I have been to Venice a long time ago and all I could remember were the crazy crowds. No wonder, I visited it in summer. Last weekend, I decided to visit Venice in the winter with my girlfriend. People were saying ‘why Venice? It’s not the season.’ But that’s exactly the point. I thought that visiting Venice in winter would be smart in order to avoid all the crowds, and I was right.

My weekend in Venice was great! We had all kinds of weather ranging from clear skies and sunny to extreme rain (even some floods in the streets) and fog. Lots of different conditions to photograph which made things interesting. But, as I expected, almost no people! So here are a few reasons why winter is a great time to visit Venice, especially for photography:

  • Little to no people, especially during sunrise and sunset. There was literally no one but me at the most popular location, The Accademia bridge, where I was shooting the sunrise. During the day you could meet a few people at the popular squares, but no one in the back alleys. It was amazing to walk around so 'freely'.
  • Variety of the weather. Honestly, I love photographing cities like Venice when it rains. All the reflections add to a magic atmosphere of the city and create a romantic mood that I love to capture. We had a foggy day that allowed me to take some images with a unique mood, then a day full of sun. Grey days are great for something I love to do: capturing the beautiful little alleys with attention to detail because the light is very soft and there are no harsh shadows. 
  • Hotel prices are generally cheaper during the off-season. So you can get a hotel at a nice central location for a bargain.
  • You can experience the true city life. I saw the locals go about their day. I saw kids going to school in the center of Venice. I saw the merchants selling their goods on the streets. I learned to recognize little cafes and bars that are loved by locals and learned about places with authentic food.  All the things I wasn't able to notice during summer when the city was packed with tourists.

I strongly believe that in order to experience the true beauty and romance of Venice, you should go off-season, and winter is the best choice. It's definitely cold, but it's also magical. Here are a bunch of images I shot over the long weekend.

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#1

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

Some of the little canals look straight out of a fairytale.

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sharron lynn parsons 1 week ago

A lovely beginning, perfect photo !!!

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#2

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

I love exploring random alleys in Venice. You can find beauty literally everywhere among all the little streets and canals. Here’s a canal with bridge during blue hour.

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Mer 1 week ago

The contrast between the "blue hour" and the amber lights is everything I could wish for - excellent capture!

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#3

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

The blue hour in Venice is magical. Pick your street, canal and start shooting. Fun fact: this tower is not straight!

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Joel Lehman 1 week ago

it seems like you go there, and then out of the blue, with magical fairy dust appears a fairy godmother and she grants wishes... love it!

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#4

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

The view from the famous Accademia Bridge. The sun rises on the right of the famous Basilica of Santa Maria. I didn’t see a spectacular sunrise but the beautiful soft light coming from the side made up for it.

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Reginald Joseph 1 week ago

Gorgeous

#5

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

During our sunny day, we took a gondola ride. It's an expensive but nice experience, especially if almost no one else is on the canals! And you can take some typical ‘Instagram’ pictures. Or just enjoy it with your loved one. I just cannot get enough of these little bridges.

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sharron lynn parsons 1 week ago

I have often wondered what life is like living on the water !!!

#6

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

Girlfriend standing in the rain. All the reflection and water creates a magical atmosphere.

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Joel Lehman 1 week ago (edited)

wow... this is truly amazing!

#7

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

The foggy atmosphere during one afternoon enabled some unique photo opportunities. Here I did a long exposure to get a nice clean look to the image.

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Denise Mirto 1 week ago

gorgeous

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#8

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

Burano, a little village which you can reach by boat from Venice in about an hour is a must-visit if you like colorful houses. After the sunset, almost everybody left so I had this place for myself. A good example of what rain adds to the atmosphere. I enjoyed this little street.

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#9

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

You see these arches on a lot of narrow streets in Venice.

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Alexandru Bucur 1 week ago

Ah yes, I remember streets like this. One night I almost fell into a canal because the water was exactly level with the street and, in the dark, I didn't see a difference...

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#10

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

Plants in combination with the rain and colors of the houses create a fairytale-like atmosphere.

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Reginald Joseph 1 week ago

Beautiful--does the public have access to these courtyards, or are they private?

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#11

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

I just cannot get enough of these little bridges between the canals.

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sharron lynn parsons 1 week ago

Yes, I understand why !!!

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#12

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

An extremely foggy afternoon that gave some unique photo opportunities. The grand canal is pretty quiet in winter.

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Mer 1 week ago

It almost looks abandoned, like some sort of post-apocalyptic movie scene.

#13

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

A nice sky above the beautiful little Burano village that has these cute colorful houses. Because of the rain a lot of puddles formed on the boulevard, so I used them to get some reflection shots.

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Roy 1 week ago

Amazing ..... I just saved this as my Desktop wallpaper

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#14

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

Burano during the blue hour. Note that that tower is also not straight. This seems normal in Italy.

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Alexandru Bucur 1 week ago

Well, that particular tower (St Mark's Campanile) fell over once already, in 1902, and has been rebuilt, so...

#15

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

A good example of what rain adds to the atmosphere. I really liked the look of this little street with a single light that illuminates the door as if it's inviting to enter.

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Mer 1 week ago

Beautifully moody

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#16

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

A starry night in Venice. When I was walking on the famous Accademia bridge during the night, to my surprise I saw lots of stars. I took some shots and was surprised how much I could see and that the light pollution was fairly low.

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Mer 1 week ago

I like this picture but I'm not sure why - maybe it's because there's light in or around so many of the buildings (life) yet the stars still come out to play.

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#17

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

This foggy day created interesting light conditions on the little streets around the canals.

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pajd 1 week ago

Beautiful...... is that the Ghetto you are standing in?

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#18

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

The rain really gives life to these little squares. I have no idea why people are hanging out the laundry when it's raining though, I've noticed that a lot.

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Daria B 1 week ago

They probably just didn't check the weather forecast. Happens a lot.

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#19

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

An abstract shot of a colorful wall in Burano.

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pajd 1 week ago

Wonderful colours.

#20

Why You Should Visit Venice... In Winter!

Pick your favorite color and shoot. In Burano, there is a color for everyone.

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Susann Campbell 1 week ago

To bad our CCR's won't let us do this.

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