The best time to visit Venice. When is that? Spring? Autumn? or maybe winter is the best time to come to the floating city?
Well, it all depends on what you want. Here’s the whole year, month by month. What to expect in terms of weather and crowds. What’s going on in Venice and what you should know to be able to plan your trip in the best way. So here it is; Venice month by month.
This is actually a pretty good month for visiting Venice. It’s cold, it’s windy and it’s rainy… But you have the city all to yourself, and that is something rare and extraordinary. After the 6th of the month, the lines to the different attractions disappear. It’s as at the beginning of December. And you can find lots of hotel- and flight deals.
It’s also the time for existential experiences, looking out over the grey water that disappears into the fog. Standing at the end of Campo Santa Margherita and not being able to see the other side… And walking over San Marco all alone.
What’s happening in January
January 1, is a national holiday, San Silvestro. If you book ahead and don’t mind paying a ridiculous amount of money, you can attend the New Years’ concert at Teatro La Fenice at 11 a.m. The Venetian- and some of the national V.I.P:s gather to hear the orchestra, chorus, and soloists perform some of the most famous Italian music. Or you can just watch it on TV.
January 5, Panevin. There are bonfires to burn the old witch. It’s a tradition not only in Venice. A pile of wood, leaves, and dry branches and on top of that a dummy, roughly dressed up as a woman. But you will have to go to the mainland or Lido to see it. In Venice, open fires are banned.
January 6, is Epiphany. Children get sweets… If they’ve been good (Just as on Christmas. We really use the old stories in a manipulative way.), otherwise, they get carbon.
The weather in January
Statistic average low -1° Celsius 30° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 6° Celsius 43° Fahrenheit
It’s cold, there’s no way around that. It’s actually the coldest month of the year. I’ve said it before but it needs repeating: The humidity can make it feel worse than it really is. Dress warm and waterproof.
But if you feel the frosty wind is too much, know that the bars are full of hot chocolate, Vin Brulè and the best pastry in the whole wide World: La Frittella.
CARNEVALE!!! February is Carnival month. After the sleepiness of January, the Tourists return. The city is once again crowded and full of people. It’s the second occasion (apart from July and August) when the Venetians tend to abandon the city. The last weekend, for 2022 it will be the 26th and the 27th of Febbruary is the fullest. The calli and campi are so full that police put up restrictions. One-way paths, no-entering and roundabouts for pedestrians. The last two years have been kind of different to say the least. 2021 was abbandoned, while 2020 will be remembered as the start of the pandemic. The very first cases of SARS-CoV-2 were announced during the carnival, and the city decided to stop the feast two days in advance to avoid more infections.
The Carnival of 2022 didn’t follow the pattern of the twomlast years. Once again the city was full of visistors, dancing, and singing away into the night. Families, and teenagers entertaining themselves, with masks or without. Let’s hope Remember the Future and hope for a simmilare Carneval 2023.
What’s happening in February
The weather in February
Statistic average low 1° Celsius 34° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 8° Celsius 46° Fahrenheit
February is a winter month. But now the sun is getting a bit higher in the sky and you can certainly feel it. At the end of the month, you have 11 hours of sun and it’s setting around 6 p.m. At midday, away from the wind, you can have your Spritz and Tramezzino outside.
March is by many regarded as the best time to visit Venice.
After Carnival, there are another few weeks of low season. Not as low as December and January, but Venice is calm and pleasant. The temperature is rising but the lines are still few and short.
What’s happening in March?
March 1. Happy New Year. No, I haven’t lost my mind. The New Year or Cao de ano, as they call it, is another very old Venetian tradition. The end of the cold season means the beginning of spring and growth in the fields… The new year. There’s music and all kinds of goodies to eat.
March 8. The International Women’s day. There are all kinds of events including a Boat race only for women.
Easter – if in March. From Maundy Thursday there are many events around Venice, mostly religious ones. Friday there are processions, Saturday a bit of partying and Sunday, Mass. Monday, Pasquetta, is for getting away… But you’re already away, so just enjoy the city and have fun.
