The beauty of Venice has inspired artists, writers and lovers over the centuries and it continues to inspire just as powerfully in modern times. My first view of the city was from a small boat travelling down the Grand Canal to San Marco – it is a visual impression I will never forget and one that has brought me back to Venice many times.
Stand almost anywhere in the city, face any direction and the view will be …….. (well, sometimes words are just inadequate to describe the sensation of being there and seeing for yourself).
I like to walk the “streets” early in the morning or during late evening, when there are few people about and the light paints everything in a soft, warm glow. At these times of day the city has a calmer feeling and I can take time to absorb the surrounding sights and sounds, with mainly local people preparing for, or ending, their day – the Rialto market, for instance, is particularly interesting at these times.
I take my camera everywhere with me in Venice because, of course, the buildings, statues, water, and light provide the perfect, unique setting for making pictures, that can stand alone as photographs or form the reference material for paintings at a later date.
The Grand Canal is at the centre of much of the city’s activity and I think it is one of the most visually interesting stretches of water to be found anywhere.
The canals also provide a source of income for some Venetians and a source of enjoyment for many visitors, and sometimes a place for a quick mid-day snooze:
Some clues to the history of Venice and the people that have lived there, can be found in the nature of its buildings, statues and ornamentation – lions, traders, ship builders, artists, musicians etc.
These little details are everywhere.
Everyone can take home their pictures of this beautiful city to remind them of what they saw and for many people this will be enough, because the beautiful visual impact of this city is unique:
In the end though, it is the sensations, feelings, experiences and memories that I take away from my visits here that are my real treasures.
Crossing the Lagoon in a water taxi from the airport and arriving at the water gate of a grand hotel; experiencing that first breath-taking view of Venice from a small boat on the Grand Canal; gliding in a gondola along deserted, canals in the evening with a loved one; dining outside, sipping wine and watching the evening light fade over the Grand Canal.
Oh yes, and starting each day with a breakfast of strawberries and prosecco in a beautiful hotel dining room like this:
Bob Hill is a photographer from the UK who enjoys travel, especially to Italy. He likes to blur the lines between photography and art with the creative use of paint in his photos. For more of Bob’s photos see Bob Hill Visual Art. Follow Bob on Twitter.
Concierge tip: To enjoy the magnificent dining room shown above at the Baglioni Hotel Luna Venice just a stone’s throw from Piazza San Marco, take advantage of the Baglioni Smart deal for a massive 20% off if you book direct (terms and conditions apply).