Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram

Post originally Published February 6, 2024 || Last Updated February 7, 2024

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Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Pose with the Peacocks at Ca' Rezzonico

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram

Among Venice's many majestic palazzos, Ca' Rezzonico stands out for its beautiful facade and lavish interior decor. But it's the regal peacocks roaming the gardens and courtyard that really capture the imagination. These exotic birds have become synonymous with the palazzo and offer a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity for visitors.

The peacocks at Ca' Rezzonico can be traced back to the 19th century owner, Robert Browning. He received the peacocks as a gift from a friend and let them roam freely around the palazzo grounds. Today, Ca' Rezzonico is a museum filled with 18th century furnishings and artwork. But the peacocks remain, continuing to strut their stuff for amused onlookers.
When visiting Ca' Rezzonico, you'll likely spot the peacocks near the palazzo's entrance or wandering the courtyard. They fan out their brilliant tail feathers and shake them enticingly, as if posing for photos. Don't be shy about grabbing some close-up shots of their iridescent plumes. The peacocks don't seem to mind the attention one bit.

Just be respectful and avoid using flash photography that could startle them. It's best to keep a bit of distance and use your zoom lens to get frame-filling photos. Capture the contrast of the peacocks against the palazzo's pale facade or posed atop the courtyard's stone pillars. Their teal and emerald feathers pop beautifully against this backdrop.
For some extra fun, bring along some bird seed or grapes to hand-feed these camera-ready peacocks. They'll gobble up the treats right from your hand. Not only does this allow for even closer photos, but it's a delight to interact with these tame birds. Just be cautious of their sharp beaks when holding out food.

What else is in this post?

  1. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Pose with the Peacocks at Ca' Rezzonico
  2. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Piazza San Marco's Picturesque Palazzos
  3. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Rialto Bridge Over the Grand Canal
  4. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Colorful Burano Island and Its Leaning Tower
  5. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Scenic Views Along the Grand Canal
  6. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Masks and Costumes at Carnival
  7. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Romantic Gondola Rides Under the Bridges
  8. Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Capture the Venetian Sunset by the Lagoon

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Piazza San Marco's Picturesque Palazzos

Overlooking the bustling Piazza San Marco stands some of Venice’s most impressive palazzos, just begging to be captured for Instagram. As the political and religious center of Venice for centuries, this piazza is ringed by ornate palaces that once housed prominent families and now contain museums, cafes, and government offices. Meandering through the arcades while snapping photos allows you to marvel at the diverse architectural styles on display.

The most recognizable facade belongs to the Palazzo Ducale, or Doge’s Palace, with its white limestone filigreed with pink Verona marble and elegant loggias. This palatial residence of the doge, who ruled Venice for over 1,000 years, exemplifies Venetian Gothic design. Don’t miss capturing the intricate details over the palace entrance, the carved capitals topping the columns, and the statues of mythological figures. The two large red columns near the pier make for great foreground interest.
Next to the Doge’s Palace is the long, arched facade of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, designed by Renaissance architect Jacopo Sansovino. Contrasting gray Istrian stone and white marble create a striped effect, while statues of ancient philosophers gazed down from their niches. Grab a symmetric photo aligned with one of the building's Palladian windows.

On the opposite side of the piazza, the Museo Correr’s classical Neoclassical facade acts as a counterpoint to the ornate Gothic and Renaissance styles. The triangular pediment and rows of Ionic columns give off Greco-Roman vibes. Capture a portion of the columned portico and statues lining the roofline. The Museo Correr also offers spectacular views over the piazza from its upper loggia—though you'll have to pay admission to get those Instagrammable panoramas.

Don't overlook the small but significant Basilica di San Marco, arguably the most unique Byzantine edifice outside Istanbul. The church's domes and arched colonnades present great leading lines for photos. For a project idea, return at night when the exterior is illuminated to accentuate the intricate details.

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Rialto Bridge Over the Grand Canal

Spanning the bustling Grand Canal, the iconic Rialto Bridge has been immortalized for centuries in art and literature. This graceful arc connecting the San Polo and San Marco districts is arguably Venice’s most photographed landmark. Meandering through the crowds of tourists on the bridge while snapping photos allows you to marvel at views of the passing gondolas and vaporetti water buses from a unique vantage point.
The current stone bridge dates back to the late 16th century, while various wooden incarnations stood here since the 12th century. One of only four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto soon became central to Venetian life and commerce. So much so that “it seemed like the world was coming to an end when [the bridge] caught fire and collapsed in 1524,” wrote Francesco Sansovino. It’s easy to see why this crossing was so vital—and still is today.

