Venice is said to have some 150 canals, and on top of that a lot of canals were interred in the 19th century for various reasons.
I was recently asked if I had paddled all the canals of Venice, and I haven’t. There are parts of Venice with unpleasant traffic or just run down places where you don’t go unless you have to, and even if I have been to many of those places too, there’s still a handful of canals I haven’t paddled through yet.
To get an idea of how much of Venice I’ve paddled I’ve marked in light red the waterways where I haven’t been, on this map.
Maybe half the unexplored canals are dead ends where you’d have to back out again because there’s no room to turn around. One is military and has a chain across to keep boats out. The canals near Piazzale Roma and Canale Scomenzera are places where I would never take anybody unless I was really certain of their paddling skills, because of the heavy traffic there. Those are the places where goods are loaded from trucks to cargo boats and vice versa.
That’s almost all of Venice.
It seems to me that if you wanted to, you could cover all those canals in one day. Of course, you might need to wear all black and do some fast talking in one or two places.
Maybe some of the more high-trafficked areas could be paddled in off-hours.
It sure would be cool to say that you’d rowed every canal of La Serenissima.
I actually had made a mistake on the map. The Rio San Michiel, a short dead end canal off the Canal Grande near Rio San Luca, should have been marked to.
I have corrected the error – not by changing the map, though 🙂
I doubt if such a small map can show every waterway inside the historic city, there must be more? A fully detailed Venice street map supposedly requires several sq. meters. There could be rii too narrow for a gondola or even a kayak to pass and possibly not shown on the map?
Also, I heard there are magic canals, which appear just once every leap year and open only to the chosen ones. Nobody, but the cats know about those.