Venice

Venice

After the first wave of lockdown came to an end, we took the gamble and booked a week in the beautiful city of Venice to satisfy our itchy feet.

Venice, Italy

We were painfully aware that it could our last chance in a while to travel abroad and soak up some sunshine, but after being locked-down for half a year, the city itself was empty and heaving a huge sigh of relief.

Venice, Italy

Venice, like any Italian tourist city is usually a bustling hive of activity. But we found the place all but deserted, leaving us free to explore as we pleased, without having to book anything in advance.

Venice, Italy

I'd been told that the canals and waterways of Venice stunk to high heaven in the summer months, but that wasn't our experience at all, despite the soaring temperatures.

Venice, Italy

It seemed the period of lock-down and the Europe-wide ban on international travel had given the city and its eco-system a much needed breath of fresh air and an opportunity to recover.

Venice, Italy

There is an almost karmic symmetry about the regenerative effect the pandemic has had on our living environment, whilst giving us a big nasty gulp of our own destructive medicine.

Venice, Italy

We figured we'd never get another chance to see Venice at its best and its quietest like this, so we tenatively booked our flights. The only negative aspect of our trip was having to wear face-masks on the enclosed (and non-air-conditioned) water taxis, which became quite claustrophobic after a while.

Venice, Italy

Highlights included a visit to the impressive Doge's Palace (perfectly timed to coincide with a deluge from the heavens) and the equally interesting prison next door. The two buildings are connected by the iconic Bridge of Sighs (as pictured in my first photograph).

Venice, Italy

We also chartered the obligatory Gondola ride, of course, which turned out to be far more than we bargained for. Our Gondolier spoke English better than we did, and told us stories about all the buildings we passed, their inhabitants, and the city's incredible history.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Before heading home, we took a boat trip out to the nearby islands of Murano, where we watched a skilled glass-maker demonstrate his craft and then Burano, famous for its wildly colourful houses and the unnervingly wonky leaning tower of San Martino.

Venice, Italy

These pictures were taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the extraordinary Canon 35 mm f/1.4 L II USM .

Alex Nichol

About the photographer

Alex Nichol is an amateur photographer based in the UK dabbling with landscape, travel and documentary in medium format, 35mm film and digital.