Best Photo-Snapping Hours in Italy, by Cecil Lee

Good photography and travel go together like fava beans and a good Chianti (try not to think Hannibal Lecter here, ok?)

But it is true. Travelers want strong, memorable photos in Italy and while I like to dish out tips on helping you make the most of your trip-taking the best photos is not in my repertoire.

So today, I invited my photo-snapping friend, Cecil, to share some tips.

What are some tips can I share when traveling to Italy?

Hmm … tough question.

Cherrye has covered many general travel tips here on My Bella Vita, but since my experience-and passion-are in travel photos, that’s what I’d like to talk about today.

For a travel snapper like me who takes as many photos as possible when traveling, planning well-and planning ahead!-is critical.

If you are traveling independently in Italy, ie., you have control over when you visit various attractions and cities, then I recommend the following times for visiting and photographing some of Italy’s most photogenic icons.

1) River Arno

River Arno is the most scenic river cutting the old city of Florence, with the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) crossing overhead. This is a favourite for photo snappers. The best time of day to capture this scene is in the late afternoon when the evening sun is shining onto the row of buildings along the Arno.

2) The Duomo

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or the Duomo is the fourth largest cathedral in Europe and is the highest iconic architecture in Florence. You should avoid going there in the morning if you want to capture the magnificent white marble main facade of the Duomo on your memory card.

3) Piazza Signoria and David (replica)

If you couldn’t beat the long queue into the Academia Gallery to view the original David statue, then head to Piazza Signoria in the afternoon-after 3 PM-when the sun will be at the ideal angle.

4) St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City


The most iconic Vatican landmark is St. Peter’s Square. The best time of day to visit the square is in the morning when the sun is behind you and shining onto the more than 140 statues that top the pillars. Remember to bring along your long zoom lens as well!

5) Trevi Fountain

If you haven’t snapped photos of the Trevi Fountain, you can’t even say you’ve been to Rome! If you want to capture the best lighting of the fountain and surrounding scene, go in the afternoon, around 3 PM. Get your wide angle lens ready so you can stand in front of the crowd and still capture the entire fountain in your photo.

6) Colosseum


Though you can snap the Colosseum from any angle, the best location is from the west side, inside the small field, where you can see the dividing sections of the building. The best time to photograph the Colosseum is in the evening.

The above photo was taken in the morning when the sun was in front, so I had to make some adjustments to my camera to compensate for the direct sunlight.

Good luck with your next set of photos in Italy, or as they say there in that beautiful country … in bocca al lupo!

Cecil Lee is an avid traveler who is also a passionate travel blogger and travel photographer living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

* Italy Photos property of Cecil Lee.

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Traveling south? Click here to see how I can help you plan your trip to Calabria or southern Italy.

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DKTravel1Michelin