HANGING OUT ON THE RIALTO BRIDGE, VENICE, ITALY: The current version was built in 1581 while the first was erected in 1181. That 12th century pontoon bridge lasted until around 1250 when it was replaced by a wooden, arched version. It lasted until 1444 when it collapsed during a wedding (What a way to remember your wedding anniversary!) Finally, in 1588 the Venetian government commissioned Antonio da Ponte and commenced building a single arc stone bridge– the one that stands there to this day. The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s top gathering places and a top site for tourists. Most of the restaurants along the canal near the bridge are high price/low quality propositions. If you go, remember you are paying for the view and not the food! The Rialto Bridge is a great place for people-watching too. It’s fun to sit and watch the sea of humanity stroll by.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, 18-200 DX zoom lens at 68mm, f32, 1/3 sec, ISO 100 Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.
VENICE, ITALY, GONDOLIER: Gondolas are synonymous with Venice. Some might say that no trip is complete without a ride in the ubiquitous boats. However, as a photographer, I’d much rather photograph them from a distance. Gondoliers wear their distinctive and traditional hats and shirts and know they are the constant subject of photographers. This fellow hung about for some time, very conscious of the constant clicking and enjoyed the attention. Gondoliers have their website that explains their official rates. Find rates at : GondolaVenezia.it It’s not cheap, by any means. Prices are approximately 80 Euros for a 40 minute ride for up to 6 persons. And that’s during the daytime. At night, rates rise to 100 Euros for a 40 minute ride. If you have your heart set on a romantic ride for two, that’s the rate you’ll pay. But if you hang about the popular spots where rides commence, you’ll find fellow travelers looking for others to share the cost of the ride. Don’t be surprised if Gondoliers ask for more than these noted rates. So, settle on the price and length of the ride at the outset. Also, check the time of the start of your ride. Why? Gondoliers’ watches can run suspiciously fast!
Click here to see learn more about gondolas and to see more of my photos of Gondolas in Venice
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, AFS 70-300mm lens at 122mm, f4.8, 1/320 sec. ISO 1250.
Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
TWO GIRLS WEARING MASKS, VENICE ITALY: I was in St. Mark’s Square enjoying a beautiful summer day, admiring the shop windows. Murano glass, Italian leather and of course myriad Venetian masks fill so many shop windows in Venice. These two little girls were proud of their new masks and paused for a quick photo. I was struck by their pose and had just enough time to shoot two frames. It’s funny, one can wander for hours looking for a ‘perfect’ shot that might never come. Then, out of the blue, a beautiful scene assembles and disassembles, in mere seconds, right before your eyes. The long focal length and low light result in some motion, but in this case I think it only adds a dreamy quality to the photograph. Here’s a link to another of my favourite mask photos. And here’s a link to an excellent Venetian Mask Shop and more information about the history of Venetian masks.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm at 210mm, 1/60 sec. f9, ISO 1250. Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography