Autumn in Venice

12 November 2017
Ben Pentreath

We arrived in Venice to sparkling blue skies and sunshine.
The moment when you first catch sight of the spires of Venice across the lagoon is always breathtaking. 

You suddenly find yourself in narrow canals with all life charging by. 

Another breathtaking moment, entering the Grand Canal.

We were staying at the Cima Rosa B&B – a perfect base for our explorations.  We’d booked one of their rooms overlooking the Grand Canal. In any other city, that would be like saying ‘please may we have one of your rooms directly overlooking Oxford Street’. Here, of course, it was magic.  We dumped our bags and couldn’t wait to get out to explore. The fish market was closing up – good only for seagulls.

Parcel delivery van:

Our minds were completely blown by the Hirst ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ at the Palazzo Grassi.  Catch it while you can. 

Corners of Venice.

The Olivetti Showroom. Loved this wheelbarrow outside Florian.

Tea at Florian, of course.

I love things like diggers on barges in Venice. 

We were meeting our friend Skye for drinks at the Gritti that evening… 

And then a happy dinner, and we wandered home through deserted streets.   There was mist in the air.

The following morning we woke to thick fog. Heaven. We jumped out of bed.

Mystery at every corner.

The fish market was alive and bustling that morning.

Cool colours at the Rialto.

We kept on bumping into people we knew, which is strange when you think how impossible that is in London. 

We popped in to the Guggenheim.

Peggy’s white gondola posts are very beautiful. It would be amazing to see the rooms still like this:

Palladio’s great Il Redentore, across the lagoon.

Hirst, part 2, at the beautifully restored Punta della Dogana.
The Salute:

Palazzo Fortuny:

And we were meeting Skye and her Mum again, this time for lunch. Rendevous outside Florian and we walked to a tiny restaurant down hidden back streets.

The cool grey marble of San Marco. We didn’t go in this time. 

We walked back to the Accademia together. I’ve always had a soft spot for the sign of the Hotel Metropole (and I suspect Wes Anderson has too).

We were going to a concert at the Palazzo Contarini together. And then we made our way home through dark streets, and got completely and utterly lost, which was brilliant, and quite funny when we realised we had been walking in totally the wrong direction.

Weekends fly by so quickly but Charlie and I somehow both love to arrive somewhere really early and leave really early. We left Venice in another deep fog, vowing to return soon….

… but so happy.

The Lagoon was thick with fog as we sped back to the airport. It was perfect to arrive in the sunshine; perhaps almost even better to leave in flat cold light. Venice vanished into the misty greyness, as if in a dream.

29 comments on this post


Oh Venice! Three visits and I am sure there are a couple more to come! The fog…it is like being in ‘Don’t Look Know’…winter is a great time to visit, but Hell it is cold!!


Thank you, thank you. I also swore I’d revisit Venice after a whole fortnight’s holiday there – even my daughter is called Venetia – but 35 years have passed. Still as cool as ever. Best wishes, Nicola


MAGNIFICENT! thank you! for sharing your venice, dear ben and charlie. i am better for it.

Diane Keanesays:

Ben, thank you for this swoon-worthy post as well as the post from the 11/9. Missed it then so I got a double shot of Inspiration today. I haven’t been to Venice since 1999. Your photo looking up at the Salute almost made me dizzy, between the perspective and the breath-taking architecture. Do you know the book, Living in Venice, by Elizabeth Vedrenne? Highly recommended.

The Damien Hirst exhibit raised quite a ruckus on the art blogs! Wish I could have seen it for myself, but your photos showed more of it than any others I’ve seen online.

Greatly enjoyed seeing your parents’ home come alive, and the Temple too. AND Charlie’s new look. Blondes have more fun, they say! 😉

Hugs to you both,


Jan Fawkesays:

Ah Venice! Magical. I was there this year in June… Hoping to go back in October next year….My favourite city, in my favourite European country!

