Ok, i’ve just got back from a trip to Venice and thought i would share not just my images, but also some travel tips and advice.
This was my first trip to Venice, so i fell into a couple of EURO sucking traps that can be avoided. Just to be clear
- Ignore the people at the travel ticket desk that tell you you need to get the bus into Venice for €18 per person, then spend €45 per person on a 3 day Boat pass. The boat pass is enough as the airport is one of the travel zones covered by the boat! I argued this, but she was not having any of it…
- It’s hot, you will always need water with you. You can but a small water bottle from a tourist trap shop for €2, or a large bottle from a supermarket for a 10th of that at 20cents. Use a big bottle. You go through it fast. You can also fill the bottle from many small drinking water points for free and the water tastes great!
- Take really comfortable walking shoes / trainers. You will walk many miles down the little passage ways as you try to find where you are during the many times you get lost.
- Speaking of getting lost. Venice is a maze, a puzzle invented by a mad genius. You will hit dead ends, constantly feel disorientated and get really annoyed with your map. But there is a saving grace. If you know the main area where you are heading towards, like the Rialto Bridge, Piazza St Marco etc..Then the one thing the Venetians are good at, its leaving many signs and arrows everywhere. They also are good at showing where the nearest toilets are.
- Never eat from a place that has pictures of the food! This has never been truer than in Venice. The food will suck, they will have 15% hidden service charges and the drinks will be expensive.
- Try to eat away from the main tourist concentration points. The food is not at its best, its expensive and very busy.
- Get eating tips from the internet. There are many recommended places that are rather cheap and the food, service and wine is fantastic…and so is the price 🙂
- Never eat in a place that does not show the cost of drinks. It’s because they are ridiculous!
- Having a drink in Piazza St Marco is around €14 per glass of wine! It may seem like a good idea, but it’s only really worth it at night when the orchestra is playing and you can just sit and chill out as the crowds melt away. Giving way to some interesting night life.
- Try to ignore the many many street sellers. Trying to sell you either a selfie stick, handbags, belts, roses or little LED kids toys! The second they have your eye contact, they are a pain to get rid off. One guy really tried hard to sell me a selfie stick. So i took it, put it up to my camera and asked him how it attached. He look very confused and took it back! 🙂
- Take your tripod. Night time photography in Venice is a must! The place is astounding!
- Take either a laptop or many memory cards! There are so many amazing places and things to photograph. It’s a photographers heaven.
- Depending on your time of year (my trip being August, the hight of the Tourist trade) Venice is extremely busy. The main areas along the Grand Canal, Basilica, and Piazza St Marco, Rialto Bridge etc..They are mad, just mad! Thousands of people all crammed in and sweating from the 34 degrees. But the good news is that there are tones of places just around the corner that are very quiet. I would constantly find little places where i could take my shoes off and dip my feet in the canal to cool off.
- You love the idea of a Gondola ride, right? You can’t go to Venice without one. That would be like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel tower. The price is high. Around €90 for a 30-40 minute tour. If you are lucky, you will get a Gondolier that is actually more interested in showing you and telling you about the landmarks and interesting places than he is bantering with the other Gondolier drivers.
- Most religious places forbid the use of cameras. So if you think you are going into the Basilica to take wonderful HDR images, think again. And if you are female. You have to spend a few €’s covering both your legs and shoulders. A bit of a contradiction considering they believe god made us naked and didn’t want us to cover up and show modesty! But there you go!
- Take a sensor cleaning kit if you change lenses a lot. I found i got a lot of dust particles on the sensor, no matter how hard i tried to be careful.
These are the best travel photography tips i can give you. Maybe avoid Summer peak times too. It can get very hot and very crowded. But all in all, Venice is a fantastic place to go if you are a photographer or not. My wife enjoyed the Wine, food and scenery while i was happy snapping away!