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Crowds in Venice in March?

Old Mar 12th, 2017, 01:17 PM
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Crowds in Venice in March?

I'm headed to Venice next week. I've been multiple times but always in summer. Last summer the crowds were truly horrid. So I decided to see what it was like in March. Was wondering what your take on the crowds is and what to expect.

I have a lot of conflicting info - for example lots of stuff I've read says Venice is crowded year round but for example, the option to pay to skip the line to St Marks doesn't start till April 1st. And I have two friends who have been there in the last two years with opposite impressions. Both well traveled, though neither had been to Venice. One was there 3rd week in March, the other the first week in April. The one who went in March though the crowds were 'impressive', the one that went in April said it was 'delightfully uncrowded'.

Originally planned to go solo but now a friend is coming with me who has never been to Italy at all and I want her to have a good time so need to do a little planning. Do we need to reserve tickets to things like the Doges Palace in advance?
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Old Mar 12th, 2017, 01:40 PM
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We were there for a week over Christmas. It was nose-to-nose, jowl-to-jowl, and that was during a period when the huge cruise ships that disgorge thousands of passengers a day weren't running. I guess I would expect it to be a bit better in March, because it's not holiday season (except maybe over Easter, and I don't even know when Easter is this year), but it was pretty unnerving until you got far away from San Marco. The worst thing was the bridges. There were literally at least dozens, sometimes hundreds, of young people with selfie-sticks standing on the steps and on top of the small bridges blocking the way of us normal people who just wanted to get up and over them, with absolutely no consideration of other visitors. Same thing on the quais where you wait for the vaporetti. It was a constant struggle just to MOVE.

We had a great visit, but I don't think I'll ever go back to Venice, much as I love it. I've been half a dozen times, thankfully with fewer issues than we encountered last December, but I just don't need that kind of hassle. When I think back to 1978 when I first set foot in Venice, the contrast is alarmingly negative. But if you've never been, go while you can. Me? I'm choosing other venues where gangs of selfie-stick, selfish tourists don't congregate. Places that are not that hard to find, even in today's world. Venice? I'm glad I knew ye...........
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Old Mar 12th, 2017, 02:26 PM
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I'm returning to Venice on March 25 for a week--love it in March. I've visited in March a number of times, and enjoy it for its post-Carnevale lull. Certainly there are crowds in Piazza San Marco and environs, but not in the extreme, and I've found significantly less people elsewhere.

Having visited in March in 2011, 2012 and 2013, when I returned in 2015 in May there were much greater crowds--much more uncomfortable. I vowed to return next time in March.
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Old Mar 12th, 2017, 02:37 PM
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My first visit was in March since we had been on a ski trip in Cortina. Cool and a little damp, did not need hats or gloves. This was back in 1996 and it was uncrowded. Piazza san marco and the Rialto Bridge were a bit busy, but other than that it was wonderful!
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 03:47 AM
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Easter this year is April 16th. The week after Easter is usually a very busy period, since Easter Monday is a national holiday, and because schools often have their spring holiday that week.

I wouldn't expect big crowds in March, unless Easter falls in March. The earliest Easter can be is March 22nd, but that rarely happens. In 2008, Easter was on the 23rd, and that was the first time in a century it had been so early.

Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. If the first spring full moon is on on the 21st of March (the very first day of spring) and if the 21st is a Saturday, then Easter would be the next day, the 22nd. This happens very rarely. The last time was about 200 years ago.

The latest Easter can be is the 25th of April. In this case, the first full moon of spring could be any day between the 18th and the 26th of April, so it happens a lot more often.
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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StCirq - wow, sounds worse than July.

I'll be there next weekend so nowhere near Easter.

Well it can't be any worse than July and I loved it then so here's hoping.
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