Welcome to this guide about visiting Venice in November that includes a list of unique events and things to do during this month.
I like to think that Venice in November is back in Venetians’ hands. Summer is just a thing of the past and as the crisp autumn air descends in the city’s streets, the city is divested of all the tourists that took over it for (too) many months.
From this moment on, the tourist’s influx drastically falls, allowing you to discover the quieter side of the city and visit popular attractions in peace.
Yes, the days do get shorter and the temperatures can drop below 10 °C, but with some perseverance, and the right clothing, you can keep walking around Venice.
Venice in November
Visiting Venice in November is the perfect time to take advantage of the indoor attractions such as museums and art galleries especially on the more severe days.
Then, as you’ll learn in this guide, there are walking tours you can do to discover the artistic heritage that lurks inside little-known churches and lavish palaces too.
So are you ready to discover Venice in November? Let’s go!
Why visit Venice in November?
If you’re wondering why Venice is worth visiting in November, let me help you unveil a few reasons why this is the perfect time to explore the Floating city.
Despite the colder temperatures, along with the fact that there is a good chance of meeting with the acqua alta during your stay, what makes Venice worth visiting?
If you’re still put off by the thought of cold weather or prefer other seasons, see my guide on the best time to visit to Venice for even more ideas on when to visit.
However, by this point, maybe you are somewhat convinced that travelling to Venice in November is not a bad idea. As I said, there are some unique things to do in Venice on top of the usual ‘unmissable landmarks’ that I’ll visit in the next section.
But before we do though, what about the actual weather forecast for Venice in November? Is it not all doom and gloom? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Venice in November weather
Temperatures range between 5 and 12 °C in Venice in November. The number of rainy days increases and you can expect to wake up in the morning and see a cloud of dramatic thick fog from your hotel room window.
In this period of the year, tides are higher, so there’s a good chance to come across the infamous ‘acqua alta’. If high tide is expected, it lasts only a couple of hours and it generally affects the lowest parts of the city, like St. Mark’s Square.
You’ll be able to still walk around the city and in the most affected areas by using the elevated walkways. It’s a good idea to carry a pair of rubber high boots, but if you can’t, no worries, you can buy them in one of the many shops in Venice.
When visiting Venice in November, you will want to aim to dress in layers and wear warm cotton or woollen clothes if you can. Carry a decent raincoat and always have a portable travel umbrella with you in your bag to protect you from the rain.
As usual, it’s important to wear a pair of comfortable shoes for wandering around the city, even better if they are waterproof. Check out these Geox for Women or these Geox for Men which are both offer high standards when it comes to comfort.
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Things to do in Venice in November
Now that you know late autumn is a good time to visit Venice, see this list of the best things to do and most important events happening in Venice in November.
Celebrate like a local All Saints’ Day
In Italy it’s called Ponte di Ognissanti (All Saint’s Bridge) and for Italian people, it’s nothing but a great opportunity to plan a city escape.
All Saint’s Day is a Catholic festivity dedicated to all saints and celebrated the 1st of November. Venice is a fantastic destination to visit on this occasion as you can cover the main attractions with a limited time.
Recently, I wrote a list of the best things to see and do with this 3 days in Venice itinerary which I suggest you read on the days leading up to your trip here.
November is much less touristy than July and August and even late spring, and if you feel inspired by the idea of uncovering unusual and little-known sides of the city, this event is the perfect time to do that.
The Halloween spirit is still in the air, so to stay in theme, why not join this unusual Secret Itineraries of Doge’s Palace VIP Tour while exploring the city?
If you’re more up for a guided walking tour where you can feel spooked, this Legends, Anecdotes and Ghost Stories Walking Tour will be perfect for you!
On this day, you can attend the All Saints mass in one of the numerous churches of the city and on the following day, head over the San Michele island and cemetery, for the All Soul’s Day commemoration.
Visit the San Michele island, the cemetery of Venice
November is the month dedicated to the dead, so you can visit the San Michele island and its Monumental Cemetery to admire the important artistic heritage and commemorate loved ones who have passed, if you like.
You can get to the island from Venice by vaporetto with the lines 4.1 and 4.2 that you can get from different locations around the city like Piazzale Roma, Santa Lucia railway station and St. Mark’s Square (which is one of the most popular points).
Here you can visit the beautiful Church of San Michele, the first example of Renaissance architecture in Venice, and the cemetery. In the XIX century, under Napoleon’s rule, it was decided to have Venice’s cemetery on this island, in order to avoid city burials in churches or other populated places.
The cemetery is divided into 3 areas, based on the religious creed: Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical. The cemetery is a tourist spot because here some important Italian and foreign celebrities are buried: Igor’ Fëdorovič Stravinskij, Christian Doppler, Ezra Pound and Sergey Djagilev, just to name a few.
Visit the city’s top attractions with no crowds
Visiting the popular landmarks in Venice in November is a different story when there are no long queues at the entrance and not mobbed by hoards of tourists.
Not only is it a less expensive time to visit Venice overall, but late autumn is a great time to slowly discover the inestimable historical and artistic value of this city.
