Are you thinking of visiting Venice in October?
This city has something to offer its visitors all year round and one of the best things to observe is how its beauty begins to unfold at the start of every season.
Despite the recent climatic changes, Autumn is certainly still one of the moments of the year that most vividly bring out the melancholic charm of Venice.
Venice in October is perfect for long walks, during which you can explore campi and sestieri (neighbourhoods), free from tourist swarms and the summer heat.
Whether you prefer to spend your time both outdoors or indoors visiting palaces, attractions and museums, October in Venice is the ideal time to discover the city.
Venice in October
In this guide, I will suggest a list of things to do in Venice in October and I’ll also tell you exactly why it is worth visiting the city during this pre-winter period.
Why Venice is worth visiting in October?
In October temperatures start dropping down to 15 °C but with the right clothing, you’ll be completely fine strolling around Venice and joining all the main events.
Despite the risk of encountering the ‘acqua alta’, Venice in October is fascinating and you can appreciate its beauty with less crowded streets and squares.
Let’s look at some reasons why October is worth visiting the Lagoon city:
That’s not all! In October you can visit splendid Venetian palaces, like the iconic Doge’s Palace and the marvellous treasure troves protected inside churches like the popular St. Mark’s Basilica without queuing at the entrance.
If you’re at all concerned about the mild weather or leaning towards other seasons, see my guide on the best time to go to Venice for more ideas on when to travel.
Venice in October weather
In Venice in October, temperatures range between 14 and 19 °C, and towards the end of the month can drop down even further.
One of the things Venice is most known for is the ‘acqua alta’ or high tide phenomenon. If you’re travelling in October it’s advisable to carry with you a pair of high boots or Wellingtons to protect your feet from the water.
You can check the high tide forecast from the Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree website. Just so you know, two of the most touristic areas of Venice are also the first ones subject to flooding: St. Mark’s Square and Rialto.
From mid September, in case of high tide, walkways get installed to allow people to walk around even in the affected locations of the city centre.
In any case, a comfortable pair of sneakers to walk around the city is the best choice for most visitors. Why not take a look at these Geox for Woman or these Geox for Men which are both offer high standards when it comes to comfort?
During this month, temperatures can change considerably throughout the day, so get ready to travel with a raincoat and get dressed in layers.
I usually suggest wearing a vest first, then a t-shirt and a jumper. This way, you can easily take some clothes off based on the temperature of the day. Finally, carry a small umbrella to have with you at all times since there’s a high chance of rain.
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Things to do in Venice in October
Now you know some of the reasons why Venice is a great autumn getaway, keep reading below to get to know the best events to join in Venice in October.
Halloween is not just an Anglo-Saxon festivity exported all over the world. All around Italy and in Venice there are ancient traditions connected to the Day of the Dead.
In the Lagoon city, it’s common practice carving pumpkins and displaying them on All Saints’ Eve, with a candle inside them. They are called ‘Suche dei morti’(pumpkins of the dead) or ‘Suca baruca’ (saint pumpkin).
Around Halloween time, it’s common practice to get or bake the ‘fave dei morti’ the days before the 2nd of November, when the dead people are commemorated.
They’re sweets of the size of a walnut and they come in 3 colours: white, pink and brown. Go to a bakery or pastry shop and get some while in Venice in October!
Venice is a city full of mysteries and ancient legends, some of them are scary too. On Halloween night you can join some of the best mystery guided tours or walking legends tours. This Legends and Ghosts of Cannaregio Tour is perfect to discover the city after dark whilst you learn some of the most obscure ghost stories.
If you’re planning to visit Doge’s Palace, with this Secret Itineraries of Doge’s Palace VIP Tour you can have access to some of the most hidden places of the palace like torture chambers and discover the best kept secrets of the past dukes.
Even if the Venetian masks are worn during the Carnival period, Halloween is another great occasion to show off the scariest ones in the streets of Venice!
You can create your own Venetian mask with paper mâché during the creative workshop. Learn the ancient techniques to create beautiful handmade masks and then, take it home with you as a souvenir.
Venice Fashion Week
The Venice Fashion Week takes place in the second half of the month, and it’s another great occasion to be in Venice in October.
It’s an event of culture and fashion promoted by Venezia da Vivere. Since the first edition, it has also become famous internationally and attracts fashion lovers interested in sustainable fashion, highlighting young and creative talents and promoting Italian fashion designers.
It’s still mainly committed to promoting high Venetian craftsmanship like the Burano lace, on the line to be part of the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
During this week, you can join conferences, fashion shows and events inside Venetian palaces and learn what’s new in the fashion scene.
The Venice Marathon usually takes place in October and starts from the Venetian hinterland, runs through the beautiful Veneto region and ends in St. Mark’s Square.
The first Venice Marathon was held in 1986 and the event happens every year, ever since. It attracts both amateur and professional athletes from all over the country and beyond to join the marathon that starts from 2 different locations.
