Hotels in Grand Canal

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What you should know about Grand Canal

The Grand Canal stretches its 2 sinuous miles of architectural wonder right through the center of Venice, a dazzling display of wealth and beauty built up over 1,000 years. Impressive palazzos were placed on it, church towers raised beside it, and bridges arched elegantly over it. Today it remains the coursing lifeblood of this “City of Canals,” its palatial waterfront crisscrossed by buzzing vaporettos while idling gondola ply the mysteries of its backwaters.

Hotels on the Grand Canal

The most select hotels on the Grand Canal can revel in their historic connections. But few can match the 5-star Gritti Palace, a genuine 15th-century palazzo, graced with facilities fit for royalty. A fabulous spa, palatial guestrooms, and a dining terrace with views onto the Gallerie dell'Accademia make this the ultimate luxury hotel on the Grand Canal. A modern twist on the Venetian palazzo can be found at the NH Collection Venezia Palazzo Barocci, a 4-star hotel much liked for great service and views onto the Palazzo Pisani Moretta. For a more intimate experience, try a smaller Grand Canal boutique hotel like the Palazzetto Pisani, praised for its sumptuous rooms with their lovely canal vistas.

Things to see in the Grand Canal

Traveling down the Grand Canal is less a journey and more of an education in the architectural fashions of Europe across the centuries. It starts at the famed frescoes of the church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, and ends at the “Salute,” the iconic white-domed basilica that inspired a hundred Venetian paintings. In between it's the palazzos that grab the attention. They say you can see examples from 7 different architectural eras spanning 6 centuries among the Grand Canal's palaces. Foremost among them is the gorgeous Renaissance lattice-work of the 13th-century Ca' d'Oro, and the Baroque grandeur of the 18th-century Ca' Rezzonico. There are also fascinating museums. The Natural History Museum, housed in the 13th-century Fondamenta Turchi, covers the flora, fauna, and geology of the Adriatic region. And the Ca' Venier dei Leoni is home to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a fine museum of cubist and modernist paintings.

Good for couples

Venice isn't just the “Queen of the Adriatic,” it's also the queen of romance thanks to its endless idyllic and picturesque settings. There are palazzos to admire, bridges to sigh over, and basilicas to gaze at. But whatever wonders you encounter, few can match the sheer romantic thrill of a guided gondola along the Grand Canal, dipping into its smaller canals to discover new delights. Choose the right Grand Canal hotel and you could have a view onto its shimmering waters as dusk falls and the lights of its palazzos play over its surface.

How to get to the Grand Canal

Marco Polo, Venice's main international airport, gives you several options to travel to the Grand Canal. The water taxi is the most romantic and quickest, although it is costly. There's a public ferry service from the airport too, going to Marina dell'Orto. From there you'll need to catch a vaporetto or water taxi to reach your hotel. Alternately, the bus service to the Piazzale Roma is a cheap option. Once there, the vaporetto lines 1 and 2 ply the Grand Canal regularly, so completing your journey should be simple. And with most hotels on the Grand Canal having their own jetty, you're sure to arrive in style.

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