Last Updated on December 4, 2023 by Laura Teso
Although I live near Venice (from Padua it takes about 30 minutes by train), I never go there as much as I’d like. And I always commute. But every time I discover some places that are perfect for taking beautiful pictures. Well, duh! Venice is a masterpiece! Some of the places I present to you in this article are famous, others are less known and, if I am not presumptuous, at least a couple of them are only known to those who live there or frequent the city regularly. I also specify that, in the choice of over 30 best photo spots in Venice Italy, I relied on my personal taste. And there’s no arguing about tastes, right?
Best places to take pictures in Venice Italy
Fondamenta de l’Osmarin
I really like this Fondamenta, starting from the name, which means rosemary. One of the most peculiar places in Venice is definitely the corner building between the bridge and the canal. Standing on the Carmini Bridge, you can see the corner of the building, which looks a bit like a small “Flatiron Building“.
Calle Bragadin o Pinelli
Here we can find another particular building, famous for being surrounded by water on three sides. The Palace is called Tetta (funny because in Italian it means tit), after the family who bought it in 1611. It is located a few steps from the Acqua Alta Bookshop, so you absolutely must see them both in one go.
Rio de San Moisé
Just look for the San Moisé hotel on Google Maps and reach the canal next to it. There is a small wooden jetty from which you can take some very nice photos. Watch out because last time the jetty didn’t seem super solid to me.
Incrocio Rio de le Muneghete e Rio San Pantalon
It may not be the most instagrammable place in Venice, but I love it. First of all it is a stone’s throw from the Frari church and the Scuola di San Rocco, but it is also very close to Tonolo, a very good pastry shop where you can stop for a sweet snack. I really like the view overlooking the canal, also because often when I pass I happen to see couples sitting there, so I find it very romantic.
Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Difficult to photograph from below with an ordinary camera, from above it grants lovely photos of Venice’s rooftops (and St. Mark’s bell tower). It is located 5 minutes from Piazza San Marco, a little hidden, but findable thanks to Maps (and a small yellow sign). Ah, remember, bovolo means snail and the accent falls on the first o. So it’s Bòvolo and not bovòlo (Leviòsa, not leviosà). The visit fee is €8.
Ancient house close to Ponte dei 3 Archi
More precisely, it is the house next to the Faculty of Economics, at the corner of Fondamenta S. Giobbe with Calle de le Beccarie. Well, this is the example of subjectivity I mentioned at the beginning of the post. I love this little house, but every time I say it there is someone who disagrees and finds it eerie. I find it delicious though. Yes, it’s gray, and the plaster is peeled. I like it anyway. I also like seeing the bricks underneath the paint layer.
Punta della Dogana
Another place I love is the Customs building, now Pinault Foundation, dominated by the stupendous Golden Sphere with the statue representing Fortune. I also like the view of the water where the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal merge towards San Marco Basin.
Close to Punta della Dogana stands the Salute church. From the Fondamenta Salute the view is lovely: the Grand Canal with gondolas, plus the bell tower of San Marco peeping out. And vice versa. On the other side of the Grand Canal, you can take great photos with the church as a backdrop.
Ponte del Parucheta
I love both the view from the Parucheta (meaning wig) bridge towards the San Boldo bridge and vice versa. Especially in spring (when a wonderful wisteria blooms) it is one of the best photo spots in Venice. It seems that the bridge and the foundations are named after a fodder seller who once had his shop here. He used to wear a funny wig, and people made fun of him. So much so that the name stuck.
Madonna dell’Orto dal ponte su Rio Ca’ Brazzo
From Ponte Brazzo (between Fondamenta dei Mori and Fondamenta de la Sensa) there is a superb view of the church of the Madonna dell’Orto seen from the canal. Of course when I got there, I found the scaffoldings.
Not far from the previous spot, there’s a tiny courtyard I like. It is called Cavallo (horse) because the equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni (in Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo) was forged in this place. I really like this small quiet courtyard, with the fountain and the flower pots. I often stop here to take a couple of pictures.
Osteria da Fiore (in the San Polo district – not to be confused with the homonymous Trattoria da Fiore which is in the San Marco district) is a starred restaurant (one Michelin star). I adore the view from the nearby Bernardo bridge: the canal, a few boats, the flowery terrace of the restaurant and the Frari bell tower in the background. Every time I pass there I dream of sitting on that terrace and having a nice lunch.
I have never been there to eat yet, but I find the corner of the Antica Trattoria Poste Vecie very picturesque, with the wooden bridge over the canal and the flashy sign.
One of the best photo spots in Venice is definitely this: the windows of the Sempione restaurant photographed from the Sotoportego de le Acque along the Bareteri canal. Beautiful in every season, from the flowers on the windowsills in spring to fairy lights in winter. I’ve never eaten here either.
Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel
In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Venice… probably because I love Venetian Gothic. How I wish I could visit it one day! As far as I know, it is very rarely open to the public.
Squero San Trovaso
The squero is the place where gondolas are built and repaired. It is not the only squero left in the city (there are few, I think 3 or 4) but it is certainly the most easily accessible and photographable, given that it is located a stone’s throw from the Accademia Galleries. Not far away you can also see the Squero Tramontin. In the area, don’t miss a stop at the Gelateria Nico for an ice cream or a gianduiotto with whipped cream.
The Ghetto is an extremely fascinating area that I have attended since I was a child because a friend of my mother (I called nonna Lena, but she wasn’t my granny), a very extravagant and hilarious lady, once lived there. Here you can find many artisan shops, kosher restaurants and synagogues.
The subject of the photos is not the famous gelateria. But her yummy ice cream cones. Despite the great fame achieved, their ice cream is always good. How to take the gelato pic: buy a cone of your choice and go (hastily) to the nearby Sant’Antonio bridge to take the classic Venice ice cream photo. Yes, it’s a cliché but always beautiful.
