8 May 2002 - Venice, Italy

Venice, whilst famous for its canals and being a once great maritime republic, the secret to seeing and discovering the real Venice is not along the water but by on foot. Many areas are empty of tourists even in high season and you can become lost in the narrow winding streets deep in thought.

Of course, you will be unable and unwilling to avoid the Grand Canal (and the hordes of day trippers); you will probably want to take the 'water bus'; but exploration on foot is the best way to see the sights of this fine city.
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Venice - The Grand Canal

Venice - The Grand Canal

Once described as 'the finest street in the world', the Grand Canal is a little dilapidated now by all accounts but still cuts an impression to rival any of the world's great boulevards. 3.5km long 6m deep and a width ranging from 40m to 100m, an incredible parade of buildings including more than 100 palazzi dating from the 12th to 18th century line it. The water bus or Vaporetto is the only way to see them.
Venice - St MarksSquare

Venice - St Marks Square

This photo is taken from St Mark's Campanile, the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica. The Piazza which this road leads to originated in the 9th century as a small area in front of the original St Mark's Basilica. It was enlarged to its present size and shape in 1177, when the Rio Batario, which had bounded it to the west, and a dock, which had isolated the Doge's (ruler) Palace from the square, were filled in. The Piazza has always been seen as the centre of Venice.

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