Way back in 2012 I visited Venice with my college class. It was really the first big trip without my parents, and I was super excited.
For some reason, I didn’t actually share any photos – despite it being a photography trip. 5 years down the line, I thought I’d revisit…
I studied photography in college, and we started right from the basics of film photography. I already enjoyed photography of course, but doing it at college really and truly sucked me in. I loved it. My photography journey has taken me to a lot of places, but this trip to Venice is one of the first that really got me.
Postcards From Venice
We travelled down to Venice by coach. Yep. Coach. 27 long, long hours driving from Wigan to Dover, through the Eurotunnel, and then through France and Italy until we hit Venice. Needless to say, we were very happy to arrive. The positive is that on our way back we drove the scenic route through the Swiss Alps… Still took a bloody long time, but at least we had amazing scenery.
Our trip was primarily a photography/art based one. We were to look at all the architecture, find interesting things and visit a few galleries if we wished. If I remember correctly, we had challenges each day like finding letters within things, finding squares or circles and stuff like that. I was heavily into doors/windows back then, so a lot of my photos also include doors and windows. I still am pretty into them to be honest. You only have to look on my instagram to know that!
Something I did on this trip (and have tried to do in other European cities that I’ve visited) is buy a drawing of something that represents the place. The framed one above is probably my favourite art piece. I also picked up the two postcards from an art gallery whilst there.
The Streets of Venice
It was late January and bitterly cold outside – not that you would really know from these photos. The thing with Venice is that the streets are all very enclosed. It’s honestly like a maze walking around the city, and you have to remember those little details from sign posts or buildings around you just to make sure you can find your way back to the hotel. My sense of direction is actually pretty good but others in our class really struggled.
Because of the streets being quite narrow and maze like, the low wintery sun didn’t hit the streets. And boy, it was cold in the shade. Once we were out in the open, the sun was startlingly warm – we were constantly layering up and then getting rid of layers depending on where abouts we were.
I personally loved exploring the streets of Venice. I know some have said it’s not that exciting or a bit overrated as a place to visit, but if you like architecture especially, it just gives so much. Dotted around everywhere you’ll find random restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and more. You could probably go for a few weeks and still manage to miss something.
As it was 2012 when I visited Venice… Instagram was not at the forefront of my mind. In fact, my first ever instagram post was in April 2012 and three months after going to Venice. In all honesty, I don’t know how I managed to get through the week without taking one photo of pizza or spaghetti! The food I tried in Venice was second to none. The most amazing pizza and pasta I have ever had (of course – when in Italy…) and I would go back just to sample more Italian food.
I couldn’t resist the cakes and chocolates however… I couldn’t tell you how many stalls and shops had these amazing treats on them. There were tons. And they were tasty.
At that time of my life, I was quite interested in documentary photography. I loved the idea of capturing life and the natural moments that happen around you. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy people watching. SO much so.
You see so many things when you just take a moment to sit and take in the scenes in front of you. Beautiful little moments between couples or families. The angst or frustration between others. The sense of calm, or relaxation from people sitting down to read or just check on their phones. Others that are also people watching.
I took quite a few photographs of people whilst in Venice, and these are some of my favourites. The lady below with the umbrella was one of my absolute favourites, and it’s a shame that it came out blurred. I was so chuffed with it at the time just because of the colours, the symmetry and the way she is walking right down the middle of the street.
Something I took from this trip is that Venice holds a great variety of people. Lots of tourists of course, but of the people who live there I would say that they are very relaxed on the whole though quiet and very much to themselves. It wasn’t odd to just walk down a street and find someone outside a door, sat on a chair and reading. No one really rushed around. Being 5 years since I visited, this may have changed of course. Has anyone been lately?
Enjoying the City
This trip included a lot of walking around and viewing the city from the lens of a camera. It was eye-opening in terms of being somewhere so new and different to my previous life experiences, and one that I’ll remember forever.
Nowadays, I’d do this visit so differently. So, so differently.
One place we didn’t get to see was the island of Burano, just a boat ride away. It has super colourful houses, and is the instagrammers dream. I really wanted to go when I discovered it existed, but we just didn’t have time to make the trip.