The Grand Canal in Venice, Itlaly is a major traffic route in a city with very little land to spare for roads. One end of the canal leads to the lagoon near the Santa Lucia Railway Station, while the other end leads to Saint Mark Basin. The main mode of transport in these waterways is the water buses called vaporetti, private water taxis, and the most popular among the tourist is the gondola.

The buildings and houses lining the lagoon are houses built by the rich families from the 13th to the 18th century and many of the settlers there were foreign businessmen who built their warehouses below their residence to better secure them. There are also a number of large homes built by the rich families along the lagoon which were considered as palazzi or palace. There is also a church somewhere along the length of the lagoon.

There are also a few bridges connecting the two sides of the lagoon, but still most of the traffic occurs along the lagoon because that’s where majority of the dwellings are. Some have been defaced by vandals, with spray painted vandalism although efforts by the Mayor of Venice are constant in cleaning it up and maintaining order in the area.

As a tourist, it was incumbent of me to take the gondola ride, which has been depicted is so many romantic movies to be the most romantic ride of your life. Imagine being serenaded by the boat captain while riding along the canal with your loved one. That scene would make any movie director green with envy, but alas, that has been done so many times in the past already it could most certainly be considered as cliche.

No tour of Italy would be complete without taking the famous gondola ride along the Grand Canal in Venice. Therefore I had to take it, for the experience of course. But I took it alone, I had no one to accompany me. I wasn’t alone during the ride, though. There was, of course the gondola driver and a newly-wed couple who were on their honeymoon shared the ride with me. They were nice and polite. It was fine with me to share the ride with them because going alone would cause a major dent in my budget.

The Grand Canal reminds us of the glory days when Italy was a bustling business center for traders, both local and foreign to Italy. Today, it stands as a reminder of the beauty of the city of Venice.