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August 2010

VENICE: The Grand Canal

VENICE: The Grand Canal
ABOVE: The box that contains Daniele Resini's VENICE. The Grand Canal.

Travel books make great souvenirs or gifts, and some books are especially suited to both roles. A case in point is VENICE. The Grand Canal by Daniele Resini, which is published by Vianello Libri.

The book consists of a two-sided photo "ribbon" measuring 30 x 12 cm (about 12 x 5 inches) closed and 1320 x 12 cm (520 x 6 inches) when open and stretched out. The folded ribbon is enclosed between hard covers, and each side  is a continuous panoramic photo of the right or left bank of the Grand Canal.

The lefthand side of the photo runs from the Dogana di Mare to Piazzale Roma; the right side goes from Santa Lucia Railroad Station to San Marco. Captions identify palazzi, hotels, bridges, and other landmarks along the canal.

The book has a list price of €29.90, and you'll find it at a number of booksellers in Venice. If you prefer to order it from home, try or An Italian-language edition is available from iBS Italia. 

For more information, see the Vianello Photo Books page for VENICE. The Grand Canal.

Below are two images from the book, including the cover for the righthand side of the Grand Canal and an interior spread (which represents two panels of the 1320-cm "ribbon" photo):

Book cover - VENICE: The Grand Canal
Gatefold from Daniele Resini's VENICE: The Grand Canal

Coming to Venice? Bring comfortable shoes.

Red high-heel shoes

ABOVE: Are you ready to accessorize your red heels with purple toes and white blisters? 

The phrase "practical shoes" may evoke a mental picture of Victorian matrons, but take our word for it: Venice isn't the best place to show off your new four-inch spike heels, unless you're traveling with a podiatrist or being carried around in a sedan chair.

To be sure, Venice is mostly flat (if you ignore the city's 400+ footbridges), and the pedestrian streets are paved with neatly-fitted blocks of stone, not the rounded cobblestones that can make walking treacherous for footwear fashionistas in many European cities.

No, the problem in Venice is simply that you're likely to walk. And walk. And walk. 

Vaporetti or water buses are useful for longer trips, or to reach islands like Giudecca or Murano that are separated from the core of Venice by water, but most of the time you'll find it more convenient to move around the city on foot. 

Also, if you need to catch a traghetto gondola ferry to the other side of the Grand Canal, stepping into a small boat while wearing a pair of Jimmy Choos could be tricky.

Our advice: Wear comfortable shoes. They don't need to be trainers. Birkenstocks, or Z-CoiLs (which are about as far removed from Jimmy Choo as a shoe design can be). Any good pair of walking shoes will suffice. But do take pains to protect your feet, and to keep podiactric pain from spoiling your trip to a city where you're likely to walk far more than you do at home.