Discover Venice, Italy in November – Low, but Perfect Season

Venice city, water view

Discover the beauty of the mysterious Venice in late fall , when it has not yet been flooded with tourists, and at the same time, save money. You will not regret. Venice is one of the most visited cities in Italy, and even in Europe. And it is not surprising, because its beauty is unique and wonderful.

However, the tides of tourists that cross its streets and canals throughout the year, can lead the visitor to hate the experience of visiting it. Today, my goal is to help you fall in love with her, without suffering the misfortunes of her worldwide fame, and at the same time save you a few euros. To do this, there are three basic tips you can follow:

Visiting Venice in low season

Walk through it when night falls and / or get up early to see the sun rise. Getting lost in its neighborhoods or quartiere less touristy and more authentic, if possible. Then, I will elaborate these points and give you tips to get the most out of your visit in a relaxed way.

Venice is always flooded with tourists. No matter when you go, there they will be. But there are certain times during which the influx of visitors is so high that your trip can become hell. This is so, especially during spring , as the weather is milder. In summer (June, July and August), in addition to thousands of tourists, you will find temperatures too high to really enjoy the city. So avoid, for whatever you want, those months.

In October, November and December , the place lives a quieter moment, although it is when it rains the most in the region and the situations of ‘high water’ are frequent, in which many streets and squares are flooded due to the rise in the level of the water in the lagoon. In the main areas, when this happens, they mount platform as bridges to facilitate transit.

The magnificent carnival of masks in Venice , in February, is also high season. It is a sight worth seeing; However, the company you will have will undoubtedly be too much. It is important to also avoid national holidays, such as April 25 (Italian liberation day), June 2 (Italian Republic holiday) or August 15 (ferragosto); along with religious holidays (easter, etc.).

My personal recommendation is to go during the month November, avoiding specific dates. In this way, you will compensate the possible inclement weather with much less tourists and lower prices in general.

What to wear in November

During these winter months, temperatures are low and the environment is humid. Although they are not the rainiest months of the year, you can find gray days, storms and the occasional ‘high water’. Therefore, wear enough warm clothes, raincoats or umbrellas, and waterproof shoes (such as katiuskas , boots with Gore-Tex technology or similar).

How to move

Low season in Venice

My personal recommendation, walk. Stroll through its streets, it is the best way to know this city and not miss its details. If the idea of navigating its channels is very tempting for you, there are four options:

* The most expensive, romantic and famous option is to hire a private tour (its price will depend on its duration) in a gondola . If you are trying to travel for little money, do not contemplate this option, unless you are willing to travel in a small group (6-8 people).

* Using a water taxi is the fastest option to get from one place to another, but clearly expensive compared to the following public transports.

* Acquire for € 7 a ticket to travel in vaporetto , an aquatic equivalent of the urban bus. It is the transport most used by tourists, since with it you can not only cross the grand canal, but also reach other islands in the lagoon, such as Lido, Murano or Burano. You can see the vaporetto lines here .

* The traguetto is a gondola, somewhat larger than the private ones, which crosses the great canal from one shore to the other through areas where there are no bridges. It only works during working hours, they take short trips of 2-3 minutes and cost very little (€ 1 or € 2 each way). They are used, above all, by locals, which you can distinguish because they make the trip on foot. If you want to live the experience of climbing in a gondola without spending too much money, this is your best option.

Where to sleep

Accommodations within Venice are quite expensive, although prices are lower in the off season. There is the possibility of sleeping outside, in a continental area called Mestre . With this option you will save money, but you will depend on train schedules to return to your accommodation.

However, at least once in a lifetime, it is worth sleeping in the city and also enjoying the night or early morning walks , when the streets are empty of tourists and the canals acquire new nuances full of mystery. If you are lucky, you will see the fog gradually rise from the lagoon bed to discover the majestic Venetian palaces first thing in the morning.

It is possible to find medium-priced accommodation if you book well in advance in the winter months. We stayed at the Hotel Río Venice , in the Santa Croce neighborhood, quite quiet when it comes to tourism. In low season you can find room for two people for € 70-80 a night, a bargain in the case of Venice.

The place has been recently renovated, so it is very new, has spacious rooms, comfortable beds and the level of cleanliness is impeccable. Although they do not offer breakfast in themselves, they provide you with basic products (cookies, cereals, canned juices, coffee maker, biscuits, etc.) with which to have a fairly simple breakfast. You can complement it by buying milk, bread or pastries. They offer three rooms with private outdoor bathroom.

In general, it is a 100% recommended accommodation , with a good quality / price ratio . The only negative point is the locks installed on the doors of the rooms and bathrooms, quite noisy. But otherwise it is perfect.

