venice really is magic

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the image of venice is such a fairytale – a city of waterways, infused with romance, full of pizza and gelato and striped-shirted gondoliers, saturated with bridges and narrow cobblestoned streets and accordion players and colorful facades, a postcard around every corner.

and here’s the thing. it really is magical in real life – to me, it lives up to its idealized image; it’s totally worth the hype. yes, it is super crowded with eager tourists and the water is really murky and the streets aren’t super clean and many buildings are crumbly. but it’s all just marvelous, grittiness and ubiquitous selfie sticks included.

i had been to venice once before, but loooooved being there again with my boy, and with a whole new set of eyes since i saw the canals last, eight years ago. yes, it was a pretty spectacular day in venezia. we had a tour of st. mark’s (i hadn’t been inside before and it was jaw-dropping!), took a gondola ride (!!), and saw an astonishing glass blowing demonstration with our tour group. then we wandered the charmingest streets and had a great pasta lunch and amazing gelato with my mom and dad before we had to say goodbye to them as they were headed on with the group and we were staying overnight in venice since our flight back to the uk was super early the next morning. on our own, we climbed the tower in st. mark’s square, walked and walked and walked to see different parts of the city and try to make a dent in burning off the gelato we consumed every couple of hours, and had an adventure chasing the sunset (running through narrow alleys looking for an opening to the grand canal!). and we kissed on bridges and talked about our love and enjoyed the romance in the air :)

i took a lot of pictures because so many venice scenes are just too good to leave uncaptured! take a deep breath and scroll through if you’d like!

^^ sunrise views as we put down anchor back in venice. ^^
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you might be able to tell from the next few pictures that i am a little obsessed with the facade of st. mark’s. those mosaics are outrageously beautiful! and the interior is so vastly covered in them, it’s truly staggering …
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i also loved the floors! …
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^^ i guess i call this “gondoliers in glasses.” and i love that smile. ^^
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^^ dad, being adorable at the front of the boat and snapping pictures right and left. ^^
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^^ charian and people photographing venice canals. all on one bridge! ^^
^^ we love them. ^^
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^^ some tidbits of the glass blowing demonstration (missing pictures of any actual blowing…). pretty much everyone in the watching crowd (there were about fifty people in the room) audibly gasped multiple times as this guy super quickly made vases and figurines. it was pretty unbelievably cool. ^^
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^^ cranes and rialto bridge construction. just to mix it up on the totally idyllic scenes. ^^
sweeping views from the top of the tower! fun to spot domes and islands and cruise boats too! …
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^^ so much divine gelato! and i just love the doorbell presentation. ^^
^^ an autumn-looking park on the far side of the island, away from most of the tourists. ^^
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^^ ian pondering over the grand canal at golden hour. ^^
^^ i’m digging this gondola-by-night shot i snapped. see the selfie stick? classic :) ^^

good job being magical, venice. a really happy ending to a really fantastic trip.


  1. Hi Charity - I'm sorry if you've answered this before but what camera do you use?! I love your photos and am in the market for a new camera! Thank you so much.

    1. no problem! i use a canon rebel sl1. it is essentially the most basic digital slr you can buy because i'm cheap :) maybe one day i will upgrade, but it is soooo light and takes great photos for the most part!

  2. It is my favorite place in the whole wide world! Nothing like going down the Grand Canal! As you said, "magic."

  3. Funny because it is one of my least favorite places in Europe. I've been I think 3 times and every time I just can't seem to understand the hype. Maybe next time you can show me all the magical spots :)

    1. haha, i can totally see why it could be a least favourite, just because it's so crowded and quite dirty (not very pristine or quaint like many spots in europe...) but i don't know, i just think there's some magic in those canals! :)

  4. I was singing "Just One *Cornetto" when I saw these pix:)

    *The song is from Wall's Cornetto ice cream ad.

  5. Beautiful shots!! LOVE that city!!

  6. I've been to Venice once and fell head over heels. I think it is so charming and so magical and so so different and unique and I just ADORE it!!! St. Marks was incredible. I can't imagine the people who dedicated their whole lives to those breathtaking mosaics. Love.