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Photos: 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 to show us what inspires them about their city—see their answers below.

  1. "One of my preferred perspectives is the canal behind the Basilica di San Marco." Tip: To re-create this view, walk north from Piazza San Marco and then east on the Calle Larga di San Marco to the other side of the Ponte dell'Anzolo Bridge. --Olimpio Fantuz

    (Olimpio Fantuz/SIME/GMAImages)
  2. "I prefer the city in winter, when this photo was taken inside Caffé Florian, in Piazza San Marco. You see empty tables and locals enjoying their gilded cafe. Then, the cafe is melancholy like the lagoon " Tip: Should you sit when there's a band playing at a cafe like Florian, you'll be charged an additional $8.75.  --Massimo Borchi

    (Massimo Borchi/SIME/GMAImages)
  3. "I snapped this photo just behind Palazzo Ducale [Doge's Palace] on a rainy October day. I find the water and flooding quite beautiful." Tip: Tickets to the Palazzo Ducale are $20, but for $5 more you can get a museum pass from the Foundation of Civic Museums, good for admission to the palazzo, along with eight other cultural institutions. --Johanna Huber

    (Johanna Huber/SIME/GMAImages)
  4. "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." Tip: A free boat bound for Hotel Cipriani departs from Piazza San Marco every 15 minutes. --Sam Abell

    (Sam Abell/National Geographic Stock)
  5. "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. Even in these modern times with massive tourism, the Venetian lifestyle is still here." Tip: Cichèti, or small bites like calamari or speck bruschetta, are served throughout the day at bars and restaurants. --Graciela Cattarossi

    (Graciela Cattarossi)
  6. A view of St Mark's basin from San Giorgio island.

    (Johanna Huber/SIME/GMAImages)
  7. Campo San Boldo in Venice.

    (Johanna Huber/SIME/GMAImages)
  8. An early morning in St. Marks Square.

    (Graciela Cattarossi)
  9. People-watching at a cafe in St. Mark's Square.

    (Graciela Cattarossi)
  10. A local surveys the street from Cantinone del Vino Gia Schiavi wine shop in Venice.

    (Olimpio Fantuz/SIME/GMAImages)
  11. It's usually busy in front of St. Mark's Basilica.

    (Olimpio Fantuz/SIME/GMAImages)
  12. Typical houses in Burano, an island in the Venetian lagoon.

    (Massimo Borchi/SIME/GMAImages)
  13. Murano works the glass at the Mazzuccato Artistic Glassworks workshop.

    (Massimo Borchi/SIME/GMAImages)
  14. The Grand Canal in Venice.

    (Alastair Hendy)

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