San Marco, Venice, Italy

At the center of Piazza San Marco lies the great Basilica di San Marco and the tallest building in Venice, the Campanile.
Life at San Marco extends into the Grand Canal, as everyone is drawn to this Venetian epicenter by land or sea.
At just about every turn in the San Marco area Gondoliers wait for business from the more than 34,000 tourist that visit the city on a daily basis.
Just about every neighborhood in Venice is dotted with quaint, small bars and inviting coffee shops begging you to slow down and linger for hours.
While the population of Venice has been greatly reduced over the years, families are still common in just about every neighborhood in the city.

Without a doubt, the center of Venice is the Piazza San Marco.  Everyone seems to go there first when visiting the city, and from the looks of it, at the same time.  Even during “low season” the place is packed with just about every nationality you can think of.  But while this seems to be everyone’s starting point, the San Marco region is so much more than this grand Piazza.  Of course, there is the Rialto Bridge in all its splendor surrounded by expensive, but rather quaint restaurants, but there are also the endless side-streets full of small shops, trattorie, and wine bars with delectable cicheti.  At just about every corner of this most-amazing maze there are things to discover, and rarely do they disappoint.  Sure, product imitations are everywhere and the pizza sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, but dig a little and the rewards are simply out of this world.

From a photographic point of view, Venice is a city for wide-angle lenses.  Yes, there are plenty of characters to photograph there, but the sheer masses of people constantly moving on their way to who knows what, means that there’s always some roaming tourist that will get in front of your great portrait shot.  What’s more, the locals move a mile a minute through all the narrow passages in the city, and believe me that those fast-moving locals don’t show much love for camera-wielding tourist.  The approximately 61,000 residents still there (less than half of the number of people who lived in the city fifty years ago) simply get overwhelmed by the millions of visitors that descent on their back yard every year.  However, theirs is a loosing battle.  Such magnificent city will always be a magnet for visitors that would never forgive themselves if they never got to see this enchanting city.