INFORMATION

Venice, Italy

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VENICE

Venice, Italy, a historic city composed of many islands separated by canals, lies in a lagoon off the Northwest coast of the Adriatic Sea. Its unusual geography, rich architectural history, and picturesque decay combine to create incomparable beauty. Combined with the quiet provided by the absence of powered vehicular traffic and Venice's art and music, Venice is an enchanting and romantic city. In January 2008, Venice appeared on the Smithsonian Life List, a list of 28 places that everyone shoud see. For the photographer, Venice's enchanted neighborhoods, canals, and architectural variety provide unparalleled opportunities.

Venice consists of six political divisions, each of which is a sestiere (plural sestieri). With the exception of the island of Burano, the Grand Canal, Campanile Views, and Dusk and Dark, the galleries are organized around the sestieri.

The first two galleries San Marco and the Grand Canal represent the typical tourist view, the sites of a one or two day visit. The second pair of galleries, Campanile Views and Burano, represent views experienced by a lesser number of tourists, those venturing up the San Marco Campanile and to the fishing village island of Burano.

The next three galleries, explore the beauty of everyday Venice in three sestieri, Cannaregio, Castello, and Dorsoduro. Devoid of the rushing crowds of tourists and much of the ostentatious architecture of San Marco Square and the Grand Canal, these colorful neighborhoods with their narrow canals possess a serene beauty very much their own. Wandering and getting lost in these neighborhoods with a camera for a brief time is a unique and very special experience, that easily can be the high point of a visit to Venice.

The final gallery brings together images taken close to or after sunset and capture the enchantment of Venice during the golden hours and after dark.

San Marco

This gallery is centered around Piazza San Marco, the living room of Venice. Highlights include the Basilica San Marco, the San Marco Campanile, the Doges Palace and the Clock Tower. The ever present pigeons provide entertainment for some, and multiple small orchestras take turns providing entertainment to all. The passage of a Celebrity cruise liner contrasts with the historical Doges Palace and anchored gondolas. Views of the courtyard of the Doges Palace and other locations in the San Marco sestiere are featured. The last five images provide a glimpse ofa wet San Marco resulting from three inches of rain combined with the high tides of an overhead full moon.

Grand Canal

The images of the Grand Canal are roughly in order from the west end near the Santa Lucia Train Station to the east end near San Marco Square. The images were taken from a vaporetto (water bus), water taxi, fondamenti (walkways along the canal), two bridges, and a gondola under a variety of lighting and weather conditions. Churches, palaces, and places of business are represented. There are only three bridges across the Grand Canal. Pedestrians can also cross using traghetti, which are gondolas that run back and forth between docks on opposite sides of the canal.

Campanile Views

The San Marco Campanile has elevator service to an observation floor near the top. The windows on this floor provide views down to San Marco Square and its surrounding buildings and a 360 degree view of Venice. Most of the San Marco Square images appear first. The views of Venice begin with Chiesa del Redentore to the south and circles clockwise to Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore.

Burano

The island community of Burano is located in the lagoon some distance north of Venice. It can be reach by vaporetto or by private tours. Burano's is famous for the colorful houses located along its canals and for its lace. True Burano lace is scarce and comes at a high premium. Nevertheless, plenty of lace from other locals is available for sale and one can always visit the Lace Museum. The well-kept brightly colored houses are charming with their door drapes and occasional colorful laundry. In some of the photos, parts of the famous leaning campanile appear covered with scaffolding.

Cannaregio

Beyond the neighborhood parallel to the Grand Canal, Cannaregio is a quiet, picturesque working-class sestiere (with some areas tending toward the industrial in Northwest Venice. Although the colors are more subtle and the architecture more varied, it is reminiscent of Burano. The Jewish ghetto of Venice established to segregate the Jews in the 16th century lies in Cannaregio. In fact, the term "ghetto" which in an old Venetian dialect refers to "foundry" originated here. The original ghetto, placed near the former location of the "new foundry," today is the Campo Ghetto Nuovo. The ghetto was later expanded to include the former location of the "old foundry" which became the Ghetto Vecchio. Because of the origin of the names, the "new ghetto" is older than the "old ghetto." Due to crowding, many of the buildings of the Ghetto are six stories as apparent in the images of Campo Ghetto Nuovo. A bas-relief Venice holocaust memorial dedicated to Venice Jews deported by the Nazis is located on one of the walls of Campo Ghetto Nuovo.

Castello

Castello is a peaceful, attractive sestiere located in Northeast Venice. It is the site of numerous religious buildings including the Basilica of Saint John and Paul. Also, there are buildings constructed by scuoli, confraternities somewhat resembling modern fraternal organizations. Compared to Cannaregio, more buildings are palazzos (palaces) giving Castello a somewhat more stylish appearance.

Dorsoduro

The sestiere Dorsoduro lies to the South of the Grand Canal. Only a very limited portion of this sestiere is covered since the primary goal of my excursion there was to reach the Ca' Rezzonico, a palazzo that has become a museum for displaying works of art from a number of Venetian palazzi. Dorsoduro, due to the calm winds, offered special opportunities for photos of canal reflections.

Dusk & Dark

Late day and night provide a differ perspective for photographing any urban locale. Venice is no exception. The images in this gallery focus largely on San Marco Square and on the Rialto bridge.