Venice Reflected~

Oh Venice, you are so wonderful, and so overcrowded with tourists!


It is hard to fully appreciate you, amongst the hordes.


Avoiding the main tourist draws is the only way to be alone in Venice, and it is still quite a challenge to find quiet spots.


We were here in the first week in April and the crowds were significantly problematic. I can only imagine summertime.

I would recommend visiting Venice, if you want to, in the off-off season.


Several years ago we visited in winter and there were no crowds, even in Piazza San Marco. It is also much less expensive.

It is cold in winter, but so lovely to see Venice as she should be seen, in all her solitary glory, with locals who are actually happy to see you.

Cheers to you from amazing, but crowded Venice~

265 thoughts on “Venice Reflected~

  1. Gorgeous pictures!! We went few years ago in the late fall. Tourists weren’t too bad, but was surprised how easy it was to get turned around and lost there !

  2. I’ve been to and stayed in Venice before – what an amazing place! So many fond memories – having a coffee (very expensive one) in St. Mark’s square or Piazza San Marco listening to music, waking up one morning in the pension we stayed in and hearing a man singing in his best Opera voice and drinking freshly squeezed blood orange juice for breakfast! Thanks for posting this Cindy!

  3. Great photos, Cindy 🙂
    South Europe is cold in the winter, unless you are rich and can afford an insulated house or apartment. Mostly houses are not insulated and have only 1 skinny glass in the windows. This is good to protect against the sun in the hot summers, but very cold in the winters.

    • I loved Venice and Florence in winter. It was very cold. I bundled up, but our hotels were warm, and all the trattoria’s served hot drinks and mulled wine. In Florence we were the only ones in the Ufizzi. I am allergic to crowds though, so I am probably more reactive! 😉

  4. We were there a few years ago in October and it was still pretty crowded on the main streets and the Grand Canal, but beyond that it was fairly quiet. Why don’t people go exploring? Anyway good for us that they don’t so we could have the mostly empty back canals and streets to ourselves. Wonderful photos as usual.
    Alison

    • Even the back canals were sometimes inundated. I was surprised because the first week in April didn’t strike me as peak travel time. Rome and Paris are getting like this too. You are so correct, you have to stay out of the main touristed areas, and visit off season.

  5. Beautiful photographs, as always. I loved it there and would like to go back. I was told, while there, that they are going to make it a tourist attraction and people will no longer live there. I think that would be sad, but it’s very expensive, they said, and the tourists…can be a problem. But it’s a glorious place indeed.

    • Paris, Rome, even Florence get mobbed. Off season has such a different vibe. I can see why the Venetians are feeling resentful if there are plans to move them out of their city! Sad indeed.

    • Oh how fascinating for you! I will love to read about your experiences. Thank you for letting me know. I have really noticed a change in the main European tourist destinations in the last 15 years so I will love reading your post!

  6. Your photos are beautiful! Fortunately you were able to get some gorgeous photos without all those tourists in them. I appreciate your advice on the time to visit Venice, and will consider it for future years. I’d like to go some day, but I am especially not ‘into’ crowds. This walkabout through your photos was very peaceful for me, thank you. Aloha 🙂 Ka

    • Aloha to you and amen about crowds. They are other places in Italy that have incredible charm and very limited tourists. The off the beaten path places are often the best in my experience. Of course, Venice is so special, many people want to see it at least once.

  7. Cindy, I truly think I’d prefer seeing Venice through your camera lens! I’m not real big on crowds and the thought of getting around via boat makes me most uncomfortable. Thank you for sharing this lovely city with me!

    • Good. Then you can focus on all the other amazing places in the world that are less trafficked! Crowds are basically a deal breaker for me too.

  8. Hi Cindy,
    I did visit Venice in July 1991. It was not my first choice to travel in the summer, but it was better than not visiting. It was incredibly crowded, but still one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I was mesmerized upon arrival and even today, pictures of Venice spark a joy in my heart. You did a great job of focusing on quieter scenes here, much appreciated.

    ciao, Linda

    • What a lovely comment. This was the first time we left the city by water taxi to the airport and it was really something special. Usually we arrive and leave by train to our car. I am so happy you have these good memories! <3

  9. It must be problematic for local residents to cope with almost constant tourist invasion. With rising sea levels, I imagine that Venice will face future competition from other “watery” cities. Imagine New York as the Venice of the future.

    • Yes, I could imagine if I were Venetian feeling very frustrated about now. There are other cities with canals like Venice, Brugge which is also crowded, and Aveiro which is not. I can’t imagine NY as Venice. Venice was planned on the lagoon which is pretty amazing when you think of it. NY would grind to a halt, all the subways would flood, the streets would be impassable. People would have to move. Funny you should say this, my son and I just watched the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” which had much the scenario you mention.