For example, you can easily be one of the few people staring at the impressive opulence of the Chamber of the Great Council inside the Doge’s Palace and appreciate every detail feeling no rush to move one quick, so the next tourist can take your spot.
Stroll around the rest of the chambers and floors before heading towards the Bridge of Sighs that leads to the Prisons. When visiting the St. Mark’s Basilica, enjoy the peace while admiring the wonderful golden mosaics, the Pala d’Oro and the view from the Loggia dei Cavalli terrace of St. Mark’s Square.
During summer I’ve seen some of the longest queues outside St. Mark’s Campanile and to the disappointment of many tourists, some end up queuing for nothing.
In November, you can be reassured that you won’t find such long queues and if you’d love to see the city from above, make sure to add it to your itinerary.
From here, you can take in the sights of not only Venice but many islands of the Venetian lagoon. Since during this month you can find rainy or foggy days, it might not be possible to spot all the islands, but it’s still totally worth it.
Feel like a child again during the Festa di San Martino
Every year, the 11th of November the Feast of San Martino is celebrated. The cult of San Martino is an old religious tradition in Venice.
The church dedicated to him was founded as early as the 8th century, perhaps by refugees from the city of Ravenna, where devotion to this saint was deeply felt.
Today, the tradition is still alive and felt by Venetians, especially children. Children go down in the streets and armed with old pots, lids and cowbells, wander around the city’s streets, making a lot of noise and asking shopkeepers and passers-by for some change.
This is the old nursery rhyme in Venetian children recite:
San Martin xe ‘ndà in sofita
a trovar la so novissa.
So novissa no ghe gera,
San Martin xe cascà par tera.
el s’ha tacà un bołetin
cari signori, xe San Martin!”
For this special occasion, windows of pastry shops are filled with the typical dessert of San Martino, depicting the silhouette of the Saint on horseback.
The St. Martin’s cake is a large shortcrust pastry biscuit, garnished with colourful icings, sugar paste, sweets and chocolates.
Take part in the most awaited Festa della Salute celebrations
The Festa della Madonna della Salute is probably the most important religious event happening in Venice in November and celebrated the 21st of November.
The Catholic festivity dates back to the year 1630, when Venetians asked the Virgin Mary (Madonna) to end the horrific plague epidemic that decimated at least a quarter of the population of Venice.
At that time, the Senate of the Serenissima organised a procession and promised to build a church if the epidemic regressed.
The splendid baroque Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute is the second most important church in Venice and hosts large celebrations on this occasion.
You can expect to find many liturgical ceremonies and popular entertainment like food stalls outside the church. There is also a temporary wooden bridge crossing the Grand Canal and connecting Santa Maria del Giglio to Punta della Dogana.
This way, participants are going to easily reach the church on foot. Be aware that during this day, there’s a large influx of people making it difficult to move around this part of Venice.
Dive into art at the Biennale International Art Exhibition
Biennially in Venice in November the Biennale International Art Exhibition takes place, one of the world’s most important and prestigious contemporary art events.
The first Biennale dates back to the year 1895 and the city of Venice takes a lot of pride from organising it year after year. The exhibitions showcase artworks from the most talented and cutting-edge artists in the world.
The Venetian art event unfolds among the national pavilions in the Biennale Gardens, the Arsenale and the deconsecrated churches and palaces of the historic centre.
All the Biennale events usually end during this month. There are many collateral events you can take part in while the art Biennale exhibitions are on, and held in various locations around the city and the lagoon. You can check out the official Venice Biennale website to find out more about this event.
Go on a day trip to Milan or Verona by train
I have said it once and I will say it again, Venice is one of the best places in Italy to start your exploration of the rest of the country!
Normally, I’d suggest spending as many days as you can in Venice, but if you have time on your side, why don’t you get on a train and see what else there is inland?
There are untold places you can reach from Venice by train. From big cities, to small mediaeval towns in the heart of Veneto region or at the foothills of the Alps if you like the idea of spending time in one of the many sleepy picturesque lakeside villages.
Two cities you can cover with one or two days are Milan and Verona. You can get to Milano Centrale train station in 2 and a half hours and to Verona from Venice in 1 hour and 12 minutes by high-speed train Frecciarossa of Trenitalia or Italo.
Milan is a buzzing modern metropolis, and apart from visiting the Duomo and its stunning rooftop terraces, the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery and Sforzesco Castle, you can go shopping and visit internationally renowned museums such as the Museo del Novecento and the Pinacoteca di Brera.
Verona doesn’t need much presentation! It’s the City of Love (after Venice), famous for Shakespeare’s tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. While in Verona, you can visit the famous Roman amphitheatre also called Arena di Verona, Juliet’s house, Piazza Bra and Castelvecchio.
Venice in November
Now you have a good idea of what to expect from your visit to Venice in November.
Even though late autumn and winter don’t sound like good times to visit because the weather is cold and rainy, November is the perfect month to avoid the tourist crowds, find great hotel and flight deals and participate in unique events.
Make sure that you pack some warm clothing and the right travel accessories to protect you from the bad weather, and you’ll be more than ready to go!
If you’re planning your itinerary and not sure what to include, check out my popular guide covering the best things to do in Venice so you know what not to miss.
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