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Megan Jun 25th, 2001 11:23 AM

Venice in July
I have booked a trip to Venice in Mid-July, but since then I have heard terrible things about Venice at that time of year. Horror stories of a stinky, uncomfortably crowded city have put a damper on what were very excited plans about a trip to Italy. We will be in Rome for four days...should we change our second destination from Venice? Is it that bad in July?

Seamus Jun 25th, 2001 11:43 AM

Mega-<BR>You heard right - it will likely be crowded, quite hot and incredibly humid, with a very good chance of some nasty aromas drifting about - well, actually, just sort of hanging there in the torpid air in July. After all, the place IS built on a swamp! <BR>That said, if this is your only chance to see Venice, pick up some extra strength deodorant and press on. It's not a whole lot worse than Houston, Texas and certainly offers manifold more of interest.<BR> If you have the possibility of visiting Venice at some other time, then by all means consider Florence or the Tuscan countrysiude as an alternative

Paulo Jun 25th, 2001 01:10 PM

Megan, as Seamus points out, July isn't exactly the best time of year to enjoy Venice. Nevertheless, that's when we're normally able to take off and it has been the time of year when we most visited the city (6 times or more).<BR><BR>Relative to crowds, they're there just about all along the year (except for winter and excluding Christmas, New Year ans Carnival). What's worse in July (and even more so in August) is the "quality" of crowds. In summer months Venice is struck by an amazing number of daytrippers, specially youthy on vacations. The main sites are overrun by youth, also because they have entry fees at a discount. They also spend very little money on food (and lodging when this is the case). So, cheaper restaurants and hotels are normally completely crowded and even more expensive than, say, in Aprl/May or September/October. On the other hand, more expensive hotels may actually be cheaper during July/August. Quite a few restaurants are closed (specially around mid August) and this puts an extra burden on the restaurants that remain open in the period.<BR><BR>Canals may smell badly at times, but it's extremely rare. In more than a dozen visits to Venice I recall the canals smelling bad just once. The heat is unconfortable but manageable. Get a room with a/c and avoid strolling from about 1pm to 3pm. <BR><BR>Look it from the positive angle. In mid-July, things are better than mid-August in all respects. Also, the chances of rain are just about zero.<BR><BR>Paulo

Paule Jun 25th, 2001 01:12 PM

I was there twice, both times in July. The first time, the temps were in the 80's, warm, humid -- but quite tolerable (at least, compared to NYC). The 2nd time, it was cool and rainy. I found staying in the Dorsoduro area (at La Calcina)wonderful because you never felt the crowds there. The good thing about Venice is that it's easy to lose the crowds. If you stay around San Marco, yes, you will find it uncomfortable and crowded; but if you even walk a few minutes away from the popular tourist centers, you can easily find yourself alone. The nice thing about Venice is that it's great for strolling. <BR><BR>And I never did find it all that smelly, even in the middle of July. So don't go rescheduling that part of your trip; it is a wonderful place to be, and if you make an effort to get out of the mainstream, you'll really be surprised how easy it is to escape the crowds.

kmd Jun 25th, 2001 02:07 PM

Can someone please recommend what is the absolute best time of the year for visiting Venice. I do want to avoid the floods. Thanks.

Nancy Jun 25th, 2001 02:51 PM

For a Venice-lover the city is wonderful anytime of the year. It's just that some times are better than others. Be prepared for crowds and hot weather. But also be prepared to be blown away by the architecture, the glow of the light hitting the water, delicious seafood, friendly Venetians and not having to watch your back for cars, since there aren't any. The smelly canal situation is pretty rare. The Venetians are doing quite a good job at dredging their canals regularly.<BR><BR>If you want to have Venice all to yourself, I do have a tip. Get up early and see it from 7-8 in the morning. You'll be shocked at how different the city is. The pigeons aren't even up yet! We went to the Rialto around 8:30 and saw everyone setting up their stalls (and got great pictures). If you want some shopping/restaurant recommendations, feel free to e-mail me. Otherwise, enjoy your special time there. I'm sure you'll like it. <BR><BR>By the way, our Venetian friends say that the best time to visit is October. The crowds go down and the weather is cool, but not cold yet.<BR><BR><BR> <BR><BR>

joe Jun 25th, 2001 03:01 PM

The day trippers do clear out at the end of the day and the city is much less crowded. As Paule mentions above it's easy to get away from them by choosing different areas to stroll.If you walk from San Marco to the train station you will find yourself in the"real" Venice. Kids running in the little squares, old men playing cards,etc.

Seamus Jun 25th, 2001 06:00 PM

Please don't think this followup reply means I consider myself a Venice expert - I am not! - but late September/ early October was a very nice time to visit. We did manage to schedule around the time of a film festival, so hotel rates were not as discsounted as they might otherwise have been, but it was quite a jolly trip - far more enjoyable than when there in July, and certainly better than August!.

Betsy Jun 25th, 2001 06:11 PM

You have all of the info you need, but I still wanted to through my thoughts in. I was in Venice for the first time last July.It was ungodly hot, but that still didn't damper my awe at seeing the Grand Canal for the first time, (and I HATE HEAT!). It did not smell. The people are incredibly friendly and I had more fun with Venetians than the other wonderful Italians I met. The crowds melt away within 3 streets of major tourist areas. The best pictures of my entire trip were of Venice early in the morning when the canals are like glass. Have a/c at the hotel, dip into a/c shops throughout the day, nap in the afternoon and walk, walk, walk at night. At the end of your first night have a refreshing glass of proseco at a cafe on San Marcos square, it will be the most expensive drink of your trip, but you gotta do it once. If you decide to take a gondola ride, do it at night. Venice is magical, less crowded and cooler at night.

momrath Jun 26th, 2001 11:19 PM

the first an only time i have been in venice was smack in the middle of july and IT WAS WONDERFUL! i was never once affected by bad weather, bad odors, bad vibes or any negatives. elbowing over the bridge of sighs with several thousand of my fellow tourists was a bit bothersome (my husband called it the bridge of size 14's) but it was so easy to get off the beaten paths. hardly anyone but us was wandering around the canal equivalent of back streets. i'd highly recommend the hotel flora for its oasis-like garden and st mark's square early, early morning.

Sheila Jun 27th, 2001 05:58 AM

I went to Venice in 1999 the first week of June and the weather was beautiful. There were no smells that I noticed and the temperature was around 70 - 75 and cooler at night. We had one small shower in the 3 days we were there.

John Jun 27th, 2001 06:06 AM

You can't beat Venice in May, it is a wonderful time to visit. I would think October would be just as nice. The key is to go when the weather is expected to be good and the kids are in school.

dale Jun 27th, 2001 06:33 AM

i have experienced venice in july heat and in a february snowfall. it is the most beautiful place on earth at any time. forget the heat, smells and other trivia. enjoy.

Jennifer Jun 28th, 2001 01:06 AM

Same thing happened to us, Megan. We were going to go, then I heard these same horror stories. But, after a month of figuring out where else we wanted to spend the first three nights of our two-week trip, we booked it anyway. We'll be there July 18-20. And as for it not being much worse than Houston, I guess I need to get used to it anyway since I'm moving to Houston as soon as I get back from Italy!

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