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Venice in Blue – Gondolas and The Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

To see Venice in blue, you need to wake up very early in the morning.

Dare to raise yourself from your warm bed around 5:00 am and then walk slowly towards St. Mark’s Square stopping every now and then to admire how quiet the city on water is and how much more beautiful it seems without the crazy hordes of visitors besieging it each day.

Once you find yourself in the square, walk past the still asleep St. Mark’s Basilica, the tinged in pink Doge’s Palace and by the two mighty granite and marble columns crowned by the statues of the Winged Lion of Venice and St. Theodore. Make sure that you go round the columns as in the past public executions took place right between them and the locals still consider it bad luck to step foot at that spot.

You will find yourself right at the edge of the square, where the ground meets the water  and where covered in algae stone steps descend into the lagoon. In front of you there will be a long row of gondolas attached to wooden poles and huddled under their traditionally blue coverings. The gondolas will move gently back and forth in unison with the constant motion of the water. And then right across the basin you will glimpse the small island of San Giorgio Maggiore with its Palladian church and iconic bell tower.

It is a gorgeous and serene scene, symbolizing the best Venice has to offer – architecture, soul inspiring views and life on water.

I saw this scene for myself some years ago in the very early morning of a cold February day during the Carnival season. I wanted to capture the ever moving gondolas, the beautiful outline of the 16th century Benedictine church and the blue of the water, the sky and the gondolas’ covers.

It was a fleeting moment right before the sun started to come up and in the process colouring the skies with rich purples and pinks. For a split second there everything around me was simply blue and this is still one of my most favourite images of Venice.

I have no illusions about my photography skills. I am a learning-on-the-go, ever-experimenting, DSLR-clutching, photography-wannabe cliche. I am normally too busy running after a small active toddler to actually have a chance to stop and wait for the right moment to capture. So, most often than not the hundreds of photos I take get binned. Nothing can save them.

Yet, I have some photos in my private folders, which tell little stories about places I have been to, emotions I have felt and moments in time which turned out to be simply perfect.

So as not to forget them, I thought I would start a new type of posts in my blog. I called them Photostories. They will be short, just like this one, and would basically tell the story of a photo. I hope that you will enjoy them.

These short posts will also make a nice difference for me from my usual long articles which take some time to research, photograph and write and which sometimes make me feel a bit burnout.

I am hoping that having this new format at my hand will help me update the blog more often. Let’s see how it goes.


How do you preserve fleeting moments in time which you don’t want to forget? Have you seen Venice in its blue hour? Tell me about a place which has inspired you no matter where it is in the world. Share with me your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below. I would love to read them and engage with you.

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