In March there is also a week of free entrance to the museums. Not all of the museums. Not even all of the state-owned museums, but it’s still something to look out for.
The weather in March
Statistic average low 4° Celsius 39° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 12° Celsius 54° Fahrenheit
March is definitely a pleasant month. The sun is warming and the actual hours of sunshine are increasing. Less fog, less rain, and fewer clouds. You still need a warm jacket for the evening strolls but leave the rubber boots. The high tide season is closing.
Another great month to visit Venice.
This could be the best time to visit Venice (…if you regard December and January as too extreme…). The city still awaits the hordes of tourists. A lot of school kids from all over Europe in the streets. But the weather is really nice. Not too hot and not too cold. Perfect for running around on museums, palaces, and churches.
What’s happening in April?
Easter. If it falls in April, well it’s more or less the same as in March, just a bit warmer.
At the beginning of April, there is the Su e Zo per i Ponti (su e giù – up and down the bridges). A solidarity- and charity walking event. You can choose 12 kilometers or 6. The day before there’s usually a concert/music show.
April 23. The Art Biennale starts. The festival beginns at Arsenale and in the Biennale area at Giardini. Later it covers most of Venice with multiple exhibition sites.
April 25. Liberation holiday / Saint Mark’s feast / Feast of the rosebud. Any way you look at it, it’s a good reason to celebrate. On Saint Mark’s Square, there are manifestations and it can get lively.
The weather in April
Statistic average low 8° Celsius 46° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 16° Celsius 61° Fahrenheit
On sunny days you can even leave the jacket and walk around in a T-shirt. It’s pleasant. Although in recent years there has been a tendency to skip the spring altogether. I don’t know if it’s the climate change that kicks in here, but quite often we’ve had cold weather in April and the beginning of May. Then in June, the heat all of a sudden hits you like a wet towel. Be prepared and dress accordingly.
May is spring and it can be hot. It can also be cold as I wrote before. You don’t really know what to expect. The season of the boat races starts. As does the Biennale. The word means “every two years”. The main parts are the Architecture- and the Art festival. And of course, the Venice film festival, which is held every year. In 2020 it’s time for Architecture.
It’s getting crowded. Many people, rightfully so, chose to come in May instead of July or August. Consider Skip-the-line tickets.
What’s happening in May?
The Art biennale continues.
At the end of May, there’s the Regata di Sant’Erasmo. Sant’Erasmo is the big island northeast of Venice. The Garden of Venice, because in the past it was where the Venetians grew their crops.
May 28 – June 5. Venice boat show. An international boat fair at Arsenale.
The weather in May
Statistic average low 12° Celsius 54° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 21° Celsius 70° Fahrenheit
But as said before, prepare for temperatures much under or much over these. At the end of the month, the tropical summer heat could already have arrived.
Now the high season is approaching. The streets and Squares are getting crowded and it starts to become difficult to get a table at the popular restaurants. It’s time to start thinking about the skip-the-line- tickets. Especially around Saint Mark’s Square. You should explore the outskirts… Sant’Elena, Arsenale, Cannaregio northern parts, Dorsoduro, Santa Marta and of course Giudecca.
What’s happening in June?
The Art biennale continues.
Festa della Sensa. Venice has always been connected to the water and the sea. Every year, on Ascension Day, the Mayor of Venice (Once the Doge) renews the contract with the sea in a ceremonial marriage. There’s a regatta as well as lots of events all over the city.
Until June 5. Venice boat show continues.
June 24 – July 3. Biennale Teatro – Theatre-Biennial. As a part of the Art Biennial, there is the 50th International Theatre Festival. In the Biennale-area as well as on Theatres all over the city.
A lot of boat races.
Vogalonga is a modern tradition. It was created as a counterweight to the commercialization of Venice, as well as a protest against the ever more motorized traffic on the canals. The first Vogalonga was held in 1975.
End of June. Santi Giovanni e Paolo Regata. This one is for rowers under 25 years of age.
