This is Venice’s major waterway. It runs from the railway station to the San Marco square and is almost 4 km long. Gondolas and every kind of boat imaginable travel the canal, making it a very busy waterway. The banks are lined with medieval palaces, churches and other marvellous buildings.
Bridge of Sighs
It was built in the year 1600 and it connects the doge's prisons with the inquistor's rooms in the main palace. Some say that its name was inspired by the sighs of condemned prisoners as they were led over the bridge to their deaths. This can't be true because by the time the bridge was finished the days of inquisitions were already over.
The Rialto Bridge
There are only 3 bridges that span the Grand Canal and this bridge is probably the most important one of them. It was built in the late 16th century on 12,000 wooden pilings that still support the bridge today. There are some small shops on the bridge selling jewellery, linens and Murano glass.
In 1516 an enclosed neighborhood for Jews was created, called the Jewish Ghetto. The buildings here are different to other venetian buildings. As there were legal limits on the height of the houses they were given very low ceilings. From the outside you can see how many floors were crammed into the buildings.