View from the Campanile di San Marco
Gondolas Along the Water Front
We enjoyed two days in Venice, but it wasn't nearly enough to see everything the city had to offer. We stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice located on La Guidecca island offering a breathtaking panoramic view of Venice across a wide canal. It's a large renovated and modern hotel that was once a thriving flourmill. We debated whether we should have selected a hotel on the main island but we were actually pleased to be able to escape the hordes of tourists in the evenings. The hotel provides frequent free water transport to and from a main dock centrally located near St. Mark's square. The ride itself was a sightseeing treat with vaporettos, gondolas, and views of the many iconic landmarks of Venice all along the way.
Once you step foot on the main island, there are architectural wonders everywhere you look, with pathways and canals around every corner. As you navigate around the crowds, you can still find corners of quiet with few people where you can reflect on the magic of this stunning city as well as capture a memorable photo.
Just a short distance from the dock, you'll find yourself surrounded by one of the most distinctive landmarks in Venice, the Doge's Palace, which was the residence of the Doge of Venice, or chief magistrate of the city. As you wander further, the path next to the palace leads to the renowned Piazza San Marco where you'll find the jaw-dropping Saint Mark's Basilica with it's domes and Byzantine mosaic tiles.
St. Mark's Square and the Basilica
The Doge's Palace
But the best views of the city are from the Campanile di San Marco, the bell tower of St. Mark's Basilica, located in the heart of St. Mark's Square. You should definitely go to the top of this bell tower for the most magnificent views of the city.
Then there are the gondolas. Of course, this is what makes Venice so special. Your trip to Venice would not be complete without an expensive ride through the canals on a gondola. There are gondoliers at every bridge, around every corner luring you onto their gondola. Eventually one will persuade you to step aboard their ornately designed gondola with its colorful leather and velvet seats and gold details. They will sing to you, tell you stories about the buildings along the canals, regale you with history, and take your picture.
If you have not been to Venice, it should be high on your someday trip list. There are concerns about the tourist crowds ruining this magical city, but it is truly a city unlike any other and obviously the reason why millions visit Venice every year. Despite the crowds, we were thoroughly transfixed by this city, more so than we ever imagined. It's an unforgettable experience to explore Venice. We wished we'd had a week there.
Comments from Pau Garcia Laita:
Venice is becoming one of the most visited cities in the world. Its few remaining habitants struggle everyday with large crowds of tourists, brought by massive transatlantics that continuously strike the city.
In this short film I tried to avoid this overwhelming atmosphere and decided to go for a more subtle, quiet style that brought to live the original beauty of the city of canals.
Filmed on the Sony a7s with a Canon 24-105 lens.
Music by Matt LL - Pokhara
Graded with Impulz LUTS and Filmconvert.