The Ultimate Photo Location Guide to Venice
Venice. A city that is, by definition, unique in the world. There's nothing quite like it, let's admit it. And for this very reason, it inspired writers, poets, painters, singers and all kinds of artists for centuries.
Unsurprisingly, photographers are among those artists too; since the very start of photography Venice has became one of the most popular destinations for photographers all around the globe. Many artists owe their popularity to this city.
I'll start by saying that each street, each canal, each corner is worth of a picture; there are a few locations though that shine among the others. In this article I'll make a list of the most famous ones, with a few correlated tips about when it's the best time to be there and what equipment you should bring with you!
1. PIAZZA SAN MARCO
This is easily the most popular place of the entire city, and for a reason. Actually, I think that this square is one of the most famous in the world! Standing there it is an incredible experience. If you want a sincere recommendation though, visit during the weird photography hours, aka around sunrise and sunset. Why? Well, try to visit during the day and you'll immediately understand.. You won't be the only one there; even early in the morning or late in the night, there are good chances that somebody will still be in your pictures!
Best time of the day, photography wise, it may be sunrise, as you get the sun rising on the canal and hopping out from the cathedral later in the morning.
You can't miss this place when you are in Venice!
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2. RIVA DEGLI SCHIAVONI
Probably the place that I love the most in Venice; if I could take just one picture of the floating city, this would be it. In one shot you get the famous gondolas, the Canal Grande, the church of San Giorgio.. It's a unique view. This place lies really close to San Marco, and when I say "close" I mean something like roughly 100 meters. "Riva" in italian means "Shore".
Since it's that close to the main square of the town, be sure that you won't be alone there neither; one more reason to visit during the golden hours and possibly even the twilight/night hours.
This is also a great place to do long exposures, so in case you brought your filters with you.. This is definitely the time to take them out and put them to good use!
3. PONTE DELL'ACCADEMIA
Another place that is surely between the most representative of Venice. From this bridge you'll have an incredible view of the Canal Grande, with the church of Santa Maria della Salute standing tall in the background. It is also one heck of a place to do some long exposures, in case you are wondering!
You can find this bridge in the western part of the city, it's a 15 minutes walk from San Marco Square.
Best time of the day to be here is at sunrise, when the sun is peaking out right in front of you! Sunset though is also good, with the last light of the day hitting the buildings.
4. PONTE DI RIALTO
This other location is considered by many the second most beautiful one after San Marco Square; personally, I think that as beautiful as the place may be, there are many other places, photography wise, that are worth a picture before this one. Let's say that it's more of a sightseeing spot than a photography spot, but that's just my humble opinion obviously.
From the bridge you'll get another beautiful view of the Canal Grande, not as spectacular as the one from the Accademia bridge listed before though.
The Rialto bridge stands right in the middle of the town centre, and it's a 10 minutes walk through the Canals from the main area of San Marco.
Best time of the day is sunset, since you get the sun falling behind the canal and the houses, as you can see in the picture.
As always, the most important thing is to be here early in the morning or late in the evening, when the majority of the tourists will be sleeping/eating.
5. BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE
This lesser known spot is a true gem of Venice; you'll find not many people around, and the place is truly beautiful. To reach this spot you can take the main street that goes towards the Accademia bridge from San Marco Square and where you'll find all the fancy shops take one of the narrow streets on the left to reach the canal shore. There you'll find some gondolas and small piers, which are great foregrounds with the main church in the background.
The best time of the day is sunset, since you get the sun setting in front of you and if you are lucky you'll also have some nice colorful clouds in the sky!
Looking for Mood? Come here in Winter then.
Winter is the best time of the year to catch the famous moody/spooky atmosphere in Venice; take our 4 days Venice photo workshop from November till February to max your chances!
6. THE CANALS
Let's not forget what Venice is made of: canals! There are over 150 canals in the main town, with over 400 bridges that cross them. It's hard to have an idea of how many photographic opportunities you'll have just by wandering around town!
My main suggestion here is to be out during the night, since the atmosphere created by the artificial lights on the canals is just marvelous.
One of the pros of visiting in low season is that days are shorter and you'll be able to shoot these canals with no daylight even before dinner, while in summer you'll have to stay up till late if you want to get these views.
Well, this actually not a Venice location, but I'll include it anyway since I really think it's worth a visit if you are visiting Venice. Burano is a small island that you'll find roughly at a 45 minutes-ferry ride distance from the main town. It became famous all around the world for the picturesque houses that you'll see in the few streets of the island.
The whole place feels like it's unreal, it's a true paradise for photographers!
Since at Tuscany Photography Tours we consider this place a true gem for photographers, we included in all our Venice workshops a Burano tour, so that we'll make sure you'll visit this fabulous place!
Like a Puzzle.
Why not including a 4-days photography getaway in the Dolomites while you are in Venice?