What to see in November

Rooftops of Venice city

How to summarize this question? I do not think that not even a Venetian of all life has discovered every magic corner that hides this city. My main advice: Get lost!

It is clear that you will want to see everything that has made Venice famous, the most touristic places, such as the quarter of San Marco . But if you really want to marvel and fall in love with it, let yourself go .
Don’t look at the map, just follow your steps, take narrow bridges, intricate streets, not knowing what you’ll find around the corner.

It is these walks that will make your pupils dilate, open your eyes a lot and exclaim uala !, buah !, wow! or look!
Moments like leaving a very narrow street and seeing, on the other side of a small canal, an illuminated square on which a marble church stands up to the sky, as a cathedral, which you had never heard of. Or when you cross a bridge and see numerous old palaces around you, with colors worn by the passage of time, with windows and balconies that invite rest and contemplation.

Flowers here, some tapestries covering these walls, a gondolier walking a couple is lost under the bridges later … Small businesses full of curiosities, masks, leather dyes, old books … It all adds up to the beauty and mystery of these streets. If I had to choose the area that I liked the most, I would say the Quartiere Castello, little visited compared to the others and beautiful. In short, get lost and find wonders in your path.

There are certain places worth mentioning, or curious, that you might want to look for. I have marked the most attractive on the map and then I list some of them:

Basilica of San Marco. Admission is free. If you carry a backpack you must leave it at the box office (look at the map below to know where it is) before queuing to enter. This service is also free. It is widely known, although perhaps what you do not know is that, unless it is a special day, at 11.30 in the morning they turn on the lights. Being inside gold when this happens is worth it.

Academy Bridge Perfect place to see sunrise.

Rialto Bridge and its views. At the beginning of 2016 the bridge was under construction, completely covered with plastics and scaffolding. When the works are finished, it will be worthwhile to walk on the banks of the grand canal admiring its beauty.

Pugni Bridge. On it you will see some tiles in the form of footprints. They are the marks where the fighters, from opposing families, were positioned to begin the bloody fights that took place hundreds of years ago. A gondola-greengrocer is positioned next to him every day to sell his products.

Acqua Alta bookshop. This curious bookstore is full, to burst, of books of all styles you can imagine, first and second hand. Many of them are stacked on gondolas within the store itself, or bathtubs, because, when the water rises, the bookstore is usually flooded. If you go to the bottom of the establishment, you will go out to a small terrace where you have conditioned some stairs with the oldest and damp books, already unusable. Get on them and enjoy the views.

The Chiodo bridge. It is one of the last bridges of Venice without railings. It seemed lovely to me.
If you have enough time (more than two days), you may want to visit other islands in the lagoon . The following are notable:

Murano: The famous and exclusive Murano glass is produced on this island. You can take guided tours (with transportation included) where they will show you how the glassmakers make their works. If you are going to buy some Murano glass souvenir (quite high price, by the way), beware of imitations. Look for the seal of authenticity.

Burano: This is a curious island, full of colorful houses, tremendously photogenic. It will delight any professional or amateur photographer on a sunny day.

If you have followed my advice and visits during the winter, you should also know what to do in Venice when it rains . Here are my recommendations:

Enter the restaurant / bar / cafeteria that you find most appealing to your step. A cup of tea, a good black coffee, a glass of Veneto wine next to a homemade dish of pasta or rice with seafood or fish. Find a table by the window and enjoy Venice underwater. Take your time and relax.

Visit the dozens of churches, museums, palaces and galleries that this wonderful city contains. If you like art, you’re in luck. On this page you will find the main attractions of this type. I am not sure that buying a voucher (Venice Card) or booking online is worth it in low season, when the lines are not too long.

Put on your raincoat or open your umbrella; and walk. The streets are empty, you can hear the rain falling on the canals, the atmosphere is transformed … Do not miss it.

Where to eat

Did you know that the Italian fashion cocktail, Spritz, is originally from Venice? And did you have any idea that tiramisù is also Venetian? You cannot leave the city without having tried both!

In Venice, restaurant prices are higher than normal, but there are several tricks to reduce food expenses.
For example, when night falls, you can dine based on cichetti , some small dishes similar to tapas or montaditos, which cost 1 to 2 euros each, perfect to accompany with a Spritz, glass of wine or soda. There are many bars that offer these snacks when night falls (usually from 6.30 to 8 at night).

At noon, the restaurants offer menus at a good price, so you can take advantage to eat enough and well for less money. Typical dishes of this area are fish and seafood dishes, such as pasta with clams or mussels ( vongole and cozze , in Italian), or seafood risotto.

More about restaurants of Venice to try

Article author: John T.

Categories Italy

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