Until the 19th century, only the Rialto bridge crossed the Grand Canal. Now there are three more, 'Ponte degli Scalzi', the 'Ponte dell'Accademia' and the 'Ponte della Costituzione', which the locals call 'Ponte Calatrava' after its architect, Santiago Calatrava.
The main method of transport down the canal is by Vaporeto, the famous venetian water bus. You can also hire a private water taxi or even travel by Gondola. Many colourful events take place around the Grand Canal. One of the most spectacular is the 'Regata Storia' (Historic Regatta) that takes place on the first Sunday of September. Large crowds gather on the banks, or on floating pontoons, to watch a spectacular parade of boats travel down the Canal, following the 'Bucentaur', the Doge's state galley. This procession is followed by a series of competitions involving large numbers of venetian vessels.