Venice, Italy

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.

Photo Hotspots

Piazza San Marco

Murano

Grand Canal

Rialto Bridge

Certosa

Basilica Di Santa Maria Della Salute

Santa Maria Degli Angeli

Riva Degli Schiavoni

Bridge Of Sighs

Harry's Bar

Calle Larga XXII Marzo

Campo Santo Stefano

Rio De La Fava

Pesaro Palace & Ca’ D’ Oro

Rialto Market

Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale

Campo San Polo

Guglie

Tronchetto

Fondamenta Dei Vertrai

Colour Gallery

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.

Venice is larger than one would think, especially when seen from the Campanile di San Marco.

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

This Barock church situated on the mouth to the Grand Canal in the district of Dorsoduro was built not just as a reminder to those that died of the plague in 1630 but to the Virgin Mary who was thought to be the protector of the Republic. The church was completed in 1687.

IL DOLOMITI

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

A towering mass of Cumulus built up behind this 12th century Murano church that used to be home to nuns from the most prestigious families of Venice in the late afternoon as I set off on the ferry back to Venice.

SPLISH SPLASH

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

This close-up of the domes of St. Marks Basilica gives an impression just how old this church is & the craftsmanship of those that built this monumental architectural masterpiece in the 11th century.

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

Built in white limestone around 1600 the Bridge of Sighs spans the Rio di Palazzo canal connecting the New Prison with the interrogation rooms of the Doge’s Palace.

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

It was 3:00am as I took this shot & although St. Mark’s is fully lit throughout the night there are some lovely moody dark areas as here under the arcade of the Doge’s Palace. The magic of being here at this early hour and having it all to myself as if I had been granted use exclusively is definitely to be judged as a privilege.

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

The front facade of St. Mark’s Basilica consists of three arches, each displaying gilded mosaics from the life of Christ. This mosaic above the main portal is known as “The Last Judgment”.

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.

DARK CORRIDOR

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.

SPEEDBOAT LAGOON

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.”

―Joseph Brodsky

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.

STORMY NIGHT

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.

SOUVENIR TURISTICI

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.

MODERN SEAFARER

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.

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Did You Know?

Venice is becoming a ghost town. In the past 50 years the population has declined from 120,000 to 66,000 due to a number of factors: Primarily Venice hasn’t a long term future due to the ever rising water pegel and deteriorating foundations making restoration work extremely difficult and expensive. Then there is the overcrowding of the lagoon in the summer months from tourists making living conditions almost unbearable for the locals.

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