Visiting Venice in the winter months has a couple benefits even though the temperatures drop. A few reasons are that the airfares to Europe dramatically decrease, there are less tourists, and there are unique Italian holidays and activities to take advantage of!
San Martino Day – Watch children dress up and chant around the city on November 11th every year for the Patron Saint who helped the poor.
Festa della Salute – Celebrate the end of the plague in true Venetian fashion by going over to give thanks at the Salute Church.
Biennale Art Exhibit – International contemporary art exhibit that ends the last week of November (but begins in June every other year).
Ice Skating in Campo San Polo – From December 1 til mid-February, rent a pair of ice skates and get on the ice!
Enjoy the largest ice skating rink ever set up in Venice. It will be open to the public through Carnival season! There is a 450 square metre egg-shaped rink, surrounded by Christmas market stalls with local artisan crafts plus food and wine!
Opening hours: Mondays to Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm, Fridays from 3 pm to 9 pm, Saturdays from 11 am to 9 pm, and Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm. For more information, visit the official City of Venice’s website.
Christmas – Take in the city with its festive lights decorating the alleyways and Christmas markets in various campos selling mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and local goods. They are usually set up in Campo San Bartolomeo (Rialto), Strada Nuova and Campo S. Stefano from December 20-24th. Celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24th in true Venetian fashion by going to midnight mass at Basilica San Marco. They celebrate at midnight here and then enjoy more family time on the 25th.
New Year’s Eve – Ready to kiss your special someone at midnight? Head out to St. Mark’s square to enjoy the outdoor free concert and firework show glistening over the laguna!
Epiphany and La Befana – La Befana is the good witch that arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5th and fills stockings with toys and sweets for the good children and lumps of coal for the bad ones. In Venice it is celebrated with a regatta (a boat race) along the Grand Canal with men cross-dressed as witches on January 6th.
Carnevale – Enjoy the ten day festivities of historical races, shows, ballroom parties and amazing costumes as the city transforms itself.
As you can see, there is plenty to do and see during the winter months in Venice, so don’t wait for the crowds to rush back, go ahead and enjoy the city as the locals do!
Hey Rookies! Which is your favorite Winter Venetian holiday and why? Tell us.