If you’ve got Venice at the top of your list for when safe travel resumes, you’ll want to make the most of every precious moment you have there. Here are 8 top Venice photo spots to get your photography trip off to a flying start…
Whenever you visit Venice; during crazy carnival season, on a mysterious, foggy November weekend or on a clear bright day in Spring, the city is so stunningly beautiful it feels as if around every corner there’s a new image to be created. Whether you find yourself at a classic location that has been photographed over and over, or in a lesser known, more intimate part of the city, you’ll always find inspiration in Venice. Here are 8 top photo Venice photo spots PhotoHounders return to time and time again, yet find something new and a different take on the location each time.
1) Burano Bridge Views
If you enjoy colours, architecture, street photography or experimenting with abstracts, the island of Burano is not to be missed. From the top of either bridge you have wonderful, elevated views to the east or north. Both canals feature beautifully painted, colourful houses. To get the best out of the rich colours of Burano, visit on a sunny day when colours are at their most spectacular. Blue hour also works well, but plan your journey back to Venice beforehand if staying to the evening (a private water taxi might be the only option if the Vaporetto has finished for the day). Afternoon light is beautiful at this spot.
2) Campanile di San Giorgio Maggiore
We love an aerial view! If you do too, then hop on a vaporetto and visit the San Giorgio Maggiore Church. From the bell tower you’ll have magnificent views across Venice, and it’s a lot less busy than St Mark’s bell tower. Tripods are also allowed here which is a big bonus! The light is best late afternoon when the sun is lower on the horizon. In winter months the church remains open after sunset so you can even photograph at blue hour.
3) Riva degli Schiavoni
This is one of the classic shots of Venice; a long exposure where the gondolas are blurred and contrasted against the sharp-focused background of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore. Shoot here in the morning when there are fewer people and less traffic on the canal. Once you’ve got this “must-do” shot, experiment with different compositions; try up close or from the bridge (Ponte della Paglia).
4) Ponte di Rialto
Renovated not so long ago, the Rialto Bridge is sparkling! The oldest bridge in Venice is a work of art and worth photographing in its own right, but don’t forget that you can capture stunning sunsets over the Grand Canal from the top of the bridge. Rialto Bridge is a popular spot, so arrive early to set up if you want to get a good spot for a sunset from the bridge. To get a shot of the bridge itself, there are nice views from the west bank, both south and north. A wide angle will be your most useful lens here.
5) Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Well hidden, this stunning stairway is architectural gem. Not only is it beautiful to photograph, from the top floor you have views of the Venetian rooftops as well as the bell tower of St Mark’s church – these look most spectacular on sunny days. During the carnival season this is a popular place for portraits. Once at the top try framing the St Mark’s bell tower within the arches of the staircase.
7) Floating House
This cool house is located near to the amazing Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo. To get the whole house and the reflection you will need to use an extreme wide angle lens. You’ll need to be patient here and wait for a brief moment when there are no people walking over the shaky bridges on both sides of the house. Even better if you can time that with the water completely still for nice reflection. This could take a while with the number of boats that pass!
6) La Giudecca
When you’re tired of the crowds and have captured the classic Venetian shots, cross the canal and walk along La Giudecca embankment. Venice seems distant and somehow even more romantic from this spot. Sunny afternoons are well-spent here, especially when you tuck your camera away and sit to enjoy a glass of Aperol Spritz knowing you have captured some unique shots of Venice!
8) Rio de San Pantalon
If you want to continue exploring the lesser photographed locations in Venice, head to Dorsoduro and San Polo districts. There is a beautiful set of canals around the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. It almost seems that time has stopped here; it’s a peaceful spot away from the usual hustle and bustle of Venice and offers an authentic feel. You’ll find many intimate scenes of the canals and plenty of colourful buildings. You’re also more likely to see locals going about their daily errands by boat.
If you’ve enjoyed these 8 top Venice photo spots and want to find more spots and precise locations, take a look Luka Esenko‘s PhotoHound Guide to Venice. A presto!