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.