  10. One of my favorite cities – so beautiful with all the watery reflections, architecture and history. And NO cars! I was lucky to first see it through the eyes of locals in 1980. Visited again in 2002 and what a change – I can imagine it has only worsened. I hear that few people actually live in Venice anymore. They commute in from the surrounding area. It’s a mere shell of its former glory.

  11. Awesome pictures, with all the reflections. 🙂 I guess it isn’t surprising about its popularity and overcrowding/tourism industry as it is shown to be known so much for the gondolas and romantic interludes according to advertising, movies, etc.? I have never been there, but read that it was featured in that way and is a huge draw. How is the terrorism warnings and security issues over there in European countries right now, particularly for Americans?

    • I am home at The Holler now for the next three months so I don’t know the current situation. While we were there, the incredibly impressive carabinieri, military and civilian police, found and arrested a terrorist cell somehow involved with the London attackers. I have seen the carabinieri in action before, and I am very impressed with them, and feel as confident as one can when they are around. We are at risk at home of course also, so the feeling of being protected if you stay home is most probably illusory.

      • Yes. One has to be diligent wherever they go and traveling abroad for sure. Our security issues at DIA (Denver’s International Airport) is so tight, and I am always on the end of having to go through a complete screening with a ‘pat down’ due to my knee replacements that that sounds off. 🙁

  12. I love Venice and have been a number of times. I thought tourist numbers were being limited because of the subsidence issues.

    Fantastic photos, though! Hard to do with the crowds. 🙂

    • Thank you Lynette. Numbers are definitely not being effectively limited. They should be. It is a problem I have observed in other major European tourist destinations.

    • This is a perfect solution for you then. I love Italy in the winter. You could go to both Florence and Venice, they are so close. You will have space, no crowds, we were in the Uffizi by ourselves. The prices are much lower and your trip will cost much less. There is light snow on the ground, trattoria’s serve hot spiced wine and hot drinks. The people are much friendlier and interested in you. You have to bundle, but I love Italy in the winter, especially places like Venice and Florence.

  13. Beautiful pictures, Cindy. I immediately wondered where the ‘hordes’ were, but you explained it. I would NEVER consider going there in the summer. I would think late October would be a great time!

  14. Cindy, your photos are always stunning, but your choice of images and your comments convey a human sensibility that is equally admirable. Thank you for your vision, your skill and your good heart.

    • Oh my goodness. You touched my heart with such a lovely and thoughtful comment. I am so very fortunate to be part of this community of creative, caring, and talented bloggers. Thank you for your kindness.

  15. As always, beautiful photographs. Your timing has to be perfect, not just because of the crowds, but to catch still waters with the reflections. (I have never seen a picture of someone swimming in that water and think I know why. I will write no more about the matter.)

  16. To look at your photos one would think Venice is deserted! Superb shots – I especially loved the first one. And once again off to see the DDs 😀

    • I worked at getting shots with no people. I should have included one with the massive amount of boat congestion in The Grand Canal! Enjoy the DD’s~

  17. So VEry NICE, my friend! *̥̻̥̻̥͙*̻̥̻̥͙*̥̻̥͙*̻̥͙*̥͙ ꒰ ˆ ॢ꒵ ॢˆ꒱♡*̻͙*̥̻͙*̻̥̻͙*̥̻̥̻͙*̻̥̻̥̻͙

  18. Judging from your description of the more touristy traveling season, it’s a miracle you captured images of Venice that resonate with the way most people dream of experiencing the canals! Not supposed to be a game of “bumper boats” right? Thanks for these relaxing images! 🙂

    • Laughing. Exactly. And I do have some photos of bumper boat traffic. The Grand Canal often seems like utter boat chaos. Amazing they don’t collide more often!

  19. Just know a bit about Venice from Shakespeare’s play, Merchant of Venice back in my school days.
    Made me a wee bit nostalgic.🙄
    A nice jog down memory lanes.

  20. Went there long ago with our children. They mostly liked the pigeons. I liked everything. Consequently I didn’t see as well as you and your camera did. Great images!

    • I remember being fascinated by pigeons as a kid. Still it probably made you wonder if they would have been better off at the local park, however, Piazza San Marcos does have the world’s best collection of very friendly pigeons and I be they have great memories of them!

  21. Beautiful photos Cindy. We last visited Venice over xmas eve and attended mass at Piazza San Marco with the locals. It was cold and the square flooded due to all the rain, so there were raised makeshift boardwalks arpund the square. It was simply put, stunning!

    • I can just imagine. I was there with there with the flooding and the boardwalks too, but in January. I wonder if it was the same year. They were very worried about it. Christmas in Venice must be pure magic with the Christmas Markets and the whole communal festive feel. What wonderful memories you must have~

  22. Superb photos, Cindy. And although Venice is really crowded, you managed to make those photos as if there were no people, which is fantastic for giving us those clean views of the city. I’m gonna be there in October…

    • Oh how wonderful. I think, hopefully the crowds will be thinner then. People are saying so here. We were infringing on the Italian Easter break period, which we should have learned by now not to do.