End of June, there is the traditional Venetian village feast. Almost every city or village in Italy has its own festival or holiday. The local patron or the traditional dish or a crop that’s ready to reap. In Venice, that’s the Festa de San Piero de Casteo, Festa di San Pietro in Castello in Italian.
End of June. Venezia Jazz festival.
The weather in June
Statistic average low 16° Celsius, 61° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 25° Celsius, 77° Fahrenheit
These temperatures may seem comfortable and nice. The truth is very different though. In recent years the temperature in June can easily reach 30° Celsius and more. Together with the clear blue sky and very high humidity, it can be tropical. Prepare for hot weather. Bring protection and try to stay in the shadows.
No, not the best time to visit Venice.
July is High Season. Now it’s starting to get difficult to even move around. Crowds are everywhere and the lines to the Saint Mark’s Basilica are endless. If people ask me, I usually suggest avoiding July and August. Those months are better for beach activities or going to the mountains. Consider grabbing a hotel at Lido or Cavallino. That way you can work on your tan between the lines and mobs in Venice.
What’s happening in July?
The Art biennale continues.
Until July 3. Biennale Teatro – Theatre-Biennial continues.
July 22 – July 31. The 16th international festival of contemporary dance.
In the beginning of July, there’s the Murano regatta. Considered by the competitors to a very tough race because you navigate the canals that run all over Venice.
La Festa di San Giacomo da l’Orio. This is a wonderful event in the middle of San Polo in Campo di San Giacomo da l’Orio. Live music every day starting at 7 p.m. and stands with all kinds of goodies to eat. A great way to live the typical Festa del Paese, the village feast, that happens all over Italy every weekend. it’s a little less frequent in touristic Venice but here you have the possibility.
La Festa della Madonna di Marina. At the beginning of the month if you want to get all the way out to Malamocco on Lido. It has a religious frame but there’s plenty of time and space for eating, drinking, and dancing to music.
The weekend 16th to 17th of July. La Festa del Redentore. This is a major event. On Saturday evening a floating bridge is constructed from Zattere straight over Canale della Giudecca to the Redentore church on Giudecca. And at 11.30 p.m. (more or less) there are spectacular Fireworks. The whole Zattere-side will be full of people and so will the canal. Boats from near and far turn up to get the best view of the lights over the dark water. Anyway, the best spots are on the Giudecca side. The bridge is closed from 10.30 p.m. till 00.30. Be on time.
The day after, Sunday the 18th, there is another regatta; Regata del Redentore.
The whole day the mass is celebrated inside the church and at 7 p.m. the traditional Messa Solenne is held. Outside you can taste all kinds of traditional food and wines.
End of July. Festa della Madonna dell’Apparizione Pellestrina.
The weather in July
Statistic average low 18° Celsius, 64° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 28° Celsius, 82° Fahrenheit
The same as for June can be said about July. Don’t let the relatively reasonable temperatures fool you. It’s hot. If it’s raining and bad weather the temperature falls, but on the sunny days (… which we appreciate) the temperature can go over 30° Celsius. And with the humidity that is hot, like the jungle. Be aware of the sun. Sometimes you don’t realize that you’ve been out for many hours, going from one site to another, but be careful. Drink a lot and stay in the shadows.
Yes, avoid August if you can.
August is even worse than July. Every museum or historical site has lines. The Vaporetto can be difficult to even get on, and prices are the highest of the year. The peak is Ferragosto on the 15th of August. It’s an important holiday all over Italy and it was once the traditional end of the vacation. Now the vacations are longer and they often stretch far beyond the middle of August. But if you’re really sensitive, you can feel a slight decrease in tourist flow after that date. At least from the Italians.
You should get up early, sleep after lunch and get out again late. Not only because the temperature is more bearable mornings and evenings, but also because it can be a little quieter when cruise ship- and day-tourists have left.
What’s happening in August?
The Art biennale continues.
