The defining feature of Venice is her canals--not just the Grand Canal, but all the smaller canals that circulate through the rest of the city. Whereas the main feature of the Grand Canal is display, the backwaters are narrow, not so display-oriented, and full of surprising views, none of which can be dignified by the name of "vista."

1. Rio del Vin, Castello
2. Fondamenta de l'Erbe and Rio della Panada, Castello
3. Rio della Toletta, Dorsoduro
4. Rio dei Miracoli meets Rio de San Canciano, Castello
5. Rio della Madonna dell'Orto, Cannaregio
6. Riva Bella and Ponte Ruga Bella o del Forner, Santa Croce

1. Rio del Vin
Although it appears that you are looking at a canal that dead-ends, there is actually a continuation behind the building corner. Notice how the pedestrian is almost literally suspended in air.

2. Fondamenta de l'Erbe and Rio della Panada Near the church of the Miracoli, we can see almost all of the elements of a backwater canal: narrow water, boats parked parallel, a small semi-private fondamenta running along the canal, and water stairs. All that's missing is a bridge, and that's because I was standing on it.

3. Rio della Toletta
In the Dorsodouro sestiere, this view is interesting because of the meeting of two canals, the adjustment of the angle of the bridge, and the quarters located under a small open space.

4. Rio dei Miracoli meets Rio de San Canciano
You get some very strangely-shaped bits of water when two canals meet. Here, in the background, you can just see a third canal, the Rio della Panada.

5. Rio della Madonna dell'Orto
In the Cannaregio district, the canals on the north side are long and straight. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the islands were created by filling in swampland, rather than building up around previously-existing solid patches; this allowed the Venetians to create long, straight islands, surrounded by equally undeviating canals. (Notice that when the Venetians had a chance to build something that was completely solid, they chose to continue with their boat-based mode of living.)

6. Riva Bella and Ponte Ruga Bella o del Forner
A wide fondamenta, known as a riva, functions as a quay for loading and unloading of goods. This one is located on the Rio di San Giacomo dall'Orio, and the bridge crosses the border between the parishes of San Giacomo and San Simeon Grande.

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