I Heart Venice
May 22nd, 2012

(Another) iPhone Postcard of Venice — Piazza San Marco

I have heard people say that Venice is worth visiting for a day or two—three at the most. That just seems crazy to me. The Venice Within The Frame group was in Venice for a full week. I don’t think anybody in the group had the opportunity of becoming bored. It’s a place in which to get lost in the calli. It’s a place in which to find a quiet corner (yes, there are many) and enjoy a glass (or four!) of prosecco. It’s a place in which to eat the absolutely most amazing ravioli that I’ve ever had. (No, I won’t tell you where, but I’ll show you!) Venice can be a nightmare if your idea of visiting is struggling through Piazza San Marco on a sunny afternoon or lining up to visit museums and buildings or eating at one of the far too many tourist ripoff restaurants. You won’t find me at any of those places. I’ll leave all of that to the hordes of day-trippers and cruise ship passengers. I’ll run far from that. That’s not my Venice.

Get up early in the morning and go out and photograph before the tourists arrive by bus, train, and cruise ship. Then enjoy a late breakfast and down time as the tourists crowd Rialto, Piazza San Marco, etc. (If you’re with other photographers, maybe this is the time to share and discuss your art.) Find a nice corner for a relaxing lunch. Visit an exhibit off the beaten path. Window shop. Get lost. Have some prosecco. Even take a nap if you like. Then grab your equipment (not all of it!) and head out again as the tourists begin to crowd the worst of the restaurants for the horrible meals for which they’ll vastly overpay. Wait for the sun to go down and the sky to turn blue. Then find another quiet corner for dinner. Maybe a waitress will make you laugh. (Ciao Madalina!) Enjoy a glass of Reciotto at the end of your meal. (Or some of that chamomile grappa!) It’s 11pm-ish, and now you can visit Piazza San Marco without the crowds trying to follow people holding up flags, hats, or something to keep the masses in tow. Maybe the rain or high water will have left puddles in which to reflect Palazzo Ducale. Maybe you’ll dance under moonlight in the Piazza. Maybe you’ll even put on masks and run around like you’re 12 again. (Thanks Natalie!) Go get a mojito (the best in the world with the right company; I missed you!). Photograph Venice by night if you’re not tired. Or laugh with friends all night—until you fall asleep surrounded by camera equipment. (Do remember to at least shut your hotel-room door in that case!) You’ll now be in a Venice that isn’t all about selling cheesy trinkets. You’ll be in the Venice I love.

I can’t wait to go back to Venice. It won’t be for a day. Nor two. Definitely not only three. Venice deserves time. She’ll get mine. I heart Venice.

23 Responses to “I Heart Venice”

  1. Ellie says:

    Amen – and I’ll drink to that! Clink! :)

  2. Mark Olwick says:

    Venice is high on my list. Jeffrey, and I’d love to experience it with you.


  3. CJ Kern says:

    You sold me Jeffrey!

  4. Sounds perfect, Jeffrey!
    I can’t wait to get back to Venice….

  5. Me says:

    I missed you too.

  6. Ed says:

    Sounds like the kind of Venice I’d like to get to know, having experienced the other side with my parents and sister nearly 19 year ago.

  7. Mike says:

    It took me a few days to escape the tourist-trap Venice, and find the Venice that you describe. But once I did, it became a different place, one that I would like to return to. Nope, never got bored.

  8. Marjan L says:

    Sounds like the perfect life! :)

  9. Cynthia Haynes says:

    Smiling. Teary. Thrilled that I have those memories of that Venice . . . the one that I love and for which I continually long. Thank you for all of it, dear Jeffrey.

  10. Madalina says:

    Ciao Jeffrey :) ascoltando te mi e venuta voglia di essere una estranea a Venezia……:) che bello!

  11. Jeffrey Chapman says:

    That’s a mighty impressive top ten right there. (I’ve even been in Venice with seven of you already.) OK, I’ll go back to Venice with the ten of you! :-)

  12. Eli R. says:

    The mask that Nat gave me is still on top of my (photography) book shelf :-)

  13. Stefan de Jong says:

    I loved our WTF tour in Ligurie but haven read this Jeffrey makes me curious.

    When is your next trip?

    Cheers Stefan

  14. Michael Murphy says:

    Una citta’ meravigliosa, senza dubbio, Jeffrey! happy travels!

  15. Nat says:

    Such a wonderful summary Jeffrey; Venice (and we) heart you too :) I cannot wait to go back and experience it with you all again!

  16. Andrée says:

    Room for one more? Such a vivid evocation of everything I loved about Venice, including the serene mood of my final vaporetto ride in gorgeous early morning light — I can’t wait to go back!

  17. Jeffrey Chapman says:

    Andrée, you’re joking, right? There’s ALWAYS room for you. I’d travel with you anywhere. There is nobody who has commented for whom that isn’t true.

    Stefan, I can’t give away secrets, but I’ll just hint that I like Venice in the spring. :-)

  18. My last night in Venice – 2011. I was leaving the next morning.
    It’s 3 am.
    The Preseco was almost (well, completely) gone.
    I walked 3 wonderful, lovely souls (you know who you are!) back to their hotel room (a gentleman always would).

    Heading back to my hotel I crossed Plaza San Marco.

    For 10 incredible minutes I was the only person in the square.


    Yah, I’ll go back.


  19. ajay goel says:

    Brilliant and evocative commentary. Thanks. Yes the place is magical once the tour groups are gone…would love to see more photographs.

  20. Ian Mylam says:

    Great post, Jeffrey. I love Venice, and you have reminded me why.

  21. Matt Sandy says:

    Portfolios categorically help.

  22. craig krizek says:

    Just going through some edits from Liguria and really pleased to read your post Jeffrey. Great traveling with you and David. Like Stefan, your post intrigues.


  23. Catherine Wisner says:

    Missing my time and friends in Italy. Pouring over the images I was able to make and thinking of the ones I hope to capture on my return. There will be a return.. Catherine

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