I date the beginning of my project to 2008, even though I hardly made any images that year. My stay was brief and frustrating, too many people and too much noise. When I committed seriously to the task of photographing Venice, two years had passed. I went back in a late winter and, under the title Venezia a Novembre, I began photographing the buildings and areas that we all know, for they have been present in every painting ever made and in every book ever published about the city. I was happy with those photographs, or so I thought. I had adopted the use of long exposures—to eliminate passersby and moving boats—and the result equated with how I felt about the city and helped me show the landscape undisturbed.

Through time, however, I had a change of heart. It didn’t happen overnight but, after so many years working and at times living in Venice, my focus shifted. Those icons—the Basilica of San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, the Gondola, and the Rialto Bridge, to name a few—no longer resonated despite their colossal beauty. The more I walked in Venice and traveled to its surrounding islands, the more I fell in love with what I consider to be Venice’s truest icon: the lagoon.

After a little over a decade photographing Venice, what I’m offering here are areas untouched by tourism and water landscapes unique to the lagoon, but hardly ever seen. I’ve been called audacious and a fool for choosing to make a series about Venice that has almost nothing of what’s typically associated with it. But there is indeed more to Venice than those iconic buildings and structures that we know by heart and these photographs are but a small portion of that other side. -A.M.