Nevertheless, that is the vision which greeted locals on Monday as the handsome movie star got to grips with scenes for his latest venture, The Tourist.
Things certainly looked dramatic on set; at one point the storyline called for Johnny's character to take a flying leap from a balcony overlooking the Canal Grande, his fall cushioned by a pile of vegetables.
Luckily for the 46-year-old, his feet stayed firmly on the ground as his stunt double leapt from the window on his behalf. Johnny then stepped in for the close-up shots.
The Alice In Wonderland actor's famous co-star, however, was nowhere to be seen during the session.
Making the most of a break in her filming schedule, Angelina Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt, who have temporarily relocated to Venice, were spotted sauntering through the Tuscan capital of Florence at the weekend with their children in tow.
After taking in cultural sights including the Uffizi Art Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio, the actress was back at work on Tuesday.
Looking incredibly glamorous as she joined Johnny in a taxi boat, the 34-year-old lensed a scene opposite the leading man arriving at Venice's luxury Hotel Daniele, found just a few steps away from Saint Mark's Square.
Angelina stars in the film as Cara Mason, a female Interpol agent who uses Frank Taylor – played by Johnny – to flush out an elusive criminal with whom she once had an affair.
It’s the first time the two A-listers have starred in a film together, although both were excited to start a professional working relationship.
Speaking to HELLO! magazine about his beautiful co-star, dad-of-two Johnny – who has lived with partner Vanessa Paradis since 1998 – revealed he found Angelina to be a "treat" when they met up to discuss the project.
"She's serious about her work but she also loves her man and loves her kids – I was impressed by that," he said.
"The best bit about going to Venice and hanging out with Brad and Angelina is I'll get to be photographed by the paparazzi, which hasn’t been happening enough to me lately!"