Visiting Venice in November is a great idea if you want to spend less money and enjoy seeing sites in Venice during a season that is much less crowded. Even though Venice never becomes totally empty of visitors, the month of November is one of the lowest seasons for travel, when lodging prices go down, and there are not too many events. Yet there are still many great things to do, and above all November offers a chance to experience more tranquil local life in the city! Here are our top local tips for visiting Venice in November:
1. Pack warm clothes and be prepared for rain and high water (Acqua Alta)
Oh yes, November is usually the most rainy and foggy month of the year, which is probably why it’s also low season in Venice. During November, the phenomenon of high tide (acqua alta) also occurs when the extreme tides of the Adriatic Sea, common this season, flood the streets and squares of Venice. But worry not! Residents and the city are always prepared for the acqua alta. We recommend that you bring warm clothes, an umbrella or poncho, and then you can buy or borrow the rubber boots (wellies) that Venetians use during the high water when you are here. Small b&b’s or apartment hosts will often kindly provide guests with boots, and the city distributes elevated platforms for walking and alerts the town with a loud warning noise when the tide waters are rising.
2. Don’t miss the Architecture Biennale before it ends
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2018 will finish on 25th November. Visiting the Venice Biennale during its final weeks of the year is a great time to see the exhibition as there will be almost nobody there but the architecture and pavilions are still beautiful.
3. Visit the Madonna della Salute church during the festival on November 21
The Madonna della Salute Festival is a significant event for local Venetians that occurs every year in Venice on November 21st. This festival celebrates the end of the plague in 1631. At that time the Republic of Venice decided to build the church of Madonna della Salute to commemorate the end of the tragic plague, and every year since that time, for one week pilgrims visit the church to give thanks. During the festival, over 100,000 people process across the Grand Canal on bridges of boats carrying candles to present in honor of the Madonna at the church. Visitors can buy a candle just outside the church and light it in the church: it is said that this will bring you good health for all the year. During the festival, the church is surrounded by candy and food stands as well as the beautiful mobile bridge, made of boats, that crosses the Grand Cana
4. Visit museums and art galleries
Because of the cold and very likely rainy weather, visiting a museum or an art gallery is often the best activity available to visitors in November. Fortunately there are some interesting shows going on this year, here our choices:
The Exhibition of Tintoretto at Palazzo Ducale (September 7, 2018 – January 6, 2018) which is the biggest shows about the famous Venetian Renaissance painter Jacopo Tintoretto. There is also a great Willy Ronis photo exhibit at Galleria Tre Oci in Giudecca: the most complete retrospective of the famous Parisian mid-20th-century photographers’ pictures from between 1934 and 1998. The exhibition Dancing with Myself at Punta della Dogana featuring a selection of curated mixed media works from the Pinault Collection and the Folkwang Museum in Essen on the themes of the artist’s role as actor and creator of his/her own works. Be sure to book for the free guided tour of the exhibition set for 3 pm every Saturday if you can.
5. Eat the San Martino cake on Festa di San Martino
Festa di San Martino, celebrated on November 11, is basically a Venetian Halloween, when all of the local children take pots and pans and other noisy instruments and go around from shop to shop, singing a typical song, and asking for candies or coins. The festival is held in honor of St.Martin and if you are lucky enough to be in Venice from the week before onwards you will find also the typical sweet cake that is prepared for the celebration: a delicious cake made of cookies with candies and chocolates in the shape of St. Martin on his horse with his sword.
The Prontopia Locals love going to events in Venice and sharing precious memories about their favorite traditions. Book help getting where you need to go in Venice – for your arrival, departure, or during your trip – from a friendly local using the Prontopia app, and learn about events going on in the city (or where to get rubber boots;) along the way!