My 5: Venice.

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1. St. Mark’s Basilica, Jan 2008. My only trip to Italy thus far came as a present to my then fiancé for her 24th birthday. It was a crisp and foggy January weekend; the city’s stunning Basilica cutting an atmospheric sight as we closed in through the pigeon-occupied expanse of Piazza San Marco.

2. Piazza San Marco, Jan 2008. This is Venice’s head honcho square, which Napoleon is said to have nicknamed “the drawing room of Europe”. This picture was taken from the Basilica’s main balcony, with its dense stone columns and bronze horses.

3. Piazza San Marco Dock, Jan 2008. There was something intrinsically calming about this dock, its elegant gondolas gently bobbing up and down between rows of wooden poles. It was as if the boats themselves were as relieved as I was by the absence of their gondoliers. A rare and perfectly peaceful early morning moment!

4. The Grand Canal, Jan 2008. The city’s most iconic stretch of water, The Grand Canal, forms a snaking four-kilometre S shape through the city’s central districts. Its banks are lined with over one hundred and seventy buildings, most of which are owned by Venetian nobility.

5. Sunset from Rialto Bridge, Jan 2008. No matter which bridge you choose for those sunset views, you’ll need to patiently edge your way into a prime spot long before the sun begins its descent. Happily, as this photo hopefully proves, it’s well worth the effort. 

For more on my Italian adventures, have a look at my article on Burano Island.

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