Aktualisiert: 19. Nov 2020
Memories of Venice (Italy)
Welcome to Venice, Italy! World-renowned city, famous for short romantic city trips, glorious and sublime baroque music, a unique place with its numerous distinctive canals that extend through the most parts of the city.
So today I would like to tell you a short story about a city which I visited 3 times since the first time I have heard or seen from this beautiful in the movie ,,Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'' until today 2020 when Italy was hit hard from an pandemic disease which is still spreading all over the world.
At the moment I am living in Austria, where because of the mentioned circumstances above, I have to stay at home most of the time of the day.
In a time of uncertainty and anxiety, one can feel the oppressive atmosphere when I get outside to buy some groceries for example.
But today should become a little bit different from the persistent daily routine and mood of the last weeks. Instead I was remembering of this beautiful city, Venice.
When I woke up very early today I suddenly happened to hear the Coronation Anthem and the Messiah HWV 56 Georg Friedrich Haendel by chance when I searched for a matching music for my mood and the daylight of this morning.
Since it's music which was composed in the baroque era and the light shined through the curtains in such a sweet und intense manner, I thought that finally the spring arrived, and then I remembered of my time in Venice, which is a typical baroque city in every sense.
May it be Florence, Rome, Milano or any other city in Italy, I always felt that the proportions and how the buildings were built and positioned in relation to each other were especially pleasing and soothing to my eyes.
In Italian cities I tend to use only one lens, a 28-300m, 24-90mm zoom lens or a 50mm or 35mm prime lens alone, which is sufficient for me the most of the time to cover all framing scenarios.
I am just telling you because I remembered it now and because this site is about photography. :-)
I then dedicated myself to work on some of my pictures and I noticed that I had taken many pictures from my last trips in Venice.
Here I would like to share some memories with you. The brilliant pianist and composer Leopold Godowsky made one remark on his composition with the title ,,Alt Wien'', it says: ,, Whose yesterdays look backwards with a smile through tears.''
With the actual situation in the world and especially Italy in mind, I found this remark very fitting for my actual mood. Who would have ever thought that something like this would happen to the world?
To get back to the topic, I remembered that when I arrived the first time in Venice it was quite early in the morning. I went by night train from Vienna and arrived at the train station Venezia Santa Lucia.
I had slept very well despite the room temperature inside the train cabin felt like it dropped to near minus Celsius degrees at night or maybe it was only my assumption because I nearly caught a cold.
If you travel by night train breakfast can be ordered the night before you go to bed, so I ordered some pastries called ,,Semmeln'' which I really like to eat, they surely are something typical Austrian.
After waking up and having my breakfast, the train arrived in the train station in Venice.
I was waiting and looking outside through the window of the train and I saw Venice my very first time.
The soft and bright shining light, I will never forget this impression this unique smooth and subtle light has left on me.
I noticed that despite being spring the temperatures in Venice are quite like in the morning of a bright summer day. Compared to that it was quite frosty in Vienna.
Compared to Vienna where the sunlight is quite soft and dull even in spring, especially at the beginning of spring, if you arrive in Venice you are going to be overwhelmed by the strong sunlight in midday, and you feel somehow refreshed by the bright colors and the warm friendly and energetic people living there.
So I got out of the train and walked through the streets. I felt like in a Labyrinth of streets, because most of the streets are quite narrow there, but it helped me a lot to roughly know the direction I wanted to go to.
So after a while, while I was walking through nearly empty streets also while noticing that most shop owners were preparing to open their shops, I finally arrived at the Piazza San Marco which is the main square.
There I visited the Campanile di San Marco, a tower of the famous cathedral.
The view from there is simply amazing, especially at morning.
If I remember correctly, I visited the small but famous islands Murano and Burano after that, they can be both reached by the Water Busses, which stop by the station near San Marco Square.
If you visit Venice, you absolutely have to try those Water Busses. They stop at many stations and islands in and around Venice.
I love to cruise to different islands by water bus. There are also water taxis there, but they are quite expensive, but maybe that's affordable luxury which can be only enjoyed in Venice.
When I visited Venice the second time a free water taxi transfer to my hotel was included when I booked the hotel, which was very nice since I love the luxurious brown mahagony colored wooden interior and exterior which is applied on the boats, it' s so typically Italian luxury and it’s so nice to feel the salty sea breeze in your face when you take your seat outside near the cockpit.
Regardless whether it's a ride with one of the taxis or the busses I recommend to really stay outside while the vehicle is traveling. It's so very refreshing to breath in the mist of the sea breeze. :-)
The small island Murano which belong to Venice, is one of my favourite destinations which I try to visit always when I get the chance to visit Venice. I made it my habit to eat spaghetti or pasta in Murano because this island is not cluttered with tourists, also the location is quite serene because of that.
Actually if I visit Venice I tend to spend more time in Murano or Burano instead inside of Venice since Venice is so overfilled with tourists most of the time.
The reason why I stop in Murano is not only to have lunch, but also to take a break from the mass of tourists and also I stop by the Shop of Mrs. Rossana Barbini, who sells the most beautiful Murano Glass I know. I fell in love with the Murano Glass Pieces, Vessels and Sculptures which are being sold there. They are made by a local authentic artisan, so you better prepare that you would not find the cheap stuff. ;-)
The colors of the glass vessels sold there are wonderful. In my opinion the Italian attitude to life, the so called ,,Dolce Vita'', the esprit, and also the colors which happen to appear in nature only in particular seasons of the year, are immortally captured within the intense colors of those fragile glass sculptures.
If I look at this art which is made of extraordinary beautifully colored glass, even today it makes my face smile while I remember the intense bright sunlight which is omnipresent in Venice.
My deepest respect and admiration to the artisan who is being able to make this happen and to capture this in those marvelous bright, intense and deep colors.
Also I recommend you to sit at a table of a restaurant outside and to enjoy a cool glass of Spritz or a cup of Cafe served with ice cream, while you are enjoying the intense but mild sun shining on your face.
Also I would strongly recommend you to visit the island Murano which is located about 20 Minutes away by boat from Murano.
The houses there are colorfully painted, if the light is met under the right circumstances, the facade of the houses begin to glow in a very mystic and surreal deep color.
Of course don't forget to carry a POL Filter and a tripod! :-)
The best photo shots from Burano, which can be seen here on my article (the last 4 photos following after my name), were shot with the use of an Singh-Ray LB Warming POL Filter.
So especially if you plan to travel to beautiful places and you would like the sky and sea to be blue and without reflections, and especially if you are after deep rich colors, a POL filter is an absolutely necessary must have tool for every landscape photographer.
During the last years I happened to regularly use filters from Singh-Ray with great results, so they are definitely filters one can trust and rely on.
I will maybe explain in more detail about POL filters in a seperate article.
Now to get back to my story: From the locals, I heard that the houses were painted in different colors so that the fishermen who were living there could find their houses easily even if they came back from work by boat at night.
For me the colors were surreal like in a dream, because after the visit I dreamt of a yard in which I am standing, looking at a great wall which is glowing in an intense orange color. Then I look up and I see the bright full moon shining.
Please have a look at the photos below to understand what I mean.
If you happen to visit Venice the next time, I hope you remember me or this article also. :-)
All the best to you from Vienna, Austria,