Best of Europe: The Charm of Venice

If you’ve been to Venice and haven’t been allured by its charm, you did it wrong. Too often people day-trip or cruise into Venice, stick to only the touristy sections (namely the area encompassing Rialto and Piazza San Marco), and never get beyond their comfort zone to allow themselves to discover the true magic of this water-logged city. Sure, it can be stressful to get disoriented and feel like you’re lost among tiny lanes or swarms of tourists and Venetians speaking every language except the one you understand, but remember: it’s an island–you can’t get that lost.

Being out amongst the crowds is a challenge during the day, but it’s certainly possible and easy to do (see this post). But Venice can be at its most delightful in the evening, when the day-trippers and cruisers have fled, when there’s only of smattering of visitors staying on the island, and–when conditions are right–you have a mild acqua alta.

Scirocco winds from the Sahara travel over the deserts of North Africa, northward along the Adriatic Sea, and make their way to Venice, sweep through the narrow tangle of streets that comprise the 117 islets of Venice. When the energy of the scirocco pushes water northward and meets right combination of full moon, lunar high tide, low pressure, and (sometimes) bad weather, you get acqua alta, and Venice floods.

On our first night together in Venice on our Best of Europe in 21 Days tour, Rick and I took the opportunity to break away from our group for some quality together time and a photo safari through the quasi saturated streets, campos, a one grand piazza of this iconic Italian city. It was the first time to experience the acqua alta, and it did not disappoint. It was tame enough that we didn’t need planks or over-the-knee boots, yet sufficient enough that our inner shutter bugs felt like butterflies, flitting from one place to another to capture beautiful angles, reflections, and moments in digital freeze-frame.

While trying to capture the essential allure of a place in a photo is a challenge, I hope you’ll enjoying perusing some of the magic we experienced on our acqua alta night in Venice.  Click on the images below to enlarge.

7 responses to “Best of Europe: The Charm of Venice

  1. Hello and thank you for your prompt response. Im wondering how effective the zoom is on the camera? The reason Im asking is that we are going to africa for a month in february. We have an excellent nixon which we are taking on our safari with a fabulous zoom, however we are spending three days trekking to see the gorillas in rwanda and would preer a light weight camera.

    Have you used the zoom and do you think it would work on our trip? I know that we will be able to get very close to the gorillas.

    Thank you.

    • It’s effective enough for us. I don’t know about using it on a safari. Go to your local camera retailer and see if they offer an option to “rent” the camera, or at least try it out in the store to see if it will work for your needs. Best wishes and have a great trip!

  2. These are spectacular photos! Surely you’re “fiddling” with individual settings and not just using an auto setting, correct? I enjoy your blog, and Rick’s, so much! I always feel like I’m on a virtual trip with both of you. Thank you so much!!

    • Hi, Joy. It just depends on the situation. Usually I shoot in “auto” because I want to be ready at any moment for whatever happens. Other times, I do fiddle with the settings, generally opting to use “aperture” mode to adjust depth of field, and sometimes going with “shutter” mode when I need to nail fast action. Thanks for following my blog and Rick’s!

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