Watch and Listen

1. Watch the video. Write T (true) or F (false) next to the statements. Then correct the false statements.

___ There are a lot of canals and bridges.

___ Most of the islands between the canals are big.

___ Today, Venice is important for art and business.

___ People know Venice as a popular tourist centre.

___ The Grand Canal is the smallest canal in Venice.

___ The Grand Canal is a man-made river.

___ Another name for Venice is ‘The City of Boats’.

2. Watch again. Answer the questions.

 What does Venice have instead of busy roads?

 What don’t you see on them?

 What is the name of the special boats in the video?

 What are palaces and other buildings in Venice built on?

 What was the Ca’ d’Oro palace decorated with?

 What is the Rialto Bridge made of?

3. Complete each sentence with a number from the box.

30     two     15     117     300     400

1   There are ________ islands between the canals and ________ bridges in Venice

2   The Grand Canal is more than ________ miles long.

3   For nearly ________ years, you could only cross the Grand Canal on the Rialto Bridge.

4   A gondola ride usually takes ________ minutes.

5   The palace was built in the________th century.



1 T   2 F; Most of the islands between the canals are little.

3 F; Today, Venice is important for tourists.   4 T

5 F; The Grand Canal is the biggest canal in Venice.   6 T

7 F; Another name for Venice is ‘The city of bridges’.


1 a lot of canals   2 cars   3 gondola   4 stilts   5 gold

6 stone


The Grand Canal

This is Venice, Italy. It is full of fantastic palaces and, of course, a lot of canals.

There are 117 little islands between the canals and 400 bridges. Historically, Venice is an important city for art and business. But these days, most people know it as a popular tourist centre.

The Grand Canal is the largest canal in Venice. It’s more than two miles long. It’s Venice’s busiest road, but you won’t see cars here. Instead, you’ll see a kind of boat called the gondola.

At one time, there was probably a river here, but the Grand Canal is man-made. The palaces and other buildings are on stilts – long legs that go deep into the ground under the canal. A gondola ride takes about half an hour. It’s one of the best 30 minutes you can spend in your life.

Here is the Ca’ D’Oro, one of Venice’s most beautiful palaces. It was built in the 15th century and was then decorated with gold. And this is the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge across the Grand Canal. It’s made of stone and for nearly 300 years, it was the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot.

No wonder two of Venice’s nicknames are ‘The City of Bridges’ and ‘The Bride of the Sea’.

Listening 1

1. Look at the questions (1-2). Listen to the podcast and circle the correct answers (a-c).

1   The speakers on the podcast are.

      a   scientists.

      b   professors.

      c   world travellers.

2   The main topic of the podcast is

      a   travelling to different countries.

      b   unusual places where people live.

      c   a history of ancient houses.

2. Listen to the podcast again and complete the student’s notes.

–  Matmata is in 1______________.

    Matmata facts: 2______________ years old.

    3______________ kilometres south of Tunis.

–  Cappadocia is in 4______________.

    Cappadocia facts: caves formed about 5______________ years ago.

–  The Ponte Vecchio is in 6______________.

    Ponte Vecchio facts: built in 7______________.

–  Neft Dashlari is in 8______________.

    Neft Dashlari facts: bridge is 9______________ kilometres long.

    10______________ people live there.



1 c   2 b


1 Tunisia   2 700   3 355   4 Turkey   5 8,000

6 Florence, Italy   7 1345   8 Azerbaijan   9 48 10 2,000


James:   Welcome to the Travel Podcast. I’m James. I’m here with Suzie and today we’re looking at unusual places where people actually live. Suzie, when you travelled, did you see any interesting or strange homes around the world?

Suzie:   Well, it depends what you mean by strange. I live in a detatched house, so the apartment buildings in New York, for example, seem pretty strange to me.

James:   I really mean places that very few people know about…

Suzie:   Oh, I see… erm. Well, when I was on holiday last year in Peru, I saw a really old city made out of mud. You could say that is interesting.

James:   Yes, that is very interesting! And so are the cave houses at a place called Matmata.

Suzie:   Matmata? Is that in Egypt?

James:   No, it’s in Tunisia. Take a look at the picture. You might recognize it from the Star Wars films. They filmed some of the scenes there because the cave houses look strange, like maybe they aren’t real. But actually, these houses in the caves are real. People started living in them 700 years ago. They made them out of the rock.

Suzie:   Wow! That’s ancient! Where is it exactly?

James:   It’s about 355 kilometres south of the capital, Tunis. I’d love to go there. Actually, when I was younger I went to Cappadocia in Turkey. It was fantastic! There are cave houses there, too. It’s in Anatolia, in the centre of Turkey. Take a look.

