Title ID 1126Collection ID46
Date[ca. 1938?]
CollectionBarnes Brothers
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionTravel
KeywordsBoats Bridges Buildings Canals Holidays Landscape Tourism Transport Travel Urban Areas
NationalItaly Europe
ProductionA Barnes Brothers Production
ProducerLloyd Barnes; Mervyn Barnes
FormatBlack & White Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Amateur footage from the late 1930s of the buildings, bridges and canals of Venice. The film-makers capture the atmosphere of the city, filming it both from land-level and from a moving gondola.


Opening titles: Member of the Institute of Incorporated Amateur Cinematographers Limited and animated logo. Barnes Brothers present Venice. Sole Producers Lloyd and Mervyn Barnes [titles over moving image of gondolas]. “This town resembles no other town, for here there are no horses, no carriages, no dust, no smoke; here one hears nothing but the human voice", Mauclair.

The film begins with a view of the Grand Canal with gondolas and a vaporetto on the water. Other row boats are seen by an overbridge. We then see a gondola pass under a small bridge on a narrow canal followed by another view of the Grand Canal. Men unload a gondola at a quayside and pedestrians are seen walking along a path alongside a canal. Sailboats are moored at the canal side while pedestrians pass by.

Intertitle: ‘The Rialto Bridge’ is followed by a view of the bridge with pedestrians walking across it.

Intertitle: ‘St Mark’s’ – is followed by a view of St Mark’s Basilica and the square filled with visitors. We get a view of the original bronze horses atop the entrance followed by a wider shot that also includes the corner of the Doge’s Palace.

Intertitle: ‘The pigeons of San Marco (St. Mark’s) which enliven the Piazza are an entertainment of never failing interest’ – hundreds of feral pigeons surround people in the piazza and a man is seen feeding a pigeon out of his hand.

Intertitle: ‘The slender gondola with its prow, shaped like the comb of some siren, glides smoothly along past great places whose every name evokes tragic or glorious memories’ Mauclair – is followed by scenes, filmed onboard a gondola, showing a variety of gondolas and gondoliers at work on the water. Tourists in other gondolas pass by along the busy canals.

Intertitle: ‘The Bridge of Sighs’ – is followed by a view of the ornate Bridge of Sighs as the gondola passes underneath. The film ends with a wide shot of the open canal with gondolas and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in the distance.


A black and white still image taken from TID 1126, showing Gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice. The gondola's are dwarfed by tall traditional white Venician buildings on both sides of the canal.