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Just Back from Venice

by Amanda Marsalis

All photos by Amanda Marsalis.

Photographer Amanda Marsalis was born to travel (her father was pilot; her mother, a flight attendant). Recently, she traded the freeways of Los Angeles, Calfornia, for the waterways of Venice, Italy, for a week.

So, what brought you to Venice? I had an opening to celebrate the launch of my book Reproduction published by Automatic Books, a company based in Venice.

How often do you go? I have been here four times in the last two years, including this trip. I shot a travel story, went back for a friend's art opening, vacationed there last summer, and went for my own opening and book launch.

What was the best tip you got before you left? I have a friend in New York, Alessandro, who grew up just outside Venice. He put me in touch with the guys who eventually published my book. Having locals as friends always makes a place more fun, too.

How did you get there? I flew LAX to MUN to VCE, and on the way home I flew VCE to ZRH to LAX. I was impressed with the lounges at both the Munich and Zurich airports. Flying over a cool, green, raining Switzerland was beautiful after a week of Italian sun and heat. I desperately wanted to stay and feel the damp wet air for a few days!

Where did you stay? A little family-run hotel in Dorsoduro called Hotel Americano. Not fancy, but good in a simple way. I had a room over the canal.

Amanda in Venice

What did you do? The first few days were spent preparing for the opening, which was a kind of recreation of where I shot all the flower photographs in Los Angeles. I had to find flowers to use in the installation, and then figure out a way to get them to Venice — via boat. Then I spent two days on the beach in Jesolo, just up the coast from Venice.

rose barge

Beach Day

This was especially great: Having my dear friend Kate fly in from London to celebrate the opening with me. 

But this wasn't: The heat wave the week I was there.

Let's talk about stuff.
1. Glad you packed: A sun hat.
2. Wish you'd packed: I did a pretty good job and wasn't missing anything this trip.
3. Didn't need: Layers.
4. Brought back: My new book!

Speed round of favorites:
1. Meal or meals: The pumpkin flan at La Zucca.
2. Neighborhood to explore: Dorsoduro.
3. Site/place/thing you did: Drank prosecco with friends everyday at 5 p.m. 
4. Cafe/casual hangout: Cantinone Gia Schiavi.

What's the local speciality? The Venetians all seem to eat standing up. Delicious quick cicchetti — standing along a canal or in a square. Every meal I had with local friends was eaten this way.

Were you there for the right amount of time? Yes. It was perfect — the week in the city, two days at the beach, and then back on a plane to Los Angeles.

One thing/place you didn't get to visit, but wanted to: I could have spent more time at Harry's Bar having Bellinis. My local friends will never go there, but I do not care if it is for tourists only. I love it!

What's the #1 tip you'd give a friend who wanted to go? Rent an apartment instead of getting a hotel. Live like a local as much as possible.

You can't stop thinking about: The pastries at Pasticceria Tonolo.

Would you go back? Without a doubt.

Airport

fruit stand

cafe

Venice Square

Sunset

Bye Venice

SHOP IT

To order Reproduction, by Amanda Marsalis, go to automaticbooks.com.

Can't get to Venice? Why not bring some Italian souvenirs home instead?

READ MORE ON FATHOM

Our guide to Italy
The best florists in Paris
Follow photographer Melodie McDaniel in Kerala

Amanda is a photographer. She travels for work, fun, and love.

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