5 Beautiful Reasons to Love Venice

The canals. The piazzas. The art. It's not easy to pinpoint what makes Venice the world's most beautiful city (as voted by you in our Readers' Choice poll), so we asked local photographers what inspires them about their city.

My favorite hotel: The five-room Palazzo Soderini, whose discreet, walled garden provides the rare Venetian escape from the tides., from $101.


"For me, Venice's beauty is found in its authenticity."

--Photographer Sam Abell

"For me, Venice's beauty is found in its authenticity. Over the past 30 years, I have traveled there on assignment a couple times for National Geographic, spending weeks scouring the edges of the city, photographing gondola repair shops, stone carvers chiseling tombstones, fishermen hauling in heaps of netting. In 1994, I took this photo of a fisherman near the Hotel Cipriani. The mood was beautiful that evening—the atmosphere with those strong blue colors all around. This man was just finishing up his day, doing tasks that had been done in the lagoon for centuries before him." See the shot.

My favorite hotel: The three-room B&B Rialto, a one-minute walk to Venice's
storied Rialto fish market., from $144.


"I love how the Venetian lifestyle hasn't changed in decades."

--Photographer Graciela Cattarossi

"There is something about Venice that goes against modern comforts. I find it a very difficult place. You have to take a boat or walk to get anywhere, and even then there are infinite detours. I wonder if the true Venetians are ever at ease. I took this photo in 2009 near the Rialto fish market. It was midday when I turned the corner to find this group of men chatting together over a late lunch. I've been coming to Venice since I was 7, and even in these modern times with massive tourism, the Venetian lifestyle is still here; it hasn't completely disappeared." See the shot.

My favorite hotel: The eight-room Cà Arco Antico, which exudes a timeless charm, with its Murano chandeliers and lead-latticed windows., from $87.



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