If you’ve already read my guide to visiting St Mark’s Square, you’ll know why it’s a good idea to leave the tourist trap and go a wandering further around Venice…
That’s exactly what I did on our second full day in Venice. The fact that it wasn’t a weekend day made no difference to the numbers of people in and surrounding St Mark’s Square. I picked up my camera and got lost.
And I’m not usually one for purposefully getting lost – I’m not that kind of person. However, I’d just changed my phone contract and unlimited free data abroad meant I could happily pick up my phone whenever I wanted to, check Google maps and reassure myself that everything was alright. Why wouldn’t it be anyway? I don’t think there are any sketchy areas of Venice – the place is just too beautiful so no-one could bare to spoil it for you!
Photography in Venice away from the crowds
That morning Chris and I had been up at 5am for a sunrise photo-shoot at St Mark’s Square for Threads of a Fairytale; followed by a change of outfit; more photos; then a long nap; then lunch – after which I felt revived enough to go out exploring Venice on my own for a while. Firstly I went North of our Air bnb; briefly returning to the fish market and a couple of familiar places Chris and I had explored that morning for the purpose of me prancing about in a navy tutu while he took photos! It was just for the fun of it, and the odd Instagram. And actually I might just put together a blog post too!
I recommend the San Polo and Santa Croce areas for some photography of very picturesque canals and bridges unencumbered by pesky tourists and time-consuming instagrammers. (Obviously I’m being ironic as I am both of those things, but I thought I’d clairfy just in case that wasn’t coming across.) As well as the wider shots of the canals, I really looked out for the details I could zoom in on. The lovely thing about Venice is the textures you find. All the old buildings have a fight against the salty air, but the fast decay of paintwork and plaster makes for some gorgeous photos! There are also some very pretty window-boxes and plants growing out of the cracks in buildings and bridges. With no roads; all deliveries and transport are by boat; tall centuries-old buildings with doorways opening onto water – the city sounds like a make-believe fairytale place, and it feels that way too.
After that I made the mistake of trying the streets the other side of the Grand Canal. It meant fighting through crowds again at the Rialto Bridge and towards St Mark’s Square and it turns out those crowds spread quite far North East. It was also difficult not to get distracted by the pretty shops that I hadn’t had chance to look in yet! I needed more time to walk further and find more photography spots, but the sun began reach the church roofs, and we had set a time to all meet for dinner.
R and J had used their afternoon to walk to the Arsenal and Giardini Della Biennale Park. I would imagine these areas would photograph very well at golden hour and I wish I’d joined them. It would also be something different to everyone else’s Venice photos.
If you enjoy photography and have explored Venice further, please let me know in the comments any suggestions as I’m quite sure we’ll be going back!
YouTube videos to watch if you’re planning a trip to Venice
By the way, although I was too busy at the time to blog about it; I did visit Venice last year and did everything on the tourist trail – at least, everything that was included in our city pass ticket! Please take a look at the videos I made for some good tourist tips for visiting Venice if you are there to actually see the city as well as photograph it!
And here’s the YouTube video I made of this year’s long weekend in Venice:
My travel photography gear
Linking with the #sharealllinkup at Not Dressed as Lamb.