One can try to describe Venice, but honestly it deserves to be experienced in person to be understood, to be felt, and to be appreciated. The city itself is a living, breathing, historical phenomenon. Every time I travel there I have to blink several times to make sure I’m not on a Hollywood movie set.
I’ve experienced this floating city made up of 118 islands during all times of the year, but by far my favorite is October through April, the off-season. Why would you consider fall, winter, or early spring in Venice? It’s less crowded, less expensive, less lines for museums and events, less heat, and no mosquitoes! It’s also much easier to get restaurant reservations and tickets to shows and recitals.
My love affair with Venice off-season wasn’t intentional, it happened quite accidentally. I made several trips in the fall and winter traveling to Venice, with my friend Bud, to do research for a new novel I am writing, Acqua Alta. The title in Italian means “high water” and refers to the annual flooding of the city that occurs commonly between September and February. I was hoping there would be an aqua alta while I visited, but that’s like going to Iceland and hoping to see the Northern Lights. It doesn’t always happen. And if it didn’t, that was okay, because I also wanted to explore the city to scout out locations that would appear in the book.
When I fly into Marco Polo Airport I hire a water taxi to get to wherever I’m staying. You can certainly ride the vaporetto, which is Venice’s waterbus. It’s inexpensive, but they can be very crowded, and with luggage it can actually be quite anxiety producing. Usually, overnight flights from the United States arrive during Venice’s morning rush hour. So I spend a little more money and hire a “shared” or a “private” water taxi online through Venice Link.