Venice has been near the top of every European traveller’s wish list for many years. Most elect to go during the region’s busy summer period, but how many have stopped to consider how the charm and beauty of the place come across in the colder months? I decided to check it out for myself and I was more than pleased with what I found!
The fact that the city is lot less crowded than in summer gives your visit a much more ‘authentic’ feel and the opportunity to move freely around the winding streets and alleys allows you to get really absorbed into the atmosphere of the place. The great thing about Venice is that, despite all the tiny lanes and passageways, it’s almost impossible to get lost (don’t take that as a challenge) because there are signs to the three main landmarks (Rialto Bridge, San Marco and Piazzale Roma) at almost every turn.
Even during winter all of Venice’s main tourist spots are still open and in many cases far more easily accessible than during peak season! Obviously all the notable buildings are still there, the museums and hotels are open and, best of all, there’s always a chance to hitch a gondola ride, which is a must when visiting the city, as you get to see many of the tiny side canals that you can miss when sticking to the vaporetti (water buses) on the Grand Canal- plus your gondolier will regale you with a wealth of intriguing facts about Venice’s landmarks and history!
Many people are concerned about ‘acqua alta‘ (seasonal flooding in Venice), but it’s not a problem as it happens every year and the Venetians are well prepared for it. If an area of the walkway becomes completely submerged they usually lay down raised platforms so you won’t get your feet wet! Far from being an inconvenience, acqua alta somehow adds to the uniqueness and charm of the place, making a stay there even more of an experience.
Venice is a special place to visit at any time of year, but a trip in wintertime really shows a different side to the city which not everyone gets to witness. Whenever you choose to go, be sure to try delicious Bellini (peach juice and champagne)- Venice’s fruity and refreshing signature cocktail! Arrivederci!