The Rialto offers the quintessential glimpse into canal life in Venice, with gondoliers rowing leisurely underneath while giving their passengers unobstructed views of the storied bridge. Capture the gracefully arched underside of the bridge, with black-suited gondoliers silhouetted as they steer their sleek boats into the shadows. Or frame a view through one of the portico’s arches, using the changing perspective to highlight the timeless scene.
For a photo showing vibrant canal action, head to the bridge’s eastern side and compose an upward shot with the bustling Grand Canal in the foreground and the Renaissance-style colonnades lining the shops atop the bridge. For a slightly elevated view, find the discrete stairs mid-span leading to the portico’s upper walkways.

The Rialto is equally lively after dark, with restaurant lights illuminating the canal waters. "There are few things more romantic than standing on the Rialto Bridge at night, camera in hand, with a lover by your side,” shares Instagrammer @wenurseswander. For moody travel photos, visit when the crowds thin out later at night. Experiment with slow exposures to capture the bridge’s silhouette with the blurred lights of vaporetti and gondolas tracer-streaking by.
And don’t forget to capture the vibrant daily produce market on the adjacent street, with brightly colored fruits and vegetables spilling from stalls. “I loved exploring the market street, tasting cheeses and cured meats, and taking in the fantastic energy,” says blogger Esther of @estherjulee. Just steps away, the bustling Rialto fish market offers Instagrammable moments of its own—just try not to get in the way of the lively fishmongers!

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Colorful Burano Island and Its Leaning Tower

Just a short vaporetto ride from Venice lies the kaleidoscopic island of Burano, renowned for its rainbow-hued fishermen’s cottages lining the canals. Wandering the narrow lanes while photographing the cheery homes in every color of the sherbet rainbow has become a favorite activity of Instagrammers visiting Venice. And Burano’s not-quite-leaning bell tower provides the perfect focal point for capturing the island’s vivid technicolor charm.

Burano’s bright facades trace back centuries, with local lore claiming fishermen painted their simple cottages in different colors so they could spot their homes through the lagoon fog after long days at sea. Whatever the origin, Burano’s houses now form a real life painting just waiting to be photographed. “I loved getting lost down the small lanes, finding the best pastel panoramas to shoot,” shares travel blogger Aly of @worldwidenate.
Snap pics of the photogenic rows of houses reflected in Burano’s sleepy back-canals, creating colorful abstract patterns. Capture the view down a narrow lane flanked by sherbet-colored cottages, using the receding composition to accentuate the vibrant hues. For fun portraits, pose playfully in front of your favorite facades, or frame a close-up of your travelmate leaning against a bright blue, orange, or pink wall.

Near the island’s center, the leaning campanile of San Martino church contrasts beautifully with the surrounding rainbow residences. While not quite as precarious as Pisa’s famous belfry, Burano’s bell tower does tilt noticeably to one side, likely due to the soft lagoon sediments it stands upon.

Approach the tower head-on to accentuate the inclination, keeping the angle simple and graphic. Add a burst of color by posing a subject in bright clothing in the foreground. Or from the small pontoon on the opposite canal, frame the tower’s tilt against the line of colorful homes behind it. For abstract images, focus up close on the tower’s bricks, using the leaning lines and patterns.
Enthusiastic photographers have helped transform Burano into one of Venice’s top Instagram hotspots. “Every twist and turn revealed a new burst of color,” remarks brand strategist Christine of @LiveLifeOutside9. “It really is an ideal place for shooting vibrant travel pics.”

Burano also offers Instagrammable moments away from the key sights. Pop into a cafe for spritz and snap pictures of the quintessential Italian aperitivo scene, or pose with a gelato on a sunny piazza. At the small Museo del Merletto (Lace Museum), capture the intricate handiwork of Burano’s famed lace-makers. Or on side streets, find locals going about their daily routines amid the cheery houses.

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Scenic Views Along the Grand Canal

Winding through the heart of Venice, the Grand Canal offers some of the most spectacular scenery in this floating city. As the city’s main thoroughfare bustling with water traffic, the Canal Grande provides ever-changing vistas that have inspired artists for centuries. Lining the canal are majestic palaces and churches, along with pleasant neighborhood squares called campi. Exploring the Grand Canal by water bus, private boat, or gondola allows you to fully admire the variety of eye-catching facades along its banks.

