When to Go in VeniceEdit This
Unfortunately, summer, the time of year when most people have vacation time is not the ideal season to visit Venice. The heat can be sticky and sometimes overwhelming. The crowds are thick (as are the mosquitoes) and a certain unpleasant stench emanates from the canals. Locals usually try to escape the islands during the summer months.
However, a few occasions warrant a summer visit. The famous Venice art festival, the
Biennale, begins in early June and the inaugural events often include
performances, parties, panels and interviews. Many of the exhibitions and installations are more
impressive (and/or fully functional) at the beginning of the summer. A second occasion that
draws summer visitors is the Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) on the
third Sunday of July. The night
before the religious processions (Saturday) to the Palladian Church, Il
Redentore, the city stages an extensive firework show. Locals and the well-connected watch the
fireworks from boats anchored in the Bacino (the water way in front of the
Piazza San Marco).
September can still be quite warm, but by October, the weather
is usually pleasantly crisp. Venice’s university students return in September, but usually keep
to parts of the city off the tourist tracks. The infamous high water season or “acqua alta” that
causes floods in parts of the city begins in October. The city provides elevated planks for affected areas and,
because “acqua alta” is caused by the tides of the Adriatic, the flooding only
lasts for a couple of hours at a time.
“Acqua alta” does still occur in the spring months, but, overall, it's a lovely time to visit the city. The weather is usually mild enough to allow one to enjoy an aperitif at an outdoor café. The tourist count increases precipitously around the Easter holidays. Groups of European school children most often tour the city in the spring.