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It strikes me that there are two Venices. One is the tourist’s Venice: St Mark’s, The Rialto, various museums and galleries, and a lot of churches! Many a tourist drops in for just a day and sees only this side of the city. However for me, the beauty of Venice is not to be found in these famous landmarks – wonderful though they are. The real beauty of Venice is off the beaten track. And you can spend days (probably weeks if you could afford it) wandering the tiny streets, which open out into beautiful squares – some vast some tiny – and standing on bridges looking down narrow canals. Doing this for an entire week, I was struck by how beautifully shabby the place was. There were so many shutters with lovely peeling paint (it must be difficult to get paint to last in such a damp environment!), and the water was a gorgeously ever changing shade of blue green.

venice Lovely rail

Last time I went to Venice I was 21 and photographed the exotic colourful Regatta Storica, and a lot of very good looking gondoliers. This time I delighted in the faded architectural splendour, the soft colours – blues, greens, ochres and soft aged terracottas.

venice Doorway

venice gondola

And the only gondolier I photographed? Well he wasn’t much of a looker!

venice Grumpy gondolier

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