“One of my favorite things to do in Venice was cruise along the Grand Canal and take in all the incredible buildings,” shares travel blogger Becky of @AdventuresofBecky. “The elegant Gothic and Renaissance palaces are so picturesque when viewed from the water.” She recommends boarding the #1 vaporetto water bus and riding the entire length of the Grand Canal from Piazzale Roma to St. Mark’s Square. This affordable route allows you to marvel at landmarks like Ca’ d’Oro, Ca’ Pesaro, and Ca’ Foscari. Just be sure to snag a seat at the front of the boat for panoramic views.
For a more intimate perspective, book a private motorboat tour or traditional gondola ride. “Seeing the Grand Canal from a sleek wooden gondola gave us a totally new appreciation for Venice’s beauty,” says architect Peter of @ArchitectGoesPlaces. “Our gondolier expertly steered us along the canal, under small bridges, and even down some narrow side canals.” This peaceful vantage point lets you admire architectural details without crowds blocking your views.

Wherever you view it from, the Grand Canal impresses with its sheer diversity. The eastern section near the train station reveals Venice’s medieval maritime roots, with the Gothic palaces of powerful families clustered together. Farther along, Byzantine and Renaissance facades mingle with rococo and neoclassical. “The buildings almost compete for the most elaborate decoration,” observes Peter. “Yet somehow it all comes together in an incredible collage.”

Keep your camera ready, as majestic landmarks pop up around every bend. As you near the Rialto Bridge, look for the iconic Ca’ d’Oro with its lacy arched loggia. Just beyond, the imposing Ca’ Pesaro houses modern art inside its massive Baroque facade. Nearing Piazza San Marco, watch for the domed church of Santa Maria della Salute. And don’t miss the iconic Peggy Guggenheim museum, housed in the unfinished Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Masks and Costumes at Carnival

Each February, Venice erupts in an elaborate masked ball like no other for the annual Carnival celebration. This costumed extravaganza harkens back centuries, when masking allowed anonymity for outrageous escapades. Wandering Piazza San Marco amid flamboyantly dressed revelers while photographing their elaborate masks and costumes captures the spirit of Carnevale di Venezia.
"Trying on ornate masks and opulent costumes transported me to Venice's heyday as the pleasure capital of Europe," says Austin, an avid cosplayer and Carnival enthusiast. "It felt like stepping into a living Renaissance painting." Most visitors rent or purchase a mask for the festivities. Choose a style that inspires your inner muse, from eerie plague doctor masks with long beaks to intricate domino and gilded columbina styles. Just avoid cheap plastic masks and opt for high-quality papier-mâché or leather.
For a costume, raid a vintage or costume store. Go as an elegant noblewoman in a satin gown, complete with lace sleeves and an extravagant Marie Antoinette wig. Or embody a mischievous Harlequin in a diamond-patterned tunic. Some opt to mimic traditional commedia dell’arte characters like the melancholy Pierrot. Costume expert Zaria of @ArtNouveauFashion recommends cleverly contemporary crossovers, like a Harry Potter wizard cloak over a tailored three-piece suit.

Most importantly, embrace theatricality. "I loved photographing revelers who fully committed to their characters," says portrait photographer Erin of @ErinShootsFilm. "One gentleman pretended to playfully swordfight with my tripod while posing in a Cyrano de Bergerac costume." Capture the masks' ornate details in close-ups. Find characters in complementary costumes to compose color-coordinated portraits.

Action shots amid the crowds illustrate the party atmosphere. Snap people dancing at outdoor concerts on Piazza San Marco as confetti showers down. Catch costumed street performers on the Riva degli Schiavoni promenade acting out commedia dell’arte skits. Document new friends toasting with spritz cocktails while showing off their masks and costumes. Carmen of @followthevibe_ captured dynamic images of a troupe dressed as pastel unicorns prancing through the streets.
Even sans costume, the Carnival spirit is palpable in the streets as elaborately made up and embellished revelers pose for photos. You needn't wear anything fancy to join in. Simply accessorize with a mask for striking yet comfortable portraits. The anonymity masks provide lets you embrace your alter ego. "Some personas that come out from behind those masks might surprise you," remarks Austin.

When photographing masked subjects, focus on the eyes and gestures to convey emotion. Capture candids of kids' delight at the costumes parading by. Shoot upward for a sense of grandeur as elaborately dressed adults strike poses on nearby bridges. As dusk falls, pose couples in masks against the dreamy backlight. Just be respectful if anyone declines to be photographed.

