A photographer’s guide to Venice

Taking pictures is a quintessential part of any holiday and I think you should always try to get a few shots of wherever you go. However, if you have a particular passion for photography – whether you’re a professional snapper or an avid amateur – I recommend you take a break to a city that contains a wealth of beautiful sights and period architecture. One such destination is Venice.

dorsoduro venice

With the Italian city commonly regarded as being one of the most romantic places to be found in Europe, if not the world, I’m quite confident that you’ll find plenty of great spots in which to take some snaps.

However, the city’s significant size – its population consists of some 280,000 people who are spread out across more than 100 islands – means you should be prepared to put in some hard work to uncover the best places for capturing fantastic photos.

Once you’ve taken care of the essentials, such as booking a flight from Britain to Venice and sorting out accommodation, as well as – of course – ensuring that you pack all the photographic equipment you need (such as lenses, memory cards and tripods), here’s some of the best places to visit with your camera in hand.

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco (or St Mark’s Square, as it translates in English) is, without a doubt, one of Venice’s most stunning attractions. Indeed, Napoleon is widely believed to have referred to the 13th-century public square as ‘the drawing room of Europe’, such is its beauty.

Come here and you’ll not only get to look at the pretty Euganean trachyte flagstones that line the square, but will also get to take in views of some of the Venice’s most famous landmarks – including the Doge’s Palace and the Campanile – and indulge in a bit of people-watching from one of the many cafes that line the square.

As you might imagine, Piazza San Marco can get very crowded with tourists – especially if you come during the peak summer holiday season – so, if you want to get some really good shots, you should head here in the early morning just as the sun is rising. Doing so allows you to soak up the square before it becomes filled with noisy holidaymakers, so you’ll be able to snap locals going about their day-to-day lives.

Grand Canal

Venice is famous for its intricate network of waterways, though there aren’t any which are large or as well known as the Grand Canal. Meandering down this stretch of water, whether in your own private gondola or on a water taxi (which is the city’s main form of public transport) enables you to capture shots of buildings from a very different perspective compared to what you would get on dry land.

I advise you travel down the canal in the evening, as the setting sun casts interesting shadows against the city’s many bridges. Among the most fascinating crossings that go over the canal is the Scalzi Bridge, with any pictures of this landmark sure to be a highlight of your holiday photo album.

Burano

As I mentioned before, Venice is split across more than 100 isles thus creating lots of opportunities to capture fantastic photos. However, I think the tiny island of Burano is an especially good place for keen photographers to get some shots. This part of the city is famous for its brightly-coloured homes – which you’ll find are coated in blue, pink and other vivid shades – while the Galuppi Square is a great place for some people-spotting.

The weekly market held every Wednesday is another great location to take some pictures. With traditional Venetian masks and freshly-caught seafood among the items available to purchase here, there’s plenty of scope to take some colourful photos.