Friday, May 6, 2016

Night Falls on Venice

St. Mark's Square under an indigo sky at night

Venice at night is a different creature than the one you'll encounter in broad daylight. While the sun is high in the sky, people are on a mission to squeeze in all there is to see. For many of the tourists, they only have a few hours in this glorious city. Hordes of people queue up at the entrances of St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Campanile. Tour guides lead their people through St. Mark's square from one sight to another while waving their tiny flags in the air.

As the sun starts to go down, the historical buildings close their doors, and the daytrippers take their leave. The mood changes. People start to relax and slow down. There's time to explore at your leisure instead of checking things off the To See List. Time to get lost. Time to just stop and watch.

Everyone has time to watch a World Cup game while standing in the walkway --
except for the lady at the bottom left in blue. She's window shopping.

I didn't think it was possible, but Venice became even more enchanting. The sky starts turning a deep indigo color. The lights come on and highlight little alcoves along the waterways.

Gondola rides cost more at night, but I think it's worth it for the extra romance.
(I wouldn't know though since hubby and I had the 3 kids along.)

While I didn't "take time to smell the roses" during the daylight hours, I eased up enough to take time to stare in store windows as the day started coming to an end. I really wished I could have bought a little something to bring home -- even a piece of marzipan -- but our luggage was stuffed with items to get us through our across-the-world move.

Don't be alarmed by the fish near the fruit. It's all made of marzipan.

Music wafted through the air as we took a postprandial stroll into St. Mark's Square. A few hours earlier, I would have walked right by the musicians, intent upon having enough time in St. Mark's Basilica or the Doge's Palace. But now, I stopped in front of them and took it all in, letting the melody wash over me.

St. Mark's Square, Venice
A five piece combo entertains outside Gran Caffe Ristorante Quadri  

In the center of the square, a rowdy group of revelers were whooping it up and having a good time. They hooked arms and danced around. They lined up across from each other, joining hands up in the air to make a tunnel and took turns running through, allowing other tourists to join in the fun. And, oh yeah, they were dressed like pirates and sheikhs. It wasn't quite the masked elegance of Carnival, but it was still amusing to watch.

The rowdy revelers pause for a group photo.

Streetlights glowed across the front of the Doge's Palace, and the crowd was a small fraction of what it had been earlier in the day.

The front of the Doge's Palace at night.

If you're imagining my children politely following me around equally enraptured by this grand city at night, then you don't know them very well. As soon as I decided to spend the night in Venice proper, I started plotting the best way to make them cooperate. The key is gelato.

Gelato is a good bribe.

The night drew to a close, and we walked back to our Venetian apartment overlooking a canal and San Giorgio de Greci church. The little alleyways and bridges were quiet. In one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, we seemed to have this city all to ourselves. That's the magic that happens when night falls on Venice.

View of San Giorgio dei Greci church from our apartment window at twilight.

It’s Your Turn, Link Up Your Newest Travel Inspiration

I've joined up as one of the co-hosts of Weekend Travel Inspiration.
  1. Link one of your inspirational travel photos or stories to this post by adding your info.
  2. Copy and paste our badge and a link to this page.
  3. Visit some of the other wonderful travel bloggers, read their posts, and leave a comment.  It would be great if you could comment on 2-3 posts.
  4. Tweet it and include this hashtag. #wkendtravelinspiration .
  5. Follow all the hosts of Weekend Travel Inspiration who are working hard to spread the word on what wonderful work travel bloggers are doing.
  6. Don’t forget to check out my amazing co-hosts and their pages: Reflections EnrouteThe Crowded PlanetContentedTravellerAlbom AdventuresSafari 254, and FamiliesGo.

I've also joined with the following linkups. Check them out for more around-the-world travel inspiration.


  1. Indigo skies at night is one of my favourite things about Europe. Although Australia has beautiful skies, I've never seen that same colour here and the lights always look gold against it. Needless to say I think your first photo of St. Mark's square is stunning. I have great memories of Venice from 40 years ago, but am afraid to return in case I am disappointed by the crowds. I think we will do it one day though. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. great photos! Venice is a looker, I've been several times!:)

  3. I like Venice once the daytrippers disappear/...

  4. contented travellerMay 6, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    Just gorgeous at night time. Venice is made for the night.

  5. Lyn - A Hole in my ShoeMay 7, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    Venice is stunning by day, I never thought it could get be even more beautiful until night fell. We were only there a few short nights, but made sure we were out and about each evening soaking up the views. Thanks for linking with #TheWeeklyPostcard

  6. Wasn't Venice just dreamy! I'd love to go back with my fiancé and take a little bit more time to explore. There was so much I didn't know about my first time! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  7. We enjoyed Venice by night a lot the last time I was there, especially as it was with friends and no kids :-) First time found it too hot and crowded in August with the family. Beautiful city! thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard

  8. Oh Venice! I really enjoyed my time in Venice last year (first time!) and we spent four days in the city which was very nice to have plenty of time to wander around. Night time is great, although I think early morning around sunrise is actually nicer (and quieter)!

  9. Before kids my husband and i spent a fun evening from wandering from one small wine bar to another, trying the wine and ciccetti all over town. We ended up in an empty St. Marks Square in the rain, with a lone piano player singing "Rain Drops keep Falling on My Head." it was a very fun "local" kind of evening.

  10. Looks like the bribing the kids worked, you seem to have made the most of your trip. Venice is beautiful at night, your photos make me wish I was there right now. I guess I'll settle for adding it to my bucket list.

  11. I am with you! I would love to take a look at Venice during the night. Or, at least, I would like to see it during low season. I have been there two times during summer. I am not sure if I have seen more people together in my life. Some of that charm you are describing is lost within the crowds.

  12. Venice at night, how gorgeous! And your photos really caught the feel of the city. I've used that gelato trick myself a time or two (and had it used on me), always effective!

  13. What fun that must have been! Night has a way of bringing places to life in a very different way, which I always enjoy. Love your pictures of Venice at night - very inviting! #WeekendWanderlust

  14. Grey World NomadsMay 9, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Beautiful to see Venice by night - a different perspective. Thank you for sharing! #wkendtravelinspiration

  15. I've never visited Venice but I love the nighttime feel of this gorgeous city. Thanks for the tour, Michele!

  16. Sorry I missed the linkup. I'll watch for it next week.
    Have a good rest of the week, Michele!

  17. Is there anybody in the world that has any doubts about Venice? I don't think so. I've only visited Venice once but I'd love to go back for more.

  18. One thing about Venice, it's enchanting. You captured it at the most exquisite time of the day for a photographer, the blue hour just after sunset. I'm so glad your kids allowed you to enjoy it after dark. I think it was worth every bit of the expense of the gelato. Hope you got some too. :)

  19. That time after sunset when the shadows grow long and most of the visitors depart - magical. Venice has so many different faces, but I like evening the best when the tourists (mostly) have departed. Loved your pics and the mood created :)

  20. I think wandering around at night is the best way to get to know a city - you can see what it's really like when things calm down. Venice looks lovely!

    And gelato IS a good bribe.

  21. Beautiful post. Venice is such a beautiful place and a place I would love to re-visit that's for sure. The last time I visited was probably about 15 years ago and it would be great to experience the city again.

    Thanks for sharing :) Wonderfully shot.

    Laura xo


I read each and every comment. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Comment moderation is on, so your comment may not appear immediately.

Web Analytics