I guess the title says it all (forgive me if this is an old topic-- I couldn't find it). We are interested in Venice but on our recent trip to Italy there was much talk among other tourists about how horribly crowded it was. We don't require "perfect" weather but flooding is not of interest. Any timing suggestions? Thanks!
I love April in Venice. Pleasant temperatures, no crowds.
We were in Venice first part of May a few years ago- weather great - crowds yes, especially school children from all over the world on tours. You can see a lot on the back streets as well the fish market area and stay off the main canal during the mid day- as the other poster said in the late afternoon and early evening no crowds.
We are going back in mid May next year - You will love it - it certainly is something you will not forget.
We were there third week of October and I would happily go again at the same time.
The weather was comfortable, mostly light overcast with warm days and nights that weren't cold at all. We had a very light rain one evening, but not enough to need an umbrella or stay indoors.
There were certainly tourists there and the Vaporetti were pretty crowded but it was never the kind of mega crowds that you might get in summer or Carnival.
One morning we had some high water. There was some water pooling in Piazza San Marco and they had picnic table type scaffolding ready to set up. There was a small amount of water in the square that looked like pooling from an overnight rain. By the afternoon the water was gone and so were the walkways.
Early May is a great time to go. Although, it is always difficult to avoid cruise ship traffic. They are there for the day and then they evaporate. After they leave, Venice gets quite peaceful.
Have been there 4 times in the last 7 years but we always travel in summer months so we don't have to take our kids out of school. Have been there during the months of June, July and August and weatherwise it has been beautiful! Yes, there are crowds but evenings are quiet when the crowds thin out. We love the long daylight hours of summer in Italy or anywhere in Europe for that matter!
I was there in mid september this year and I could not have asked for better weather. It was sunny both days. It was crowded (not horrible) during the day but very quiet in the evenings.
I visited Venice in mid-December. It was magical and not crowded at all. As a matter of fact, I was at San Marco square at dusk and there were maybe a dozen people. It was cold, but I came prepared. There was just some mist/fog the morning I left on the Alilaguna back to the airport. It was truly magical.
I was there in early October last year. The weather was pleasantly warm and there were no long lines anywhere, though the basilica and the Doge's Palace were hardly empty :-) Around 5 pm the crowds thin out miraculously as the day-trippers return to ship.
The OP asked about flooding. Rick gives a figure in his Venice book of flooding about a hundred times a year, 100 times a year is about 30% of the days.
March and November are the worst months for flooding, which is why many tourists never see the flooding (they aren't there then).
The flooding that happens a hundred times a year is mostly minimal and over in a few hours. You will notice it only in the most low-lying sections of Venice, which includes the section of Piazza San Marco next to the water.
Isn't there some kind of a law against flooding during Carnevale?
I guess I'll need to bring a spare pair of shoes. There to all my hopes for managing with a carry-on, sigh :-) OTOH, hot chocolate must taste really good when your feet are cold and your shoes are squishy.
There are almost no days when the high water is more than a minor nuisance. Normally it's isolated and easy to work around. By midday it's gone and you don't have to worry about it.
So that will be my excuse for sleeping in!
was there after Labor Day in 2008...weather was great. 80s & 70s...there were people walking all around but not overly crowded where I had to wait a long time for anything. I was also there in February 2009 just before Carnevale and the first day of Carnevale. Very crowded especially in St. Marks area. There was some flooding in St. Marks and they had those raised walkways so you could walk around. It was actually kind of neat to see. Later in the afternoon, the water had pretty much gone away.
and on the first day of Carnevale- it was very sunny! but a little cold.
on a side note, went to Florence in February also and the crowds were great there. Great as in you could go all over and not wait long for the museums- didn't need a reservation to get in the Uffizi right away- or the climb up the Duomo.
Thanks for the responses, everyone-- very educational!
I'm another vote for April/May. We were in Venice this past May (around May 4th I believe) and, sure, there were people around during the day (cruise ships). But I wouldn't say it was "crowded".
And in the evenings, it was amazing. It felt like it was just my husband and I.
The trick to avoiding the crowds in Venice is simple: avoid the hyper-popular places (St. Mark's and Rialto) during the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. period.
Venice in October is wonderful; any flooding is usually minor and manageable. Days are warm, nights cool and uncrowded. I haven't been there in the summer, but I would think that the stagnant areas would give off an unpleasant odor if the tempertures climbed over 80 F. I think "getting lost" in Venice is the most fun we ever had sightseeing.
My wife and I went during Thanksgiving week and this was our first time in Italy. There were crowds but it wasn't overwhelming. I can't imagine how it would be during peak season. The weather was great! It was in the forecast to rain (it never did) and the temp was 45-50F. I rather have it be chilly than be miserable in hot temperature. When we arrived, it was during a weekend so maybe there's not as many people compared to a weekend? And there was no waiting in any of the lines.
I spent 3 days the last half October. One day warm fall day one day cold winter day It was a lot more fun the warm day -- I enjoy going to the outer venice islands ( and highly reccomend) . St Eramus is about an hour not so fun on cold day!!
First, we have nearly all of Rick Steves books, wonderful resources!! My family and I will be in Venice 2 days, July 10 and 11, looking at 2 hotels, one wth air conditioning , one without, should this be a deciding factor? Please advise, THANKS, Gene
I'd go with the air conditioning.
In July, it's likely to be hot and humid. In theory, there could be a good breeze coming of the lagoon, but in reality Venice is a maze of small alleys and packed in buildings. You will most likely be in a place that can't take advantage of any breeze.
In addition, most places don't have screens and if you keep the windows open, you run the risk getting mosquitoes in the room.
THANK YOU! Gene
Was in Venice about this time in July 2009. We had beautiful weather. Very pleasant and was not humid but our apt. had a/c. Have been here in June too and it was very hot and humid. Very glad we had a/c. Another trip in the month of July the weather was again extremly pleasant. Also was here in mid August once and weather was very nice. You just never know.
we were in venice just this march -- 22 through 26, and the weather was great and the hotel price was discounted 25% (hotel flora, our favorite). we did not encounter massive crowds except for groups of italian kids on field trips during their easter break.
we also were in venice in early april three years ago, and the weather was fab. but the hotel price was higher (the flora).