August 31. This year the Venice Film Festival starts already the last day of August. It continues untill September the 10th. It’s a big event if you like the cinema. If you don’t, it’s still an awesome occasion to try to photograph film stars. You have to get over to Lido and the Palazzo del Cinema. And you have to keep very well informed, cause shooting film stars is more difficult than filming the white tigers in Siberia.
There are quite a few minor events on the islands:
Festa della Madonna dell’Apparizione possibly continues until the beginning of August at Pellestrina.
Mid August. La Sagra di Santo Stefano a Portosecco also on Pellestrina.
Mid August. La Festa di San Rocco at San Rocco, Venice (where else?)
At the beginning of August, there’s The Pellestrina Regatta… This too at Pellestrina.
A Saturday at the end of August. Beach on Fire. If you can get out to the land strip east of Venice, Cavallino, you’re in for something spectacular. The longest fireworks in the world. 12 kilometers of pyrotechnics.
The weather in August
Statistic average low 17° Celsius 63° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 27° Celsius 81° Fahrenheit
The somewhat lower temperature is due to more rain. August is actually the second most rainy month after November. But the rains are from thunders mostly, and thunders come from heat.
So don’t illude yourself. It’s still very hot. The only relief is that the sun isn’t as strong as it was in June and July, and the days are shorter.
A little less crowded and a little less hot makes September a great month to visit Venice. The weather is somewhat changeable, with sudden rainstorms blowing in from nowhere. The Venetians return to the city from their mountains chalets and their beach houses. There they’ve spent summer, to get away from the heat and the tourists.
What’s happening in September?
The Art biennale continues.
The Film Festival continues until September 10
Beginning of September. Festa del Peocio at Alberoni, Lido di Venezia
September the 4th. Regata Storica di Venezia (Historical Regatta). This is the main regatta throughout the year. It’s divided into two faces. The first, the true Regata Storica, consist of historical ceremonial boats like the Bissona, a big heavy boat with 8 rowers which is used in this occasion only. There are 10 of them and together with a few other even bigger boats and rowers in historical costumes, the effect is magnificent.
after that, there is the competition regatta. There are 7 classes from youngsters of 10 years up until the Champion-class. The latter runs a two oar Gondolino and they are the real winners. If you win this class five years in a row, you get the title Re del Remo. From 1841 only seven rowers have obtained this title. The last ones were Palmiro Fongher e Gianfranco Vianello who won from 1977 till 1983, seven years in a row.
September 17 – 25. Venice Glas week. A whole week dedicated to the Art of Glass.
Mid September. The Burano Regatta at Burano
September 14 – 25. The Biennale Music Festival. The 66th International Festival of Contemporary Music at Giardini, the Biennale area.
The weather in September
Statistic average low 14° Celsius 57° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 24° Celsius 75° Fahrenheit
Finally, there’s a bit of cool. Still, these temperatures indicate a jacket or a sweater, at least in the evening. The truth is that the beaches are still full and you can have more use for shorts and swimsuits, at least in the first half of September.
At the end of the month, the sun sets around 7 p.m., while in June it sets after 9 p.m.
October is actually one of the best months to visit Venice.
The crowds are less obstructive and the summer heat is gone. Now you can stay out even in the early afternoon and enjoy the fresh breeze coming in from the sea. Hrrm… Yeah, bring a jacket and a warm sweater.
October is also the beginning of the Acqua Alta season. All winter there is the risk of having to face water in the squares and streets, but statistically, the worst months are October, November, and December with November as the peak.
The good news is that from autumn 2021 the MOSE should be fully operational. 78 gigantic sluice ports at the three inlets to the lagoon, are raised in case of high water. We don’t know for now from what level they will operate. But the problematic high waters should be resolved. You could still have need for lower rubber boots or waterproof shoes for the lower high tides. And the simple rain can fill the squares and streets with puddles, so prepare.
What’s happening in October?
The Art biennale continues.
The lower temperature opens for important sports competitions.
October 16. Venice hospitality challenge This is another totally unique event in Venice. A maxi sailing race right outside Saint Mark’s Square.
