Venice is one of the strangest and most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

The city is made up of 118 islands, some connected by small footbridges and others accessible only by boat. On streets along the lagoon, the sun bounces off of the greenish water, casting an eery and beautiful glow on the surrounding buildings. Inland, the streets are labyrinthine and narrow, with shadowy walls along passageways that preserve signs and markings from long ago. The water (along with its sometimes sulfur smell) is pervasive and somewhat startling.

The most common letterforms in Venice are the nizioletti, the streets and numbers stenciled directly onto buildings. Street names are stenciled with black paint on white rectangles, framed with a black border. Numbers and directional signs are stenciled in red on white backgrounds, though newer yellow signs with black type is common for directions to the more popular tourist attractions.

Much of Venice is geared towards its estimated 20 million tourists, rather than its 60,000 residents. Banners protesting oversized cruise ships and stickers mocking the Disney-ification of the city are prevalent throughout the streets.

Photos from Florence and Rome on the main site. Non-typography photos of Venice here. Full set of Venice typography photos will be posted soon.