When should I visit (or avoid) Venice?
Venice is popular with tourists year-round, but you're most
likely to encounter crowds from May through October, during Carnival (usually in
February), and at Christmas or Easter. Holiday weekends are also busy--and in
good weather, any Saturday or Sunday is likely to attract daytrippers from the
Italian mainland. Fortunately, you can avoid the worst of the crowds--even in
peak season--by walking a few blocks inland from the Piazza San Marco, the
Rialto Bridge, and other tourist magnets.
In terms of weather, Venice has a fairly benign climate,
although heat and humidity can be oppressive in the summer months. For
month-by-month temperatures, rainfall, and other climate data, see the monthly
weather averages in
units at Weatherbase.com.
If you're a fan of concerts, exhibitions, festivals, and other special events,
check the local tourist office's
What's the "Lido di Venezia?"
The Lido di Venezia is a long, narrow island that separates the Venetian
Lagoon (where Venice's historic center is located) from the Adriatic Sea. In the
summer, it's a resort island and the headquarters of the Venice Film Festival.
The Lido is also a dormitory suburb for Venice, and--unlike the centro
storico--it has modern streets with cars, buses, and bicycles. It's
especially convenient at any time of year if you're flying in or out of Venice
from Marco Polo Airport and
want to save money on a hotel (see
If you're coming to Venice in the summer--and especially if
you're traveling with children or simply enjoy sitting on the beach--you might
want to consider spending a few days on the Lido. Many hotels have their own
beach clubs, and the Lido also has public beaches.
For more information, see: Lido Travel
Guide (13 pages, including map).
Speaking of children, is there anything for them to do
Sure. They can ride water buses, cross the Grand Canal by
traghetto (gondola ferry), run
around the many squares or campi, chase
pigeons, watch boat traffic on
the city's canals, and burn off steam at public playgrounds. Feeding your kids
is easy, too, thanks to a profusion of pizzerias and gelato shops.
(There's even a McDonald's on the Strada Nova, which is as popular with locals
as it is with tourists.)
For advice on exporing Venice with children, see:
Venice for Families
Is Venice accessible to disabled travelers?
Yes, but only to a degree. Inevitably, a city with more than 400
bridges (nearly all of which have steps) is going to present barriers to slow
walkers and wheelchair users. And in a city where many buildings date to the
13th or 14th Century, stairs aren't always possible to avoid.
Still, there's some good news: Nearly all of Venice's
vaporetti or water buses are now wheelchair-accessible, and by planning
carefully, you can use the water buses to explore large swaths of the centro
storico without crossing bridges. (Wheelchair users
get big discounts on vaporetto tickets.) For more information, including links
to city resources, read: Accessible
Can I bring my bicycle to Venice?
Yes, but you won't be able to ride it in the historic center.
See our Venice Travel Blog post about
Venice (including where to park your bike).
Can I bring my dog to Venice?
Yes. Venice is a dog-friendly city, and many hotels accept dogs
by prior arrangement. (So do some, but not most, vacation apartments.) Just
remember that public patches of grass are hard to find in Venice, so Fido and
Fifi may have trouble figuring out where to do their business.
Also remember to bring plastic bags for your canine companion's
caca. You can deposit the filled bags in public trash containers, which
are easy to find in busy walking streets and most campi or squares.
For more about Venice from a dog lover's point of view, browse
our Maggie in Venice blog.