Charlotte Ksays:

I was there one time almost exactly ten years ago. It was so perfect I had sworn off ever returning, for fear it wouldn’t be again. But I believe your pictures have turned that fear around!

The only thing better than fog in Venice is the fog lifting in Venice.


My mum took me there when I was 17, looks like it’s still as magical and haunting as ever. And yes, all very Don’t Look Now.

David Sanderssays:

Cima Rosa B&B; thanks for the tip Ben – ah one day I will get there. Missed Venice on my last trip to Italy – fatigue – regretted it of course. That (bronze?) statue, spooky and wonderful. Once again, gorgeous photographs Ben – Canaletto eat your heart out, I say.


Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

Alison Lewissays:

Bewitching, magical, spellbinding and exquisite rolled into one. I’ve visited Venice many times and each time she bewitches me even more than the previous visit. I love your statement – arrive early and leave early xx

Jennifer Phillippssays:

Lovely to revisit Venice through your eyes and the lens of your camera, especially with the cool light and fog….and hardly any tourists….blissful. Cheers for sharing!


Absolutely beautiful..can’t believe there’s a Guggenheim in Venice! Who knew..


Amazing images of Venice quite unbelievable how you captured so much of the city. Did you have Venice all to yourselves it certainly looked that way. Thank you for finding the time to share your pics with us you certainly have an eye for recreating the atmosphere of a place Venice looks magical if not a little eerie l bet you had some fun. Thank you enjoyed all your photos.

Andrew Lagesays:

We were in Venice this summer and it was insanely crowded of course and it’s cool to visit during peaks but Venice in November looks like a deserted dream,


Stunning photos of my favorite city in the world! Makes me want to go back right now! Thank you for sharing Mr. Pentreath.


Delightful post. Loved your photographs full of patterns, angles and shadows. Thank you.

Melissa Thistlethwaytesays:

Thank you so much for your Inspiration posts… doesn’t matter how irregularly they come becasue they are always worth waiting for and I enjoy them hugely!
Melissa x


Love the red coated figure in the fog in the last but 2 photo, very ‘Don’t Look Now’


The architecture of the fish market column really shows the soul of this dreamy city. Thank you thank you for sharing your private time away and gifting us a little vacation of the mind…. Imagine living there… You wouldn’t be taking Mavis for a walk, you’d take her for a swim!


Venice is so magical, one of my favorite places on the planet along with Yorkshire.

I live in an old farmhouse in the hills of Vermont, almost as beautiful as Yorkshire or Cumbria .

I love your blog, Ben, especially the photos of the English countryside. Thanks!



What delight to find this post on a foggy dim day in the woods of southwest Michigan. Venice is such a dream laden place. The pictures captured such a lovely range of nuances. Wish I could see the Hirst exhibit, but even exploring the link with my coffee was a treat. Safe home and have a lovely week!


Thank you , Ben, for the brilliant pics on this grey, wet sunday


Ahhh, La Serenissima! Sublime in any and all weathers… Loved that boaty column in the fish market. and Charlie’s grin at the end of the weekend!


Amazing photos !
Thank you for sharing with us,
you have really enjoyed it .
Dear Ben & Charlie, enjoy also your coming home and the following week !
From a dark and rainy sunday in Germany,
Yours Birgit 🙂


Venice is a dream and you captured the magic of the place beautifully. Thank you for sharing the stunning photos.

Hazel Lavellesays:

Lovely. Lovely Lovely !!!!! So nice , so lovely to see this place at this time of the year ,

I think I would like to go at this time of the year , and have the place to my self . Thanks so much for sharing your beuifull photos


My favourite place… Seeing your beautiful pictures makes me realise we have to go back soon. Winter or autumn for me is always the best time and there’s always something new to discover. Thank you.

Deby (in Canada)says:

Brilliant weekend….thanks for sharing…you capture so much beauty Ben
Cheers Deby


breathtaking; absolutely amazing, beautiful images. Thank you!

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