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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
Venice Islands Photography Tour with a local

In Mazzorbo there is also a cemetery and a small soccer field.


The place offers this feeling of elegant wilderness that changes once we cross the bridge that takes us to Burano.

Best Venice Photography Tour - Experience Venice with a local
Best Venice Photography Tour - Experience Venice with a local
Best Venice Photography Tour - Experience Venice with a local

Burano... well, I think it is fantastic! I will immediately say that I would never live there (whereas, I would in Torcello, but the properties are way too expensive). There are few people, but not too few to have your own privacy and in the colder months it's not so greatly connected to the main city. Still... to go there for a day or for a week/month, it is something very relaxing.

Burano Photography Tour - Venice Islands Experience
Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local
Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local

One does get the perception that Burano is a lot more visited than Mazzorbo as it is literally studded with bars, ice-cream shops, fish restaurants and trattorias. In the morning the village emanates a strong perfume of Buranelli biscuits, so buttery that you will be forced to stop for a nice espresso and one of those gigantic cookies that will provide you with the amount of calories needed for a whole week!


Anyhow, before 10 A.M. this sugary scent will start blending with the one of grilled fish, so divine and fresh you really ought to consider stopping for a meal.

Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local
Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local
Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local

Burano is a fishermen's village with no actual market. The fishermen are often retired men, and supply local restaurants. It is still possible to see the old marble slabs that nowadays cannot be used due to hygienic reasons.


Despite its small size, this island combines art, culture, country-life, fine-dining experiences and a laid-back and incredibly easy-going lifestyle. There is no place like Burano.

Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local
Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local
Burano Photo Tour - Venice Islands experience with a local

So, if you are looking for peace and silence, the islands in the north lagoon are a perfect destination.

I hope to have been able to convey this feeling at least a little bit :)


PRIVATE PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORING

In case you would like to have a private tutor for a photography session, you can find more information on what I offer and the fees at this link here. Please, do not hesitate to contact me for any enquiry you may have at naturallyepicurean@gmail.com

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