Venice is a city unlike any other on earth. For a start, no cars or even bicycles are allowed, and everyone gets around by boat or on foot.
For some reason too, the light is unique, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon. Combine this early morning or evening light with the ancient buildings and bustling canals, and you have a melancholy beauty of great sadness and great joy that is impossible to explain in words.
These photos of Jim's come as close as anything I have seen to capturing the essence of Venice.
It isn't only Venice that Jim has captured so well, and I'm sure you'll enjoy his photos of a few other stunning Italian places too.
A little about Jim before we get onto the photos: Jim Brandano is a photographer who now lives in Florida and runs a photography business with his wife. If you'd like to learn more about Jim, then click here.
On a radiant summer's day, the Grand Canal of Venice transforms into a breathtaking spectacle of shimmering light and lively activity. Golden sunlight dances across a surface of glimmering reflections. It's as if the Grand Canal itself has donned a splendid cloak of diamonds, each ripple sparkling, alive with light, energy, and possibilities under the warm Mediterranean sun.
Boats of all shapes and sizes dart up and down. The rhythmic chugging of boat engines and the soft lapping of water against ancient stone walls create a symphony of sound while gondolas slowly glide by in velvety silence.
Alongside the water's edge, palaces in hues of pastel gaze upon the timeless scenes below, blushing red with all they've seen as the sun slowly descends towards the horizon.
Comparing life in Venice with life in a big city; this video gives you an idea of what life in a city without cars is like.
The ancient city of Rome. Click here to book for this "Eternal City".
Amalfi, on the Amalfi coast. For more stories, tips, and photos about this most beautiful coastline, visit our guide here. If it is a beach you're after, then our "Beaches of the Amalfi Coast" is just the answer.