This blue door, very mysterious and fascinating, is located along a side street of Ruga Giuffa, called Calle de Mezo. Attention: there are 2 streets called Calle the Mezo in Venice. Of course, because they couldn’t make things easier for once. The right one is in Castello district, not far from Palazzo Grimani Museum. But best advice is walking along Ruga Giuffa, and watching every side street to locate it.
Rosa Salva has several shops. The one I prefer is in Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo. I love the sign: Pasticceria Bar Rosa Salva Gelateria Bar. For me it is beautiful, especially at Christmas with the decorations.
This shop, selling handcrafted slippers, is located along Sotoportego dei Oresi, at a stone’s throw from Rialto bridge. The most beautiful thing here is the sign (it says Oreficeria, cause it used to be a goldsmith’s shop). And also the many colored slippers on display. And what about the light blue paint?
It’s a very chic clothing and homeware shop. Not only does it have delicious things on sale, but the location is enchanting too. It occupies the ground floor of a prestigious building and its windows overlook both the street and the adjacent canal. The steps once used to exit the building by boat are in fact used to display clothes and other products. I find it absolutely lovely and every time I pass I stop to take a photo.
Alla Frasca is a tavern located in a small courtyard in the Cannaregio district, close to Fondamente Nove. Inside it is super tiny, I believe it has only 2 or 3 small tables. However, they have an open space (closed in winter by a vinyl structure or something). That said, the perfect time to see it is the warm season, when you can eat under the romantic pergola.
Fioreria Campiello San Vidal
Coming from the Gallerie dell’Accademia, you pass the bridge and around the corner there is this pretty flower shop that makes me smile every time I pass.
Serra dei Giardini
The Serra dei Giardini was built to preserve the plants of the International Art Exhibition. Nowadays it houses a flower shop and a café where you can stop to eat a slice of cake and have a drink. It is certainly a particular place even if it seemed a bit neglected. I hope it was a coincidence because it has so much potential.
Best photo spots in Venice: Old but gold
Let’s go on with the best photo spots in Venice, focuising on the most known places. Yes, they’re very, very famous but I couldn’t possibly leave them off the list. Or could I? You know, there’s always someone who’s on his/her first trip to Venice so I prefer to include them.
Ponte di Rialto
It certainly needs no introduction. It is the most famous bridge in Venice, scenic, white, with its shops and hoards of people on peak days. There are two positions in which it is fashionable to take a photo with the famous bridge as a background. One, from the small wooden pier on the east side of the bridge, precisely from Pescaria S. Bortolomio (look for this on Maps). Or from the west side (the market side) from Fondamenta Vin Castello. As I did below thanks to my professional photographer friend. If you want to learn more about it go to Venice photo shoot service. She knows Venice very well and will surely lead you to the best photo spots in Venice (even some I did not include).
Piazza San Marco
Everyone knows it. It is certainly a magnificent square but I much prefer the more secluded corners of Venice. In any case, in my opinion the most beautiful view of Piazza San Marco is from the terrace of the Basilica towards the Bacino di San Marco. Since the one I took years ago is awful (old camera, horrible weather), I’m posting an Acqua Alta photo.
Ponte dei Sospiri
There are 3 ways of taking a picture here. 1) the classic one from Ponte della Paglia, elbowing your way through the crowd. 2) Cross the Ponte della Paglia, turn immediately to the left, walking under the arches of the Palace and going back towards the canal until reaching the corner (see photo below). 3) From the opposite side, walking around the Doge’s Palace and taking the picture from one of the bridges that also overlook the Rio di Palazzo.
Riva degli Schiavoni
It is the long promenade going from Piazza San Marco to Rio Ca’ di Dio. The name derives from the Dalmatian merchants, who used to arrive here with their ships to sell their goods. At the time of the Republic of Venice, Dalmatia was in fact called Slavonia or Schiavonia. But what is the instagrammable thing in Venice along Riva degli Schiavoni? Its many gondolas, parked next to each other. Especially those in front of San Giorgio island.
Libreria Acqua Alta
The most famous bookshop in Venice, and one of the most famous in the world, is certainly not a little-known place. Now on peak days you have to queue to take a picture sitting on the armchair overlooking the canal or sitting on the ladder made of colored books. I honestly can’t see it as a normal library. For me it’s a Venetian attraction. And the photos you can take here may be a cliché but they are certainly wonderful.
Terrazza del T Fondaco
Every time I go there they have new rules to go see the terrace. The first few times I entered freely, without queuing or booking. The next time you needed to make a reservation on site and therefore I waited half an hour to enter. Last time I booked the day before to find a free spot. So… I cannot give you certain information. It’s better to check on the official website. In any case, it is a spectacular view of the Grand Canal, very close to Rialto Bridge.
The Caffè Florian has recently turned 300 and is absolutely worth a visit. If possible, stop inside for a coffee in one of the historic rooms. It is a unique experience, which costs less than you think (the detailed price list can be found online). If you only choose an espresso and if you don’t sit outside when there’s the music ensemble). Both the internal rooms and the external facade are perfect for photos with an atmosphere of other times. Also the arcades all around Piazza San Marco are in my opinion one of the best photo spots in Venice. Try from different angles and you’ll see.
It is the only bridge left in Venice without side parapets (there is another one in Torcello island). This is now super famous, but I always find it fascinating.
The Royal Gardens are located a stone’s throw from Piazza San Marco and overlook the San Marco Basin. After a 5-year architectural and botanical restoration, they reopened at the end of 2019 to the delight of the Venetians. The neoclassical 19th century Cafehaus is now back in operation thanks to Illycaffè.
Well, what do you think about my best photo spots in Venice? I think its’s enough, right? 😉