      • Yes, it was great fun but busy for me with four festival days in Venice, then back to Scandinavia for two days before jetting off to South America. The crowds were okay since I was in costume the entire time and posing for photographers and together with tourists, but back and forth over so many bridges and constantly getting lost was an experience. However, if I lived in Venice I would probably resent the hordes of tourists (like many of the people who live in Barcelona) unless – of course – I was dependent on the income from tourism. But Venice is enchanting. By the way, I have a new book coming out soon. Would you be interested in reviewing it? It is an alternative biography about Albert Russo.

  23. I love tourism. Tourists are us. They/we are a HUGE boost to the economies of Ireland, N. Ireland, and Scotland, my latest visits. The downside is that we tourists are EVERYWHERE. It boggles the mind. ‘It’s really crowded’ was a common sentiment for me and others on my tour. One must definitely get creative to find some peace and quiet. Thanks for doing that in these photos! 🙂

    • This is what I have learned in lots of travel too. There are certain places that everyone and their sister wants to go too, and these places are mobbed, which detracts from the experience in my opinion, and then oddly, there are other equally charming places, that no one goes too, or seems to know about, and travel there is usually less expensive and often better.

  24. As always stunning Cindy and you can feel the romance oozing from every crack in the ancient walls..I hear that it can be crowded but there is nothing more exciting than sitting in one of the squares with coffee watching the world go by. thank you for such wonderful images.. putting in the Blogger Daily to share.. hugs xx

  25. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 8th May 2017 -Debby Gies, Cindy Knoke, John Fioravanti and Haddon Musings | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

    • Yes, thankfully I have been to the big European draws before this crowding onslaught started and brought my kids to most to them too. The Vatican Museum is impossible now, so is Notre Dam.

  26. Oh, how beautiful these photos are Cindy. The vibrancy is unreal. I was there many moons ago, time for another visit I think – on the ‘off off’ season, lol. 🙂

  27. You have managed to capture Venice beautifully! I see Venice, not crowds of people.
    LOL!! Visiting in the off season sounds like great advice. I’m from the prairies, and I hate feeling crowded.
    Thank you, Cindy!

    • Some people go to huge concert venues and love it. I do not, so crowds displease me more then they might someone else. If I want crowds like this, I’ll go to Disneyland! Venice is splendid for non-crowd lovers off season though.

  28. We will be there the second week of Sept. and hope the heavy crowds will be gone! Such beautiful photos, Cindy. They make me even more anxious to see it with my own eyes.

    • Oh how exciting! We were there in early April bumping into Easter vacation time for Europeans. You have to see Venice, so I am very glad you are going. I think the crowds will be eased and you can definitely see the big sights and then move away from The Grand Canal and see all the nooks and crannies. Be sure to go to the fish market and Burano, not just Murano. Burano is a quiet island in the lagoon with gaily painted buildings. Explore the back canals. Check out the Scuolo Grande Di San Rocco. Very few people go here and it is spectacular. If you have time take the train to Firenze and go see Palladio’s houses. You will love Venice and I hope to hear about your trip!

  29. I have so enjoyed your travel photos, Cindy. They’re absolutely exquisite, and they always make my day. Thank you for sharing a bit of your soul with us, dear friend ❤

  30. Cindy, I’m sold!! 😀 I’ve never seen Venice in such harmonious beauty before, the photographs capture a serenity and depth of colour which is almost magical. Having read about the crowds we’ve been cautious to visit but thank you for your great suggestion to go out of the main tourist season – this is on my list! I hope you had a good break in April! 😀

  31. Venice is on my bucket list! And I will remember to go in the winter, the off-off season! I prefer the cold from the comfort aspect. But miss the flowers and colors of the warmer seasons. Venice has always held a fascination for me…may do a bit of internet research on the area and history. Thanks once again for the amazing pictures!

    • Just replace the flower imagery with images of warm trattoria’s serving hot chocolate, hot spiced wine, empty plazas, hot hand rolled pizzas, and sitting by the fireplace with a glass of Prosecco! Imagine cathedrals with no crowds, and the Rialto Bridge with room to breathe!

  32. I visited Venice long ago. This beautifully illustrated post brings back the quiet joy of admiring narrow canals flanked by interesting buildings that are homes, not tourist attractions.

    At least in 1975, September was a good month to be in Venice. Off-peak airfares; thinned out crowds; nice weather. Still have not gotten around to scanning my analog slides into the computer, but your photos are better anyway.

