Receive travel discounts, our Italy and Hawaii brochures,

and the FREE Insider's Guide to Italy in your email!
Grand Canal

Shaped much like a giant question mark or inverted S across the middle of the city, the Grand Canal is Venice's largest and most famous thoroughfare.

It’s traveled by water buses, private water taxis called vaporetti, and, as many tourists already know, gondolas. Traveling the canals is the best way to see Venice's beautiful waterfront architecture, places and museums.

Most traffic travels the length of the canal. In addition to the canals, the city is connected by about 400 footbridges. The largest, Ponte Rialto, is covered and houses a number of small shops.