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Snapshots of the Floating City

Venice

Every inch of Venice is a beautiful composition waiting to be captured. We’re taking you through the city’s iconic spots for photos you mustn’t, as well as a few tips to help you make the most of your visit. Think of our picks as starting points. If you have more time in your hands, you can turn the corner and get lost. The narrow streets lead into quieter plazas where a candid side of the Floating City unfolds. Grab your cameras, a backup SD card, and extra batteries. Let’s go!

Updated a year ago

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Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Starting off, we have the city’s tourist capital: Piazza San Marco. The square brings together Venice’s most resplendent sights, such as the Basilica di San Marco, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Venetian Lagoon. Pigeons flutter among the crowds; cafés set up chairs outside for patrons—it truly is the epitome of picture-perfect. Come first thing in the morning to catch the sunrise and beat crowds to Piazza San Marco’s attractions. Even in fog or high waters, the square makes for a captivating subject for any photo; there’s an abundance of people, architecture, and opportunities for every sort of photographer.

San Marco, Venice, Italy

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Caffè Florian

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Grab front row seats to the Piazza at Caffè Florian where you can watch the hours float by under the Venetian sun. Witness the crowds of the square ebb and flow as you catch it all on camera at your own leisurely pace. Once you’re satisfied with your outdoor shots, head for lunch inside. Caffè Florian’s interiors are eye candy, worthy of a few spots on your Camera Roll. Here, red velvet booths, marble table tops, and golden flourishes try to outdo one another in beauty. Opulence stretches from what’s on the walls to the gourmet on the plate, which is only expected from what is considered to be Europe’s oldest cafe.

+39415205641

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

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Basilica di San Marco (Saint Mark's Basilica)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

At the crown of the Piazza San Marco, Basilica di San Marco rises as an overwhelming figure on the cityscape. Tourists naturally flock toward it for worship and tours. Unfortunately, photography isn’t allowed inside the basilica, but that means more time for you to capture its grand facade! The stonework features various marble patterns, while religious figures sculpted in elaborate detail emerge. Frescoes peek out from under the archways as golden angels and a winged lion glint in the sunlight. Sneak in a few clicks and carry on your San Marco photo walk.

+39412708311

San Marco 328, Venice, Italy

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Campanile di San Marco (Saint Mark's Bell Tower)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

In a single frame, capture everything Venice has to offer from the city’s pinnacle. The Campanile di San Marco, a red brick bell tower, dwarves everything that surrounds it. It ascends 99 meters over the Piazza San Marco so take in the Piazza, rust-colored rooftops, and azure lagoon in all its glory. Book tickets in advance, only available through VenetoInside online, to skip long queues. The Campanile opens doors at 8:30AM; the first time slot of the day for VenetoInside’s special service is at 10:15AM. They let people in ahead of time if the lines are sparse, so give yourself at least 10 minutes to be early.

+39412708311

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

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Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Also on the Piazza, Palazzo Ducale is the city’s very own royal palace—a pillared masterpiece where the Doge or Ducale (the head of state) lived and reigned. A mix of architectural styles make it distinctly Venetian, perfect for the leader of the diverse port city it was at the time. Sadly, photography is prohibited inside Palazzo Ducale. However, the symmetrical archways and intricate tableaus facing the Piazza San Marco are available to all for a photo opportunities. Strike a pose dead center as the pillars line up behind you.

+39412715911

San Marco 1, Venice, Italy

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Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

The Ponte dei Sospiri was a private passage that connected the Doge’s Palace to the Prigioni Nuove (New Prison). It is imagined that on the bridge, convicts would steal their last glance at the beautiful city outside before serving their sentences. This tragic tradition would give the Ponte dei Sospiri its nickname, The Bridge of Sighs. The limestone walkway is best shot from the outside, right across on the Ponte della Paglia. The canal runs under both bridges where a few gondolas pass regularly. Take a boat and snap a few shots from the unique vantage point.

+39412715911

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy


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Riva degli Schiavoni

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

The festive crowd from Piazza San Marco spills onto Riva degli Schiavoni. The waterfront promenade overlooks the Venetian Lagoon, so you’ll be able to shoot the gondoliers as they come and go with passengers. In centuries passed, the harbor would welcome merchants and fishermen from nearby countries. Today, dozens of gondolas and water taxis dock at the shore. In the background, San Giorgio Maggiore stretches out across the water. Keep an eye out for its iconic church—you can’t miss it!