    • I was in Europe in ’74 when I was in high school and remember it just as you describe. Things have definitely changed since then from a crowding perspective. This is also the case in Rome, Paris, Florence and popular draws like Avignon, Brugge and Cinque Terre.

  33. I love Venice, we got lost and found some beautiful quiet areas. The first two weeks in April are now the UK school holidays so main holiday weeks. I’ve read Venice residents want to stop so many visitors and cruise boats, it’s getting harmed by its beauty.

    • Yes, it is Italian and apparently French vacation time too. We have run into this before at the same time period. And yes to the residents wanting some breathing room. I can so understand how they feel. Poor Venice needs some respite!

  34. Cindy… I loved this post but now I am getting every comment anyone else makes in my emails. Help! How can I stop this flood of responses to your post on Venice?

    • Oh, you go to your dashboard, find my post, and unclick notify me of comments on this post. Somehow you clicked on getting notifications of comments regarding this post. So sorry. I hate when that happens!

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  36. Such amazing photos Cindy– a whole new look a Venice through the reflections!! And in spite of the crowds, you managed to photos of peace and calm without all those people!! You are really giving me the itch to travel!! Loved your whole trip! xox

    • Go to YOUR wordpress dashboard. It doesn’t have anything with my site. When you were visiting my post you inadvertantly clicked notify me of all comments. It is so easy and so terrible to do. I have done it several times and know how bad it is. You go to your admin page or dashboard and click on blogs you follow, find my blog, and check notifications, unclick notify me of all comments. Hopefully you only are being notified from this one post, and the comments will subside as they naturally are, but still it is so annoying.
      If this is too hard to follow. Do this. Unfollow me. Wait a day or two. Follow me back again. It will devolve to the normal non-notification setting you have for all the blogs you follow and this annoyance will end. I like this solution best!
      You are quite remarkable in that you can do all this.

  37. I have always wanted to see Venice but have been warned about the crowds as I am horrifically claustrophobic. I do not mind cold at all so if I can make it there, winter it is! Cindy these are awesome photographs. They portray that quiet and tranquility you were mentioning.

    • Hi Lydia. Venice has quite a lot of narrow winding walkways with buildings on each side,that one often gets lost in. I would not recommend Venice for someone who is dealing with severe claustrophobia in any season. You might have a lot of fun in places with wide open spaces like the American West, maybe Big Sky country in Montana, or the open plains of Africa, deserts in the spring, places that hold you in the vast embrace of the spaciousness of nature. I am sorry you have to deal with this. <3

      • Cindy, I have seen so many pictures and shows with videos of Venice. I have always wanted to go there and I guess I never associated those narrow streets as problematic. But now I do. I think I will stick to my Alaskan cruises and local trips. I lived in Saskatchewan so visited Montana and Idaho a lot. Loved it in both states. The other problem is flying. I am okay on short flights with an aisle seat or window if there is only one person beside me. But the long flights to Europe would be problematic. Yes, this is a horrid thing to live with (Did you read my post today?) I guess I will continue to enjoy travelling through your lens!

        • I think you nailed a potential key to happiness, focusing on finding the beauty within the parameters of your life. It sounds like you are doing that and I salute you for it. And yes, gorgeous Alaska certainly offers beauty exponentially. If you like cruising, transatlantic’s give you an incredible perception of the vastness of the oceans and a way to get to Europe without the awful flights.

  38. It look quiet through your photos. The reflections are so beautiful and clear!
    We were there in the early 2000, I thought it was unbearably crowded. 🙂

  39. Ya veo que te gusta la vieja Europa y que la visitas a menudo, así que deseo que estés disfrutando de tus paseos. Muchos besos, amiga <3

  40. Beautiful pics. You are so lucky that gave visited such a beautiful place. It’s on my bucket list to visit Italy and a few cities there. I’ll remember about the crowds. Summer may be cheaper but I’m told the heat is pretty unbearable.

  41. Always love Venice … and I agree – go where the crowds aren’t!. Rick Steves’ guide book gave us a wonderful walk from St. Marks to Rialto Bridge … very quite …. We also found quiet time in Dorsoduro.

    • I do not know why my comment above was Anonymous. Another mystery to add to my list…Just wanted to add that I am enjoying your beautiful posts very much. Such beauty and we so badly need it.

      • The endless mysteries of WP glitches! I am not fazed by them anymore. Thank you for such lovely sentiments and it is such a pleasure to meet you. You are right, we need peace, tranquility and beauty very badly in the world now. Hugs to you~ <3

  42. Hi Cindy, Nice photos of Venice.
    Have not seen you post for some time and wondered if you were ok. Then I looked to see if something had gone wrong on my end.

    It did.

    Somehow my reader status got changed so that I was not automatically receiving your posts. Noticed it yesterday when I saw your post on Facebook but not on WordPress.

    My apologies.
    Wally

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