Photographing Torcello and Burano in the morning

Images from a photography excursion in the north Venice lagoon...

Efforts always pay off, and waking up early to catch the best light and have the city and the lagoon all to oneself has no price. There is something so beautiful about this time of the day, a feeling of wholesomeness that I am unable to define through words.


It is a combination of things: the odors of the streets, the thickness of the air, the ever changing colors, which anyway, change from day to day and from season to season. This September has been gorgeous so far and I was so tired of the heat waves we had this summer and of that boring flat light, that I couldn't wait for this time to come. I have woken up early every day this week and wandered around different islands of the lagoon, and here I am sharing with you some images from my explorations in Torcello, Mazzorbo and Burano.

Venice Photography Tour
Venice Islands Photography Tour
Venice Photography Tour
Venice Photography Tour - Torcello

The first destination was Torcello, as it is the farthest north. I think it's my favorite island, especially in winter time when it is truly empty and the only sound that breaks the air is the rooster's crow, so insisting one wonders what is it that this bird trying to tell me.


In the warmer months it's beautiful to go early and stay there until the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta opens, a definitely worth seeing venue, with its golden mosaics and the unique light and brightness so wonderfully described by John Ruskin in his Stones of Venice. The visit could then be followed by a fancy lunch seated in one of the magnificent gardens kept secret by restaurant owners.

Private Venice Photography Class - Venice Islands
Venice Photography Tour

In winter time, of course, most restaurants are closed and the island becomes a secluded place, with less than 13 actual residents and not even one bakery or shop! It's unreal, not 'silent', as silence is an extremely frightening fact, but 'polite', characterized by soft sounds. I remember last January, when the pavement was covered with a layer of frost and the tips of my fingers got so cold I was finding it hard to click on my camera button... I just kept thinking about how lucky I was to be there and to be the only person in the world experiencing all that beauty.


At one boat stop away, Mazzorbo and Burano. Attached by a bridge, these two islands are incredibly cute.

Venice Islands Private Photography Tour
Venice Islands Private Photography Tour

When I reached Mazzorbo, all the women had just gotten out of their houses for a fitness walk. 'Buongiorno' they would say looking at me, with a kind smile. I have to confess that I am always surprised when foreigners say Venetian people are unfriendly and closed... To be honest with you, I think the contrary. Maybe we are a bit tired of over-tourism and certain disagreeable behaviours, but in general I find people always willing to help and give a hand...


Anyway, I just walked around and grabbed a couple of pomegranates that had fallen on the public street to bring to the bookshop sullaluna of my friend Francesca, to decorate the counter of the cafeteria with local and seasonal produce/flowers.

Venice Islands Photography Tour with a local
Venice Islands Photography Tour with a local