When we visited Venice in November – just for a couple of days to show it to my family – we really had a chance to enjoy a moody Venice.
The weather was the complete opposite of what we experienced during our April trip to Venice! It was overcast, foggy, and rainy – perfect for really figuring out what is and isn’t possible to do!
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First evening in Venice in November
Since we came to Venice from the Dolomites, we arrived in the very evening. So straight after checking in at our hotel, it was dinner time!
And then one of the most notable things to do in Venice – a spritz on the side of the Canal Grande. And it doesn’t matter that it was dark and foggy so you couldn’t exactly see anything!
After the drink, we returned to our hotel – over the Rialto bridge…
And, of course, San Marco’s Square. Where it wasn’t really possible to see anything, haha.
2nd day in Venice – morning
Our second day in Venice in November was basically our only full day there. And it started with a full-on rain shower. Yay us!
So we really had to figure out what we’d want to do there. We decided to wait it out a bit – until just after 10am, actually. And just as I said in my Venice in rain article, it’s a good idea to stay covered – so we went for the full tour of the Basilica San Marco and the Duke’s palace!
But first, teasing some pigeons on San Marco’s square. As you can see, there’s no food in my dad’s hand – it’s illegal to feed the pigeons in Venice.
And then on to tour the castle and the basilica.
We got to see the rooms at Palazzo Ducale, I just don’t have any pictures saved.
It looks incredible inside, though. You can see artworks by artistic masters Tintoretto and Veronese, too.
After the Palace, we continued on to the prison. On the tour, you get to walk through the hallways and it’s even allowed to enter some of the cells. Makes for funny pictures!
And you can even visit the prison’s courtyard!
It’s really interesting to see, really. And by the way, to reach the prison from the Duke’s palace, you actually cross the Ponte dei Sospiri! The name of the bridge – Bridge of Sighs – actually comes from the prisoners sighing when crossing it – and seeing Venice for the last time in a long time.
2nd day Venice in November – afternoon
As you can see, you can easily spend half a day just exploring the wonders of San Marco’s Square. Because of the weather, we just managed the Basilica, Palace, and prison, but there are so many more things to see and do.
After lunch, we did a thing that many people don’t think can be done in Venice in November – we went for a gondola ride!
It was quite cold, really. But that’s a foggy Venice in November for you!
First, we went to the Grand Canal. We got to see bigger and smaller gondolas pass by, as well as the San Marco’s Bell Tower from the water level.
And, of course, the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Salute.
The water was rather bumpy for my liking. But still, I thoroughly enjoyed the views!
Afterwards, we moved on to the smaller canals in San Marco.
On a gondola ride, you can even see some small mussels on the buildings. We were laughing that those would be our dinner tonight, haha.
Floating right next to the old buildings and under the bridges is quite incredible. I think going on a gondola ride should definitely be on everyone’s Venice bucket list, no matter when they visit.
After the gondola ride, we went on to explore Venice.
Since our hotel was right next to San Marco’s Square, that was a stop, too! And Piazza San Marco is definitely a place to visit again and again. There are just so many things to find – impossible in only one short visit.
Of course, teasing the pigeons a bit is a must.
But from San Marco’s square, we continued on, obviously. Fondamenta S. Cristoforo is right next to the La Fenice Theatre. It’s quite interesting!
Just roaming the streets of Venice is one of my favourite things to do. It doesn’t matter which district, each has its own charm: Dorsoduro is more student-y, Castello has more of the local charm, and San Polo and San Marco are more polished. But all of them – gorgeous in their own ways.
And we went all the way to the piers on the Grand Canal.
These are all the way around the Grand Canal, really, but some of the best spots are just by Palazzo Grimani and Calle del Traghetto Vecchio by the St Regis Hotel. Palazzo Grimani piers offer an incredible view of the Rialto bridge, by the way.
This particular picture, though, was taken from a pier on Fondamenta del Traghetto S. Maurizio. It’s got a great view, as you can see! And the white building with the mossy roof on the other side is actually the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
After exploring some more of the smaller Calle, our goal was to reach the Accademia bridge. Unlike the previous evening when we basically couldn’t see anything from the Ponte di Rialto, this time we got a view of the Santa Maria delle Salute church. Although the lagoon – or the sunset – still was hidden by the fog.
Then we roamed through the neighbourhood of Dorsoduro for a bit. The moody picture just above was taken from the Ponte de Ca’ Balà on Fondamenta Zattere Ai Saloni – the canal is called Rio de la Fornace. It’s on the other side of Dorsoduro from San Marco, and you can get a good view of Giudecca and San Giorgio Maggiore islands from here!
It’s interesting how much you can see from the Fondamenta – even in fog. The Giudecca neighbourhood seems quite close!
But our goal that evening was to reach the Punta della Dogana – the museum that is housed in the Dogana da Mar. It’s actually one of Venice’s old customs buildings.
That’s the area where the Giudecca Canal reaches the Grand Canal. The view is quite incredible – you can pretty much see everything.
After the dinner and a bit of rest in the hotel, we decided to visit the Piazza San Marco for the last time – you know, when it’s dark.
So, about visiting Venice in November…
As you see, November in Venice is not so bad! Yes, it can be overcast, foggy, and cold, as it was in our case. But you can get lucky and have nice and sunny days.
Visiting Venice was my parents’ dream for quite some time, and I’m so happy I got to fulfil it. Even if it was for just a day.
I love Venice and actually can’t wait when I’ll be able to visit again.