Visiting Venice in High Season

My first trip to Venice was in 2005 towards the end of May. Prior to going, I found that there were two camps of people: those who love Venice and those who hate Venice. From the hater crowd, the biggest complaints I heard were: it’s expensive, there are tons of tourists, it stinks, and it’s sooooo hot. With the exception of the expense, I didn’t find any of these other issues to be the case. At the time, I figured that it must have been because it was May and so it was outside proper tourist season. So, I ended up loving Venice because there is no where that is like it and it’s one of the few places I used the overused platitude that you must see it before you die.
So, I sucked in my breath and ended up passing through Venice for a few days after traveling over the Balkans for almost two months. Given the hellish beach tourists that I ran in to, I was prepared for the worst in Venice. All the stories I had heard from the haters started popping back in to my head. But I had a hotel and a flight from there, so I had to go and see just how bad it was. Well, it wasn’t and it was just as enjoyable as the last time I was there. But, let’s look at each “bad” thing about Venice.
Expensive. Yeah, this is true, especially when you factor in the $1.37 to the Euro conversion rate. But, it is not the most expensive place I’ve been to. That would far and away be London. But, what are you going to do? People know how good it is, so it costs something. We all know it costs a lot to stay there, so be prepared and if you can’t afford to go there, then don’t.
Tons of Tourists. Sure, there were a lot more than when I was there in May 2005, but it was a lot less than I expected. Sure, the popular places lke Saint Mark’s and Ponte di Rialto were quite crowded, but I was expecting to not be able to move. By comparison, Dubrovnik is horrid and Venice is quite well managed. Again, people should be aware of how many people go there and if they don’t like crowds, don’t go during high season.
It Stinks. There are the occasional pockets along the canals that give you a whiff to remember, but overall, I didn’t find Venice to smell all that back. If people think that it stinks, then I can show them any number of spots in San Francisco where the smell is far worse like the sewer gratings at Montgomery and Washington…
It’s Hot. This is a random thing I suppose. When I was there in May, 2005, it wasn’t all that hot. Same thing this time, but I assume that it’s a fluke because of Global Warming. I really don’t know. There were some days that were hot, but I happen to realize that it’s uh… the Mediterranean in summer? Yeah, that’s why everybody comes here from England. It is supposed to be hot. If you don’t like the heat, don’t come during the summer. And don’t dip your feet in the canals to cool off no matter how hot you are. You don’t even want to think about where that water has been and what it was before it touched your feet.
Visiting Venice in High Season