The Grand Canal and Venice

In Venice, a Young Boatman Steers a Course of His Own

The ancient city, which has been called the “Venetian Venice,” with its canals and gondolas, bridges and canals, is a very different place than the one I had last weekend. We had taken a boat trip on the Grand Canal and a tour of its famous museums, but I had missed my chance to visit the Uffizi, the Chiesa della Minerva, and the Accademia. I was on the Grand Canal again on Tuesday, when I boarded our cruise boat in the afternoon and sat beneath the portico of the Chiesa Nuova, which is on the Grand Canal, directly across from the Uffizi.

The church, with a white dome and white marble facade, is located in a piazza that is the site of many festivals, including the Feast of the Assumption and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is a beautiful church, with an interior filled with frescoes and an altarpiece by Giotto that is believed to be the jewel of the painting collection of the Uffizi.

The Chiesa Nuova

After several hours at leisure, we came back to our cruise boat to find that the ship had moved. But the Captain, who had spent several days on the Grand Canal, and had seen it many times, knew where the ship was. He said that we would be taking a small ferry across the Grand Canal, and the entire ship would be reassembled on it. I was happy to be reunited with our guide and with our ship.

In the afternoon, we left Venice behind and sailed up the Grand Canal of my childhood. The water was so green that I was in a happy mood. I was able to look at the Venetian canal houses and boats as they were, and also the bridges that carried us from one end of the canal to the other. The light was lovely.

At one of the bridges, I looked above the walkway and saw the sails of a gondola. It was going very fast, so I followed it through the bridge. It was too late, but I saw a little girl who was standing at the edge of the walkway to watch the gondola

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