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Romantic Gondola Rides Under the Bridges

For couples visiting Venice, few experiences feel more quintessentially romantic than a ride in a gondola, gliding gracefully under the city’s charming bridges. Away from the crowded streets, these intimate boat rides offer a unique vantage point to soak in the beauty of the floating city.

"Drifting along in our private gondola remains one of my all-time favorite travel memories,” shares fashion blogger Chloe of @DarlingEscapes. ”With my partner snuggled close as our gondolier slowly paddled us under one delicately arched bridge after another, it felt like traveling back in time."

Many bridges in Venice were specifically constructed “with a profile that would allow the passage of the lower gondolas,” notes architecture student Peter of @PetersCityscapes. The gracefully curved bridges add undeniable charm. "Gazing up at the underside of a bridge decked with stone balustrades while snuggled up with my girlfriend was when the romance of Venice really struck me,” he says.
For an intimate perspective, avoid the large mass-tourist gondolas and opt for a peaceful private gondola. Though more expensive, having the boat to yourself lets you relax and take in the atmosphere without distraction. Most rides last about 30 to 40 minutes.
Experienced gondoliers know the most scenic route to provide jaw-dropping views along with maximum moments under photogenic bridges. They'll expertly navigate narrow canals and point out highlights along the way.

Though routes vary, most cruises glide by landmarks like the Rialto and Academia bridges as well as under the smaller footbridges deeper in the canals. Have your camera ready for captures like emerging from under the humpback Ponte dei Pugni bridge.

Late afternoon rides take on fairytale qualities, with the fading light filtering through bridges and reflecting off the rippling water. "Watching the sunset while curled up with my love as we drifted slowly through little side canals felt like a dream,” says newlywed Michelle of @TheRomanticNotebook.

After dark, the illuminated bridges create moody scenes. Experiment with long exposures that artfully blur the passing bridges overhead. “The boat's movement created a mesmerizing light trail effect in my long exposure pictures,” notes night photographer Alex of @Nocturnescapes.
Gondola rides may feel like a splurge, but create once-in-a-lifetime memories. “Gliding through Venice by gondola gave me a whole new perspective on its beauty,” remarks Chloe. “It was worth every euro to see my husband’s face light up at the experience.”

Snap Up Beauty: 7 Spots in Venice Made for Instagram - Capture the Venetian Sunset by the Lagoon

As the sun begins its descent to dip below the horizon, there’s no better place to witness the vivid color show than along Venice’s sparkling lagoon. The interplay of pastel skies and shimmering waters creates an ethereal scene that captivates photographers and romantics alike.

“Watching the sunset over the Venetian Lagoon was pure magic – it was by far one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen,” effuses part-time Venetian Sophia (@SophiaInItalia). “With the sun sinking lower, it cast this gorgeous rosé glow across the glassy lagoon waters. I must’ve shot two hundred photos trying to capture it!” She recommends heading to the western shores of the Giudecca Island for panoramic views across the wide lagoon with the city silhouetted in the distance.
Another prized option is the Zattere promenade, stretching along Venice’s southern edge parallel to the Giudecca Canal. “The Venetian sunsets viewed from the Zattere boardwalk are phenomenal,” says photographer Vince (@ImVinceCampos). “With the clouds turning vivid shades of orange and pink, then reflected in the rippling waters, I couldn’t stop snapping away.” For atmospheric portraits, pose couples on the Zattere’s stone benches and timelapse the color show unfolding behind them.

Venture out onto the water itself for a front-row vantage point. Local photographer Carla (@VeniceInsider) suggests booking an evening kayak or stand-up paddleboard tour. “Paddling across the lagoon under moody skies with the sunset’s colors shimmering around me was magical beyond words,” she describes. Time it so you’re mid-lagoon when the sun sinks below the horizon for a 360-degree color explosion.

Another option is hopping aboard a sunset boat tour, like those run by Venice Boats from the San Marco waterfront. “Cruising across the glassy lagoon as the fiery sunset reflected around us was phenomenally atmospheric,” says frequent visitor Rosemary (@ThePassportDiaries). “It felt like floating through a Monet painting come to life.” From on deck, photograph the sun’s glowing orb as it descends toward the distant Alps.

No matter how you experience it, Venice’s watery location makes for sunsets more spectacular than any landlocked city can offer. “With the sunset’s blazing colors illuminating the Grand Canal and the facades of a thousand palazzi, it left me awestruck,” raves Sophia. “I definitely fell head-over-heels in love with Venice all over again seeing that incredible spectacle spread across the lagoon.”

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