• Grand Canal, Canal Grande or, as locals still call it nowadays, "il Canalazzo".
The famous waterway was once the commercial highway of Venice; ships coming from all major ports of the Mediterranean, loaded with spices from far East and other precious merchandise, used to sail along its route to moor to the various "fondaci" (warehouses), where the goods were unloaded before being traded and distributed throughout Italy and Europe.
The most important, and wealthier, families of the city built their magnificent mansions overlooking the channel to show off to citizens, and to travelers from around the world, their power and influence.
Doges, nobles, merchants and highest officials of the venetian republic challenged each other for centuries in a race to show whom were building the biggest, most beautiful or most luxurious among all palaces.
We are left with an architectural masterpiece unique in the world, a witness of the talent of mankind and, sure, of its willingness to power.