Mid-October. La Veneziana Another maxi race. It is now confirmed for 2022.
October 23. Venice Marathon. This is a main event. People from all over the world come to Venice for the opportunity to run 42 kilometers in this unique environment. The race starts at Stra. Flanking the river Brenta through Marghera to the Park San Giuliano, over the bridge to Venice. The finish is right in the center of the city. There’s also the possibility to run just the last 10 km in a non-competitive race.
The weather in October
Statistic average low 9° Celsius 48° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 18° Celsius 64° Fahrenheit
Now it’s getting colder. More wind and more rain. Apart from the high tides, another thing to keep in mind is that water also falls from the sky. Venice isn’t flat and the pavement isn’t horizontal. If it rains, then puddles appear all over. Rubber boots or Gore-tex trekking shoes are perfect. Just to keep your feet dry and warm.
November is the month of Acqua Alta, high water. Actually, all autumn is at risk, but November is the worst month, statistically. With the MOSE operational, we shouldn’t have any problems. After more than a thousand years, Venice could possibly be dry. And the historical sites and artifacts will finally be saved from the dangers of the seawater. Let’s hope it’s so.
It was in the last moment though. From November till December 2019, the water reached 100 cm and over on 24 occasions with a peak on the week from the 11th to the 18th of November. We had 4 of the 20 highest tides of all times in just 5 days with the devastating 187cm on the 12th. That day the water wiped out the electricity for half the city, crashed boats, damaged many historical buildings and provoked losses for hundreds of millions of Euro.
In Autumn 2020 the MOSE was operational in experimental mode. No extreme high waters have been registered since.
A pair of good waterproof shoes is very useful for the wet calli and campi.
What’s happening in November?
The Art biennale continues… But ends the 27th.
November 21. Feast of the Madonna della Salute. The city prepares itself for La Festa della Salute. This is as genuine and Venetian as you get, with the locals coming to the church of the Madonna della Salute over the provisional floating bridge from Giglio to Dorsoduro on the other side. The origin of the holiday is the Plague epidemic in 1630. On 22 October the Doge made a solemn vow to build a particularly grandiose temple and to hold mass in that temple every year as would his successors if the city had survived the disease. A promise kept to this day.
The weather in November
Statistic average low 4° Celsius 39° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 12° Celsius 54° Fahrenheit
This can be a very cold month. It’s the wettest, both as high tides and as rains. And the rains and the winds can make it even chillier than December and January. But it can also be fresh with blue, clear skies, sunny and air that’s easy to breathe. Prepare for both.
The second part of November and the first part of December is dead low season. These are the few weeks when you can find something absolutely unique if you come late in the evening and you’re lucky: The empty Saint Mark’s Square. Walking over the marble floor all by yourself is an experience that will stay with you all your life.
This is also one of two short periods when there are no lines whatsoever… Not even to the most famous sites. Around mid-December, the Christmas rush starts. Not as bad as summer, but the lonely walks on Saint Mark’s are gone.
The beginning of the month is also the cheapest time of the year, together with one or two weeks in January after Epiphany the 6th. Now you can find hotel bargains and cheap flight deals. If you ask me, These are the best times to visit Venice.
What’s happening in December
The 8th of December. Feast of the Immaculate Conception Public holiday and a few of the public museums offer free entrance.
Christmas markets From the beginning of December until the beginning of January. There are a few Christmas markets around the town.
Ice skating in Campo San Polo December and all the way until the end of the Carnival. There’s a skating ring in the middle of the Square. Skate renting and stands for snacks and beverages.
December 31. New Year’s Eve (Festa di San Silvestro) There’s a big celebration in Saint Mark’s Square with fireworks at midnight.
The weather in December
Statistic average low 0° Celsius 32° Fahrenheit
Statistic average high 7° Celsius 45° Fahrenheit
December is cold. Warm and especially wind- and waterproof clothing is recommended. Just as for the summer months, the subjective temperature is worse than the actual one. The fog and the humidity make it feel colder than it really is.