Venice has always been an important trading partner, the door to the east. Today, Venice is still a thriving city due to mass tourism. Unfortunately the city is being trampled to death leaving its own folk no alternative but to leave due to dilapidation of the city’s foundations & infrastructure.
Piazza San Marco
Basilica Di Santa Maria Della Salute
Santa Maria Degli Angeli
Riva Degli Schiavoni
Bridge Of Sighs
Calle Larga XXII Marzo
Campo Santo Stefano
Rio De La Fava
Pesaro Palace & Ca’ D’ Oro
Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale
Campo San Polo
Fondamenta Dei Vertrai
Venice in August isn’t really advisable due to massive overcrowding & the intense heat but after a last minute change of plan to visit Val d’Orcia in Tuscany I had instead just four days at hand & decided on a short trip to Venice with the bus from Munich. From those four days I slept just once in a Hotel on the island of Certosa while the rest of my time was spent shooting material day & night, especially at night where the lagoon city is so peaceful. During the day though it was unbearable, too warm & way too many people. Like ants marching through the tight lanes, barely taking in what they were passing, others only interested in the boutiques & special offers in souvenir shops, totally crazy. I am nonetheless happy that I was there to document a few of those magical photographic opportunities & hopefully also to of captured a little of that mystical, romantic atmosphere that only Venice has to offer.
CHIESA DI SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE
The Benedictine church on the island of the same name was erected between 1566 & 1610 & was built in the classical renaissance style. The white façade makes the church a real eyecatcher from the Piazzetta (St. Marks Square) opposite & has often been a subject for artists like Monet or Turner in the past.
BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE
With my view from St. Marks Campanile early in the morning to the north west I had a beautiful clear view of the Italian Alps including the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park some 125 km away.
SANTA MARIA DEGLI ANGELI
These guys were either in a hurry or just wanted to hang out the macho image as they overtook our ferry & cut in very close in front of us.
ABOVE THE DOMES OF ST. MARKS
RIVA DEGLI SCHIAVONI
A grand view from the top of the canal bridge spanning the Rio de Palazzo de Canonica canal next to the Doge’s Palace where the Bridge of Sighs is to be admired. Our view extends to the old library of St. Marks with the columns of San Marco & San Teodoro.
PONTE DEI SOSPIRI
UNDER THE ARCHES
Looking towards the main area of St. Marks Square with its bell tower from under the arcade of the Doge’s Palace. One thing that went through my mind as I got down to ground level for this shot was just how many feet have walked over these marble stones over the centuries?
DOGE’S PALACE ARCADES
GETTING OLD & FRAGILE
The Napoleonic Wing at the far end arcade of St. Mark’s Square is as many other parts of the ancient city showing dramatic signs of fatigue. The ceilings have to be supported as do many of the columns around the square. With flooding in the winter months too it is a battle that eventually nature will win.
MAIN PORTAL, ST. MARK’S BASILICA
PORTO DELLA CARTA, DOGE’S PALACE
Constructed around 1440 the Porta della Carta is a fine example of Venetian Gothic architecture with Venice’s emblem above the door, the winged lion.
WEST ARCADE, PIAZZA SAN MARCO
St. Mark’s Square by night is an almost spiritual experience in comparision to the overcrowding during daylight hours.
Looking through the south arches of Arcade Ala Napolionica, across Piazza San Marco to the Campanile.
HARRY’S BAR, HEMINGWAYS LOCAL
Harry’s Bar is world renowned for it’s filmstar clientele but is also home to the Bellini cocktail and Dry Martini Montgomery. The bar is also the founder of Carpaccio by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1936 for the countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo who under doctor’s order was advised to eat raw meat.
CALLE LARGA XXII MARZO
Located just west of Piazza San Marco is boutique mile. This is the Fifth Avenue or Champs Elysees of Venice. Named after the uprising against Austria in March 22, 1848. Before it was named Calle San Moise after the church you see here at the end of the street.
MURANO GLASS SCULPTURE, CAMPO SANTO STEFANO
A trip to Venice wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the island of Murano and it’s world famous glass.
No stretch of water in Italy should be without the elegant Riva, a classical Italian speedboat design. These boats are fast & very agile.
TIME FOR REFLECTION
With the sun shimmering over the Grand Canal the water makes for sunny summer holiday mood.
“The winter light in this city! It has the extraordinary property of enhancing your eye’s power of resolution to the point of microscopic precision—the pupil humbles any Hasselblad lens and develops your subsequent memories to National Geographicsharpness. The sky is brisk blue, the sun, escaping its golden likeness beneath the foot of San Giorgio, sashays over the countless fish scales of the lagoon’s lapping ripples; behind you, under the colonnades of the Palazzo Ducale, a bunch of stocky fellows in fur coats are revving up Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, just for you, slumped in your white chair and squinting at the pigeons’ maddening gambits on the chessboard of a vast piazza. The espresso at your cup’s bottom is the only small black dot in, you feel, a miles-long radius.”
A NEW DAY HAS DAWNED ON ST. MARKS SQUARE
Having worked through the night non-stop I was glad to see the sun light up the stage once more and although cloudless the soft warm tones did the Doge’s justice once again. On the down side you notice just how quickly the city starts to fill with the first wave of visitors.
PRINCESS FOR A DAY
Couples come from all corners of the earth come to get married in Venice or at least to get dolled up for their wedding pictures, not surprising really, a more romantic setting is difficult to find I would imagine.
I was in for a treat here I thought. I wasn’t to be disappointed either. A real cracker of a storm lighting here the bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore captured from the Fondamenta Zattere Ai Saloni in Dorsoduro.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
A case of hopelessness is probably the most appropriate form for describing the state of the run down facades of Venice. A city without future, too expensive to restore & impossible to save. Maybe it is better so, at the end it proves that nature is the ruler of our existance and not we humans.
If Venice ever does disappear from the face of the earth then Italy would probably lose more money from the tourists than it would cost to recreate Venice from scratch.
THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS
Legend has it that lovers will be granted eternal love and happiness if they kiss at sunset on a gondola under the bridge at the toll of the bells of St. Mark’s.
Despite years of debate over the impact of large cruise liners being maneuvered through the lagoon from the Adriatic to navigate their way down the Giudecca Canal to the international cruise ship terminal Tronchetto the Italian Government has done nothing to stop this madness.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Sad as it seems it is all about milking the cow as long as possible. The Italians are willing so it seems to sacrifice their heritage for money. Unfortunately, as a tourist in Venice you notice very quickly that all they want is your cash & as much of it as they can possibly relieve you of before you leave the lagoon. Sad really because it destroys the illusion of “La dolce Vita” a little.