Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 9, 2020

Canals in Venice

It is fun to wander the backstreets of Venice finding canals crossed by tiny bridges. The streets are called calli and they can be very narrow. Sometimes the bridges don’t line up perfectly with the street across from them. The bridges were an afterthought.

I have been reading a book called “Venice is a Fish” by Tiziano Scarpa. He tells that up until 800 years ago there were hardly any bridges. Moveable gangways were used. The houses were built with their front doors opening onto the canal where they would have a private mooring. The streets in many cases were not aligned to meet a bridge, they were outlets to the water.

The private moorings are still there and still used even though residents get about on foot much more than they used to.

Here are a few canals that caught my eye.



Of course the most famous canal is the perfectly named Grand Canal and the most well known bridge is the Rialto. Right now the bridge is almost empty. The shops are closed and few people cross.

The views from the bridge are as wonderful as they always have been…at any time of the day.


I crossed it early one morning to see the fish market. I have heard it might close. I hope not.


Here is a post I wrote a few years ago on the fish market. The Venice fish market

The fruit and vegetable markets were beginning to set up nearby. I spotted these wonderful artichoke flowers. I hope mine grow at Casa Debbio.

I watched this boat one morning. Old wooden pylons were removed and replaced by new ones.

I enjoyed my few days in Venice. I feel very lucky to be able to go often. I find new treasures every time.



  1. Debra such beauty and serenity for you to capture these fabulous photos around the canals of Venice. Some of the best ever shown. ❤️Venice.

    • Beautiful Venice! I love it,

  2. Venice is a mystery to me; how a city for a thousand of years could still stand on water. Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

    • Venice is built on hundreds of thousands of wooden poles. It is incredible.

      • “Incredible” sums it well.

  3. Absolutely love your Post on Venice’s canals.Photos are superb! We are in amazement thinking it is all built on poles. David said he believes Santa Maria della Salute was built on 1 million poles?
    Also remembers waiting under top arch on Rialto Bridge each day for me to finishing dressing, & didnt mind the wait. Certainly hope the fish markets remain ( they are so much a part of Venice life) love the colour of artichokes, I would love a skirt just like the feathery petals & colour. All wonderful photos.

    • I think David might be correct about the poles. It is amazing that Venice exists at all! I loved my short trip to Venice. I will definitely return before I come home, probably when it gets a bit cooler.

  4. Love the fish and fruit and vegetable market in Venice. I have never seen the Rialto bridge like this, especially in summer.

    • I haven’t seen the Rialto this quiet, even in winter when I usually go to Venice. I hope the fish market stays. I suppose it depends a lot on how many people use it.

  5. Hi Debra, as usual wonderful images and text on your wanderings around beautiful Venice. I always loved to go into the little unknown Calli …. streets and the little bridges, where not as many tourists would find their way to. Thank you for the book recommendation, I will check it out. Enjoy your days.

    • There have always been quiet, peaceful parts of Venice. Most tourists seem to stick to the main route between San Marco and Rialto…pity really. The back streets are just as fascinating.

  6. A trip down memory lane; thanks Debra. Wonderful, wonderful place. You are so lucky to visit often.

    • It is wonderful. I will return soon.

  7. Whilst it must be nice to be there when there are few tourist to jostle with, I do hope that the shops and restaurants will survive this quite time and reopen soon.

    • I hope businesses survive this difficult time. It was with mixed feelings that I enjoyed quiet Venice.

  8. Stunning photos Debra. Venice is a magical place. The water looks clearer (and cleaner?) than when I was last there in November. Enjoy your time there.

    • The water was clean as were the streets. There were window boxes filled with flowers and everything looked great. I love Venice.

  9. I could never get my head around Venice, not having been there, but your photos have given me a really good idea of it.

    • I hope you visit one day. Venice is a wonderful place.

  10. Great photos! We live in the Italian Alps and get to Venice every now and then.

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