Romantic Photos of Venice: City of Love

Look, George Clooney chose Venice as the place to get married. Need we say more? Without a doubt, Venice is, indeed, the City of Love. Still thats a pretty bold statement but apparently, even Cupid, hiself is in on it. Rumor has it that he and Venus were the first celebrity couple to paint the town. Actually there was only a beach bar back then and certainly well before he hooked up with Psyche. Some of Venice's most famous art includes Cupid! Through the centuries the likes of Casanova, Baffo and Molmenti all chronicled the lusty land and forever more proclaiming Venice as the place where love is.



That introduction brings me to presenting my third photo from Venice in my Italy Collection found in Travelscapes. I was excited to tell you all about the history of the bridge in the photo but alas there is a bridge of the same name on another island in the lagoon which is much more famous and steals all the internet. We photographers get it right; we name the photo "Ponte del Diavolo." So there are plenty of contradictory images of this one and the one found on Torcello that is famous for it not having any handrailings, thus truly making it a "devils bridge." I found this vantage point and basically claimed it as the photogs were every bit as thick as the everyday tourist. During 15 or 20 minutes I took a lot of shots with various settings and focal lengths. This was going to be where I got the magical shot moments before the sun went down. This one had all I was looking for; people spaced pleasantly on and around the bridge, great reflection, people enjoying the outdoor cafe and all those archaic tv antennas. To me, this captures the intimacy of the romantic side of Venice. there are literally dozens of spots like this across the city.



This photo was the runner up for this initial Venice gallery. Chances are good it will join the other three at a later date. It oozes romance to be sure. The setting is unbelievable and on this evening, the sky was helping to create a lot of drama. The church is better known as La Maddalena and has been here since 1222 and as is custom was built as we see today by a wealthy family in the 14th century and had a renovation in the late 18th century. Round on the outside and octagonal on the inside.

A gondola ride for a couple is the quintessential romantic entertainment. Late afternoon into sundown is primetime. It is believed that gondolas originated in Venice sometime in the 9th or 10th century. In the middle ages, horses were outlawed on city streets so gondolas enjoyed a boom time. It has always been a luxury mode of private transportation through the centuries. Today it is estimated that there are about 400 gondolas operated by gondoliers who go through rigorous training to become one. It is a tradition since the middle ages that a father hands down the gondola and the inherent skills required to be a gondolier from one generation to the next.



I had a chance encounter with a remo craftsman on an evening walk. In this photo, he is working on one. A remo is the single oar a gondolier uses to propel and steer their gondola. Only a few craftsman remain today who go through the process of creating beech wood remos that are customized for their gondolier clients. They are exclusively made of beech wood which they dry carefully before beginning the centuries old practice of hand carving. 



I took many, many photos of gondolas but this is one of my favorite one with the geometry and the light. Some gondolas can take several people for a ride (up to 12), while others, like this one, really are the romantic couples ride. Fashioned with a love seat sort of throne and plenty of cushions and blankets as needed. While it would add to the romance, Gondoliers prohibit food and drink on their small craft. Gondola rides are booked in advance through a number of companies. Ask your hotel concierge to arrange one for you. Specify the number of people and length of time to get the price. The reservation system is also why you never see a traffic jam or too many gondolas in any one place.




A classic city like Venice deserves a classic tune to accompany it as is my tradition with these blogs. Cream was the second band I ever saw live. In the same year I saw Led Zeppelin play for the first time in Cleveland, soon after followed Cream. I was just a teen and as you can imagine, was very excited about rock and roll!. "Cross Road Blues" was written by the incredible Robert Johnson. He was recorded playing it for the first time in 1936. Eric Clapton turned the blues song into rock and roll and renamed it "Crossroads" in 1966. This recording of it is from 1968 when I saw them. Clapton actually crafted "the Cream version" from two Robert Johnson tunes, the other being, "Traveling riverside Blues." I can't remember who's mom drove us to the show, but thanks are in order! I love this clip because of the quality of the film compared to so much 1960's clips that did not survive very well. This one did!