San Marco, Venice, Italy

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Mercati di Rialto (Rialto Markets)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Long before the rest of the city is even awake, the Mercati di Rialto (Rialto Markets) are already bustling with life. Start your day taking pictures in the market—Venice has a way of making even the everyday tasks a captivating photograph. Fishmongers haul their catch fresh off the boats on the Grand Canal. Squid and baby octopus writhe in their bins, still struggling for life in Campo della Pescheria (Fish Market). Alternatively, merchants at Campo Erberia (Fresh Produce Market) arrange their season’s harvest to entice market-goers. Fruits and vegetables of every hue brighten each morning, making for an arresting, colorful snapshot.

San Polo, Campo de la Pescaria, Venice, Italy

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Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

After a stroll through the markets, follow the trail of tourists to Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge). Visit early, as the crowd quickly thickens after 9:00AM. Waking up at sunrise is well worth the effort—the early morning brings out beautiful colors on the Grand Canal and its waterfront. Venice’s different boats sputter along the main thoroughfare as light glints off the surface of the water. There is a reason the Ponte di Rialto is a prime tourist spot all year-round. Come back at sunset for that coveted golden-hued photograph.

San Polo, Venice, Italy


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Ponte dell'Accademia

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Down the Grand Canal on its southern end, the Ponte dell’Accademia is a humbler spot to enjoy the views. The quaint bridge is made of wood and metal, much simpler compared to the Rialto Bridge. The crowds are slightly smaller, but the splendor of the Grand Canal remains the same. Take in a different part of the city from the Ponte dell’Accademia. The dome of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute rises in the distance, among the homey rooftops.

Venice, Italy

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Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Climb up the largest spiral staircase you’ll probably ever see! The Scala Contarini del Bovolo peeks over the rooftops rolling on the San Marco neighborhood. The tower is tucked away, visited only by those lucky enough to stumble upon it. Make your way to the top and spot the Campanile di San Marco, its red brick exterior blending in among the rust-colored roof tiles. Bring out your inner Juliet Montague and pose between the pillars. Perhaps, a Romeo Capulet is roaming the labyrinthine streets of Venice. Either way, it’s sure to bring a whole lot of likes on Instagram!

+39413096605

San Marco 4303, Venice, Italy

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Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

The enchanting thing about Venice is how grand places hide in plain sight. The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a medical museum, conceals itself in a little square. Its marble facade gleams in the sunlight, as it shines warmly inside. An intricate ceiling, gilded in gold, hovers over glass cases of priceless medical artifacts. Renaissance paintings also cover the walls. Its opulence matches many of those at Piazza San Marco, but at a smaller scale. Take your sweet time capturing the various halls of this museum and hospital. It’s not every day that you get to see places like this in real life!

+39415234864

San Polo 3152, Venice, Italy

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Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro (Palazzo Santa Sofia)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Wander through a marble manor emerging from the Venice Grand Canal. Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro is a gallery housed within a former palace. Gothic pillars and patterns carve out interesting shapes on the building. Spot shadows cast on colorful marble mosaics. The balcony offers an envious view of the Grand Canal, so have fun playing around with all the possibilities! The gallery pays homage to Giorgio Franchetti, its former patron. The name also comes from the gold that covered its facade. Many of these things may have faded in time, but the gallery’s splendor has persisted high waters.

+39415200345

Cannaregio 3932, Venice, Italy

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Chiesa di Santa Maria di Nazareth (Chiesa degli Scalzi)

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

The Basilica di San Marco may have you itching for those gorgeous Venice church shots. Well, let the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Nazareth (sometimes, just called Scalzi) fix that for you. This Baroque hall will make up for the lack of church photos, with its arched ceilings, impressive pillars, and golden flourishes. The Chiesa di Santa Maria di Nazareth doesn’t garner as long a queue as its San Marco counterparts, which is a good thing. That means less competition for photo ops! A trip is as easy as hopping on a vaporetto and disembarking in front of the Chiesa.

+39418224006

Cannaregio 54, Venice, Italy

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Love Viewing Bridge

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 29 June 2018

Our last photo spot isn’t actually on the main island of Venice; it’s on Burano. The colorful house-fronts of the quaint fishing isle are a must-see. Take a day trip away from elegant Venice to go to this destination north of the city. Here, laundry hangs on lines, and small bikes rest in front of bright buildings. Cheery colors line up like a rainbow along the main canal. At the Love Viewing Bridge, get a 360-degree vantage point of the fishermen’s homes. Find the perfect angle, and snap away!

Burano, Venice, Italy

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