The longer version starts from Villa Pisani in Strà, which is 25 kilometres away from Venice and the shorter version, from Parco San Giuliano in Mestre, just 10 kilometres away from Venice.
The marathon is either a competitive race for athletes registered with some sports federations or a recreational race open to everybody, young and old people alike. You visit the Venice Marathon official website to get more details and get registered.
Go to the Opera at La Fenice Theatre
In Venice in October the opera season at La Fenice theatre resumes, after the summer break. This opera theatre is one of the most prestigious in Italy together with La Scala in Milan and Teatro San Carlo in Naples.
The La Fenice theatre was inaugurated on the 16th of May 1792 and had a troubled history of fires. After each one of them underwent several restoration works. Its history explains why it’s been called ‘La Fenice’, as the theatre is like the phoenix that rises from its own ashes.
You can assist at some of the most famous opera masterpieces like La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi and the Orlando Furioso by Antonio Vivaldi. Be sure to check out this official calendar and book your ticket well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Going to see the opera is one of the most popular things to do in Venice and seat availability ends fast. Starting from October, if you’re particularly interested in opera, you can also go to La Fenice to the ballet and have the chance to see some of the most famous talented dancers in the world performing on this beautiful stage.
To learn more about the theatre, why don’t you get the entry ticket with audio guide during which you can walk around La Fenice, discover its history and closely admire the sumptuous details of the opera house?
Festa del Mosto in Sant’Erasmo
The Festa del Mosto (Festival of the Must) takes place on Sant’Erasmo island, located between Burano, Murano and Punta Sabbioni, the first Sunday in October.
This special island of the Venetian lagoon is also called ‘the garden of Venice’ for its fertile land, perfect to grow vegetables and fruits.
Following the celebration of the Holy Mass, the farm wagons are blessed and festively decorated. After that, there are some food and market stands where you can try local food and fresh seasonal products.
There are some Venetian rowing competitions you can attend, one of the most popular is the mixed regatta, in which crews are composed of man and woman.
There’s also some entertainment for families with children and the grapes pressing demonstration, to show all participants how wine is made.
You can get to the island of Sant’Erasmo by water bus line 13 from Fondamenta Nove stop, in Cannaregio or by water taxi from anywhere in the city.
Go for a peaceful walk in Murano and Burano
Autumn is also a great time to visit the lagoon islands and if you still don’t know which to visit, Murano and Burano should be right at the top of your list.
The reason why you should visit these two islands near Venice is because they are usually the most touristic ones during summer and in autumn you can visit them without the big crowds waiting to get the vaporetto and walking around the streets.
In Murano, you can visit glass making furnaces and local workshops to learn more about the ancient glass blowing technique. Burano is known for its colourful fishermen’s houses and lace making handed down from generation to generation.
If you want to take your time to visit one, or both islands, I recommend getting the water bus from Venice. Once there you can simply stroll around the quaint streets of Murano and Burano or you can learn more about their culture, history and traditions.
This glass blowing experience at the Gino Mazzuccato factory is perfect to observe how the most beautiful Murano glass artworks come to life in a local factory.
In Burano, you can watch a lace demonstration and explore the island and its history accompanied by a guide during this guided tour of Burano.
Taste the ‘moeche’ – the Venetian lagoon fried crabs!
One of the most unique Venetian dishes to try in Venice in October is the ‘moleche’. Also known as ‘moeche’ in Venetian dialect, this is a crab from the lagoon that in autumn and spring changes its moult and has a soft and edible shell.
The ‘moeche’ are caught in special wooden cages, then dipped in beaten egg and fried in oil. You can see the special crabs at the Rialto fish market, where the best chefs of the city head over early in the morning to pick the freshest ones. One crab costs around 8 euros and for a kilogram you can pay up to 70 euros!
So, where can you try the ‘moeche’ for a decent price? Together with other local fishes, seafood and crustaceans, the ‘moeche’ make an appearance in the ‘scartosso de pese frito’, one of the best Venetian street foods you must try.
Alternatively, you can taste the ‘moeche’ in some of the city’s best bacari like at the Bacareto da Lele, Cantina do Spade and at the Trattoria Al Gatto Nero in Burano.
Venice in October
Not only is Venice in October a fascinating and poetic connect with the culture. Since most of the tourist crowds have left the city with the end of the high season, you can finally enjoy walking around the calli and squares in peace.
Since the temperatures will have decreased and the weather is unpredictable, all you have to do is make sure to pack the right clothes and travel accessories.
Get ready to face the infamous ‘acqua alta’ with a nice pair of Wellingtons. If you don’t have some, you’ll be able to find suitable boots to wear while in Venice.
See my guide on what to wear in Venice and finally, if you have the chance, join the city’s events so you can delve more into the Venetian culture and heritage.
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