Suzie:   The buildings look like mushrooms!

James:   Interesting place, isn’t it? The caves formed from rock more than 8,000 years ago. People changed them into homes during the Roman period. Some people still live there now.

Suzie:   Now? That’s amazing. But did you know that some people live on bridges? Look at these two photos.

James:   Oh yeah. This one is beautiful and it looks very old. It’s in Italy, isn’t it? Is it Rome?

Suzie:   Well, it is in Italy. It’s called the Ponte Vecchio, but it’s actually in Florence, north of Rome.  They build the bridge in 1345. There was another bridge there before, but an accident destroyed it. So they made this one and people started to live there. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

James:   Yes, it is. But the bridge in the other picture looks never.

Suzie:   Yeah, that’s Neft Dashlari in Azerbaijan.

James:   Where?

Suzie:   Azerbaijan. You know – A-Z-E-R-B-A-I-J-A-N.

James:   Oh, of course. The bridge looks really long and it looks like it has a lot of factories. Do a lot of people work there?

Suzie:   Yes, they drill for oil from under the sea there. The decided that the workers needed somewhere to live, so they built a kind of ‘city’ above the sea. The bridge is about 48 kilometres long. They put houses, libraries, schools and even a cinema there.

James:   Really? So, hundreds of people live there?

Suzie:   About 2,000 people live there. It even appeared in a James Bond film.

James:   Well, it makes my house look really boring!

Suzie:   Mine, too!

Listening 2

1. Listen to the lecture. What was the lecture about? Circle the correct answer.

a   reasons to visit Vancouver, Canada

b   the advantages and disadvantages of lots of parks in a city

c   different things you can do in Stanley Park

2. Listen to the lecture again. According to the speaker, what are the advantages of Stanley Park? What are the disadvantages? Take notes in the table.



lots of gardens, walking paths, trees and animals 








Advantages: lots of trees help clean the city air; parks give people places to walk, so they are healthier; it’s near mountains and the ocean so people can enjoy the outdoors easily during warm weather; you can enjoy ancient trees and walk near the ocean; you can have fun by Beaver Lake; the park helps make Vancouver one of the healthiest and cleanest cities in the world

Disadvantages: not much room for new buildings and homes; makes Vancouver expensive; crowded; very bad traffic; wild animals can be a problem


Teacher:   OK, everyone. Today we are talking about interesting places.

I’d like to talk about the city of Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We often think cities are urban areas, with traffic and modern buildings. We don’t usually think cities have woods, lakes and fields. But Vancouver is a ‘green city’ – a place that’s good to live in because it has clean air, water and land. Vancouver has the best parts of green forests and city life. I would like to talk about some of the history of Vancouver as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of this ‘green’ city.

Vancouver originally was a place where the native people of the area lived and traded for thousands of years before Europeans came to live there in the 1800s. Then in 1886, at the first city meeting, the people of Vancouver asked the national government to give the city 1,000 acres to use as a park. They got the land from the government and started Stanley Park. This was the start of Vancouver becoming a green city with many parks and beautiful views. But being a green city with lots of parks has both advantages and disadvantages.

First of all, let’s look at some of the positives. Obviously, Stanley Park is a large park. In fact, because it is located in the city of Vancouver, it is the third largest urban park in North America. It has many gardens, walking paths, trees and even animals, such as bald eagles, coyotes and seals. As we know, lots of trees help clean the city air. Also, lots of parks give people many places to walk, so they’re healthier. Since Vancouver is near the mountains and the ocean, people can enjoy the outdoors easily during the warm, sunny summers. When people go to Stanley Park, they can enjoy ancient trees as they walk near the ocean or they can have fun by Beaver Lake, which, like Stanley Park, helps make Vancouver one of the healthiest and cleanest cities in the world.

I’d also like to talk about some disadvantages of parks in Vancouver. Space in a city is very important. Having many parks means that people have less space to build houses and apartments. Because Vancouver is located between the mountains and the ocean, there’s not much room for new buildings. This makes Vancouver an expensive city. Also, when you have a beautiful place to live, a lot of people want to go there. This makes the city crowded. Actually, Vancouver has very bad traffic. Lastly, when you have a lot of parks, wilk animals in the parks can sometimes be a problem. For example, Stanley Park gives information to people about what to do if they see a coyote. In my opinion, having coyotes in a city park is bad.

Finally, while I think these disadvantages might mean that some people would not want to visit Vancouver, I personally feel that most people would enjoy Vancouver. In my opinion, being close to nature and having a healthy city are worth paying a little more money for. And a lot of people agree with this idea because Vancouver is a very popular place to visit and live in. So I would recommend that people visit Vancouver and enjoy the many parks, the clean, healthy city and the interesting sights.

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