Venice is endlessly photographable, it seems. Turn down any street and there’s something magical that just must be captured. The crumbling buildings, the canals, the gondolas, the ornate churches – it’s all so beautiful, right?
The concept of a “White Night” has been steadly growing in popularity throughout Europe. It’s the one night a year when museums, galleries, and other major attractions stay open almost all night long and offer free admission to visitors. Venice finally joined the movement with their own Art Night Venezia, and it’s now an annual event.
We often think of the Italian art scene as one that’s relegated to history. All that stuff in museums is hundreds of years old – if not older – and that’s the Italian art we hear about most. Venice, however, has been critical to the world’s contemporary art scene since 1895, the first year the Venice Biennale was held.
Although Venice is busy and crowded with tourists year-round, and the city’s high season stretches far beyond the typical borders of summer, the summer months are still when most people visit Venice. It tends to be the time when most people can travel – especially because the kids are out of school – and, of course, the weather is reliably good. But going to Venice in the summer means dealing with some of the difficulties of high season travel.
Venice is such a famous city, you probably know everything there is to know about it – right? Wrong. It’s a city of seemingly endless mysteries, many of which are just waiting to be discovered by new visitors. Here are some of the things you probably didn’t know about Venice.
Venice is practically a year-round tourist destination – even in the cold and damp winter the city can seem overrun with day trippers. But at no time does Venice seem more lively than when the city is in the midst of celebrating something. There are holidays and festivals throughout the year, some of which can dramatically impact your ability to get a hotel room at a decent price, so be sure to consult a calendar of Venice events during your trip planning process. On the other hand, each of these festivals is the kind of spectacle you’ll never forget.
Jews have lived in the city of Venice since medieval times, but in 1516 the Venetian Ghetto was established in the Cannaregio district and all Venetian Jews were forced to live there. The word “gheto” is a Venetian word referring to the iron stored near the foundry in the Cannaregio, so it’s from this Venetian Ghetto that the word “ghetto” is derived. The Venetian Ghetto was abolished in 1797 by Napoleon.
Most tourist destinations have what are thought of as high and low tourist seasons, but Venice seems to be popular pretty much year-round. Still, there are a few benefits to visiting in the slower seasons – which, in Venice, includes part of the spring. The calendar generally says spring runs from March-May, but those few months vary widely in Venice. If you’re headed to Venice in Spring, here’s what you can expect.
For many travelers, Venice itself is a day trip from elsewhere – but if you’re spending several days in Venice itself, you may be looking for day trip options in the area. Here are some of the best day trip options from Venice.