Updated: Nov 2, 2018
The city like you've never seen it before...
Venice, the mystical floating city that's been the inspiration of stories, movies and travel journals the world over for centuries. There indeed is no place on earth quite like it, which is why it draws an estimated 20 million visitors per year, and it's expected that this number will continue to rise.
Few travellers have explored Europe and not made at least one stop by the historical city. I visited here back in 2013 as part of a tour. I was young, single and didn't have a greater appreciation for just how incredible the city was, not only from an architectural point of view but from a photographic one.
5 years later, I was fortunate enough to explore the city and document it through the lens of a camera. The crowds were more significant than I remembered, but this was to be expected. As any good photographer knows, the best time to explore a city like this is during the early hours of the morning or at night when you are entirely alone.
As I rose one morning to capture the sunrise, I checked my weather app and nearly fell off the bed. FOG. Surely this was a rarity, I was sure I had not seen many photographs taken in the city during the dead of night, let alone covered in fog. This is what I managed to capture.
*The images below were taken over a 6-7 hour period.
I highly recommend staying in an Air Bnb if choosing to sleep in the city. They are far cheaper than hotels, and the locations are just as good. However, if you decide that they are still too expensive, Mestre lays a short 10-minute train ride away and has much cheaper accommodation options.
I stayed at 3 locations during my time here.
1) Hotel Giovannini in Mestre: Cheap, very basic and about a 2-minute walk to the train station. This is an excellent place for people on a budget or those who need to stay near the train line. I stayed one night here when I first arrived from Sydney as it was quick to hop on the train and venture north to the Dolomites.
2) Santa Margherita Guesthouse, Venice: Well priced BnB located only minutes from the Rialto Square. Lovely staff, perfection location, clean and tidy rooms. I highly recommend staying here.
3) Hotel Rossi, Venice: Not the best quality hotel but is a short walk from Venice Station. Located along a bustling walking street and the rooms are basic. Great place to explore if you like to visit the main sites.
*Note: I have not been paid to promote any of these accommodations. This is purely based on my own experiences
The fog didn't appear to be lifting any time soon, and I knew the main areas of the city would start to become chaotic soon, so I jumped on board a water taxi and headed towards the Giardini Biennale Terminal.
I honestly believe that this area is much more pleasant and less stressful to explore while still retaining the Venetian vibe. Technically the suburb is not that far from Piazza San Marco, it's just that little too far for the majority to bother with. Perfect for a photographer.
Upon arrival, it was clear that this is where most of the locals are living. There were numerous kids of all ages heading to school and other locals hustling to get to work.
Less than 100m from the ferry terminal, I came across this stunning path that lead through a long park. It took my breath away and instantly got me excited for the potential of unique street shots. I set my camera up on the tripod and sat there for a good 20 minutes, firing away as different people and animals flew within the frame.
I came across numerous members of the Navy / Military walking the streets in the area. There is a large military base located at the far eastern end of the city. It was likely they were heading there.
Nearing the end of my time in the area I came across this stunning little street filled with fog, clothes lines and the occasional family walking towards the schools.
One of the sights that I always seem to photograph, but cringe at the same time. Ferries bring enormous amounts of wealth and tourism to the cities such as Venice but can have the adverse effect of overcrowding with large tourist groups filling the small streets and driving locals to quieter areas of the city.
I hope you enjoyed this visual journey of my single morning exploring the fog-filled canals of Venice. If you have any questions about locations, please shoot me through a message, and I'll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
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2 x Olympus OMD EM1 MK Bodies
1 x Sirui A-1205 Tripod & Y-11 Ballhead
1 x Mzuiko 7-14mm f2.8 Pro
1 x Mzuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro IS
* A selection of these images were taken on assignment for Intrepid Travel Australia