Venice was a city that we almost gave a miss due to it’s immense popularity and the fact that it verges on being completely overrun. Ultimately we made the trip and found ourselves not hating Venice as we were warned we would. However, stepping off the train at mid-day we thought to ourselves ‘oh no, what have we gotten ourselves into’. We dragged our bags through the packed streets to our Venice hotel for the night beginning to regret making the trip.
We came to learn that the thing about Venice it’s that during the day there are many cruise ships and day visitors. Most come to spend a few hours in Venice and then leave around dinner time. When the sunsets Venice becomes a very different place. You can find empty streets and sparsely crowded piazzas. The city is calmer, and in my opinion more beautiful.
After dinner, I ran back to the hotel to get my tripod and begin our tour of Venice at night. We started in St. Marks Square where the afternoon the crowds can make it tough to walk through. By night, crowds have thinned and the square looked peaceful. The other great thing about long exposure photography is that it’s a great way to remove people from your photos. Even if there are people in the picture they are often blurred or simply don’t show up due to the nature of the technique. During the day it is almost impossible to get a photo of the square with this few people, but it happens almost every night.
After the square, we wound our way through narrow streets and stone bridges of the city looking for peaceful scenes of the city. Many of my favorite shots came from the bridges looking down the waterways filled with small boats and still water. The old buildings with their foundations in the water made for interesting night shots.
All the buildings of the city take on a different feel at night. Most are softly lit and makes me think of what Venice must have been like centuries ago. The peacefully, candlelit Venice. Without the cruise ships, baby strollers, flag carrying tour leaders, and hoards of people. Venice at night still holds some of the mystery and intrigue that brings most to the city in the first place.
If you are planning on going to Venice make sure to stay at least a night and experience the other side of Venice. Venice at night is much different than the daytime version. If you want to take your own night time photos of Venice check out my guide to Nighttime Travel Photography. For even more tips on Travel Photography, check out all my tutorials before you jump on the plane next.This post may contain affiliate links, see our disclosure