The carver of the gondolas

Inside a “squéro” I met one of the best carvers in Venice.

The carver Antonio Peroni

The carver Antonio Peroni

I published my book about the construction of the gondolas 12 years ago, and since then I sometimes meet again one of the best carvers in Venice: Antonio Peroni. Here he is carving directly on the top of a gondola (the Venetian name of this part is tràsto de prora).

I took this picture with a Leica CL and a Vario-Elmar TL 1:3.5-5.6 / 18-56 ASPH. 1/125s f/5.1 iso 1600

The little seahorse on the Ω Omega Seamaster model

I was absolutely not aware of that, but I recently discovered that on the back of the famous Ω Omega Seamaster - like the one you can see in the picture - you can find the seahorse which decorate the central part of the two sides of the gondola. In Venice, these decorations are made by the “ottonai”, craftsmen who make the brass horses and other ornaments in metal.

The seahorse of an Ω Omega Seamaster watch

The seahorse of an Ω Omega Seamaster watch

The original brass seahorse in the foundry

The original brass seahorse in the foundry

The Ω Omega Seamaster watch

The Ω Omega Seamaster watch

The original Ω Omega Seahorse

The original Ω Omega Seahorse

Inside Venetians' houses

The Venice beyond the doors

From my project inside Venetians’ houses

From my project inside Venetians’ houses

There are many different Venices. One is on the street, in the 4 or 5 main streets where everybody follows everybody. One is off the beaten path, where I usually go during a Photo Tour. One is on the canals, during a gondola ride, and one more is beyond the doors and the walls of houses and palaces. This last one is the project I am working on since six years so far, and you can’t imagine the incredible amount of stories you can find inside the centuries-years-old Venetians’ houses.

I took this picture with a Leica CL and a 18mm Elmarit 2,8 Asph - 1/8s - f/2,8 - is 1600.

The feast of San Giorgio

Inside the Orthodox Church of the Greeks, Venice.

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I was trying the brand new Leica CL with the awesome 18-56mm inside this place I am very found of. There were extreme poor light conditions and I pushed the iso up to 3200, in order to use the zoom at 56mm f/5,6. The result is amazing. Though it's an aps sensor, the Leica CL stands out for image quality, and allows you to take pictures in every situations. I used the electronic shutter, no-one heard me.

The first time i found this door open, during a Photo Tour in Castello...

...I got a surprise: the fisherman's warehouse was full of everything. Not only nets, but a bunch of objects collected from old houses. When we pass in front of this place, we often stop to take a picture of the door, but it's really it's really difficult to find it open. 

The fisherman' warehouse in Castello

The fisherman' warehouse in Castello

While we stopped there, taking pictures, somebody entered and bought the poster of Hemingway you can see in the background. So, have a look at the picture and if you need for something, I'll show you where this place is!

Picture taken with my Leica Sl and 28mm Elmarit-M lens.

The first picture of 2018!

The Ist January Venice Photo Tour

An hidden canal during the first Photo Tour in Venice on the 1st January 2018

An hidden canal during the first Photo Tour in Venice on the 1st January 2018

This is a very beautiful area in Venice, not far from the Rialto bridge, but still not crowded. A mysterious hand painted this white lily on this wall, and in various other parts of the city. When I was going around Venice for the first Photo Tour of the year, I noticed the face o the first floor and I decided to split it in two parts, with one eye on the right and the other on the left of the central part of the window.

I took this picture with my Leica SL, 1/6s, f/2,8, iso 1600. I payed attention to the exposure because of the high contrast among the sky, the interior of the first floor, and the outdoor scene of the palaces on the canal.

The marbled paper of Alberto Valese

Alberto Valese is an artist, expert in marbled paper.

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His shop is in Campo Santo Stefano, and we often pass in front of it during a Photo Tour, but his workshop is inside his house in Castello. So, thank to my friend Fiona, one of the best Venice's guides, I payed a visit to him. He showed us this ancient art in which he excels and it was incredible to see how time long it takes and how much skills to do just one piece of marbled paper! Completely different from the industrial production, and so amazing!

A marbled paper made by Alberto Valese

A marbled paper made by Alberto Valese

As everything in made by hand, the production of Alberto Valese makes every single piece different, and with fantastic designs, like this octopus for an example!

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Inside the Basilica of San Marco

An incredible experience! Inside the Basilica of San Marco it's absolutely forbidden to take pictures, so what an honor to be called as the official photographer for a very important ceremony!

The Patriarch of Venice inside the Basilica of San Marco

The Patriarch of Venice inside the Basilica of San Marco

My mentor David Alan Harvey, great photographer of Magnum, and my teacher of photography more than 10 years ago, used to tell me: "Remember that what happens immediately before or immediately after an event, is very often more important than the event itself". This is such the case, I got this picture at the end of the ceremony, when everybody was going away. I used my Leica SL, 90mm Elmarit M f/2,8, 1/25s f2,8, iso 3200.

The magic world of mosaics in Venice

Welcome inside the Orsoni's factory!

To see the mosaics inside the Basilica of San Marco is, of course, one of the most beautiful experience you can do in Venice...

...And here, I am presenting you the factory of one of the world's leading producer of gold mosaic and full body glass mosaic in Venice: Orsoni. 

The multicoloured panel, created as a sample collection of smalti and gold mosaic tiles.

The multicoloured panel, created as a sample collection of smalti and gold mosaic tiles.

Mosaic starts its life through fusion, because it's created from fire, as with metals and crystal. This is why you will find brightly coloured stacks of melting pots at the entrance of the furnace.

Coloured melting pot.

Coloured melting pot.

Throughout the history of art, mosaic has provided a truly fascinating medium. Mosaic was in use in ancient times, reaching its zenit in the celebrated romans decorations, and flourishing in Early Christian and Byzantine art. Some magnificent works were carried out in the splendid mosaics in the sights of Ravenna, in the Basilica of San Marco and the one of San Pietro in Rome, just to give you some examples.

Mosaics in San Vitale, Ravenna.

Mosaics in San Vitale, Ravenna.

Inside the Basilica of San Marco.

Inside the Basilica of San Marco.

All small parts of the mosaic are cut by hand or using a glass cutter with a grill. In this way, you will obtain mosaics which are all different one from the other.

Cutting the mosaic tesserae by hand.

Cutting the mosaic tesserae by hand.

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The panoramic Venice

A different way of framing: the panoramic mode

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The new Leica SL allows you to see immediately inside the viewfinder the final crop in many different ratio: 3:2/7:5/4:3/1:1/3:1/16:9. I find the ratio 3:1 very useful because it if you want to shoot in panoramic mode, the frame is will not just be the crop of a 3:2 ratio, but it needs a different composition too! 

Here I used my Leica SL with a 21mm Elmarit, 1/80s f3,5 iso 800.