Travel Guide Venice - Page 1
1. The Right Time for Your Visit
I believe Venice is a city which is always beautiful, regardless if it is hot, cold or if you have rainy weather or sunshine. You will just take different photos. So it is hard to judge what will be the best time to go to Venice, nevertheless there are pros and cons of every season, so here is some advice to you.
I read a lot of advices before heading to Venice, and all of them mentioned July/August as the worst time to travel to Venice. Too crowded, too hot, too harsh light. Well, what should I do, that was the only time I could go there last year, and I didn’t want to remove this city on my wish list. Unfortunately, a lot of prophecies finally came true, it was extremely hot (35°C during the day, 25-28°C at night) and very humid. This is a perfect combination for getting wet in 5 minutes. So if summer is your choice of travel (and there are some pros of summer, too!), pack enough t-shirts and leave your jackets and pullovers at home. Even on water it is still too hot for a jacket.
Although you will walk through a lot of alleys in shadow pack a sun blocker. On water the sun is even more dangerous due to the reflections and you will face a lot of water. Additionally, be prepared for mosquitos, they were very aggressive as soon as it got darker. I got about 15 bites per evening, not itchy fortunately but they tend to get quite huge and last for days. I looked like infected at the end of my holidays. While Venice was quite ok with regards to mosquitos, Murano and Burano were mosquito-infested.
Last, people warned me that Venice stinks in summer due to the heat. I have a good sense of smell and definitely cannot confirm this, air was always “fresh” – as fresh as humid and hot air can be.
Now that you read about all the cons, what’s the benefit of summer? It’s sunrise and sunset time! In August sunrise is about 6 am and sunset about 8.30 pm, especially at sunrise this is far too early for anybody getting up and wandering around. This is photography heaven in a city like Venice, no people, very good light, nice temperatures of about 25-27 degrees. Sunset is a bit more crowded, but as people eat late in Italy most of them are at dinner during that time. Additionally, the day trip tourists are all gone (which have the most share of Venice’s tourists). Last, there are almost no rainy days in August so every day is a sunny day with great weather and sky.
In a nutshell, summer has its cons, but its pros as well. Make the best out of it if this is the time you have to go. You have to get up earlier but are rewarded with nice photos during that time.
During winter, it rains a lot more than in summer, unfortunately I experienced 5 days of rain during my 7 day trip to Venice which is usual for February. You will definitely need rain clothes for winter, and some warm clothes as it can be quite cold especially during sunrise and sunset where you are banned behind your camera not moving at all. An umbrella and some gloves turned out to be very helpful as well. When it comes to rain, you will spot a lot of puddles where you can capture nice reflections.
On the pro side, there are fewer tourists than in summer, especially because there are no cruise ships coming to Venice during winter. It is low season. But this doesn't mean that Venice will be empty, it is just not as crowded as it is compared to summer. Sunrise time was at about 7 am, sunset about 5.30 pm in February. I got up at 5.30 am these days (if the weather forecast predicted no rain for the coming morning), took photos of the sunrise and then went back to bed. For sunset, I combined a beautiful sunset with a nice dinner afterwards.
In Winter the change to experience "acqua alta", the famous high tide in Venice, is much higher, but so far I haven't been lucky. The city is prepared for acqua alta, you can see a lot of wooden pedestrian bridges all over the city which can be unpacked quickly when high tide arrives. They can be a annoying sometimes as they are everywhere and don't look very nice on photos, on the other hand you can get a higher stand for your photos.