporetto, admiring the palaces appearing one after another in my field of view.
This time as I could see the Mercado-market from where I was staying and got interested in the Grand Canal as the main economical arterial road of Venice. Indeed each morning I saw cargo boats unloading their polystyrene foam boxes with fish and other sea food as well as ice for the stalls (photo 1).

Studies were made of the boat traffic on the 150 canals. The delivery of goods ands services account for 46%, public transport including water taxis is 40%, private or "sport" boats take 10% and gondola 4%.
Cargo traffic varies most from low to high tourist season. There is consistent congestion at the landings what is easy to observe at the Rialto (photo 2). You have to realize that most of the hotels, restaurants and shops get goods from the cargo boats. These goods have to be unloaded and transported by handcarts over the steps of the many bridges.
The gondola contribute heavily to traffic congestion (photo 3) but produce no pollution while all the motor boats pollute the air, are noisy and contribute most to the wake pollution effects on the buildings called "moto ondoso".
What is amazing with all that traffic on the canals is that I never saw an accident or incident. All of them are virtuosos of maneuvering their boats.

I put here a video from two vaporetto's in the turn of the Rialto Bridge and another of a vaporetto passing through a group of gondola.
Funny and rather exceptional was that sort of Kayak (photo 4) on the Grand Canal. It is a fact that unlike cars in a city, private transport is a minority in Venice.

Review Helpfulness: 5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 22, 2013
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Comments (1)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Eddy, I'm glad to see that you are updating some of your fine Venice tips.


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