When Winter envelops Venice it is not only the change in temperature, light, and food that you will notice; there is also a sense of secret excitement. It is something to do with the long evenings, empty streets and candlelit restaurants. And whilst there are many ways to enjoy oneself, there are certain evenings that should only be had in Winter. Our ideal, extravagant, evening in Venice would consist of:
15.00 After a leisurely lunch, take a particularly scenic route back to your apartment. Meander through the pleasantly quiet streets, stopping in churches, stores, coat yards and cafes (and the corners of curiosity which catch your eye).
If you happen to be walking back through San Marco, after lunch at Al Covo, then stop for a coffee at Caffe Lavena. Open the heavy doors and enjoy a coffee and a buttery Panetone. Watch the people go by from one of Venice’s more elegant angles.
16.00Don’t stop for too long, however. This time of year the last rays of sunlight will be crossing the Basin di San Marco. Stroll along the waterfront for a way before turning yourself fully to the night ahead.
17.00 Apartment; this time between now and 19.30 can be used in any way you like. A deep bath, time to read, a game of cards, or perhaps wrapping up on your terrace as the lights come on. Better still, taking the time to get dressed into your evening attire with a cocktail in hand.
19.30As the darkness is now well underway, it is the right time to step out towards the Theatre. Bear in mind you need to be well dressed in many layers of thick coats, gloves and hats. However, this does not exclude the idea of a long evening dress, in fact, it is this challenge that is so wonderful about Winter.
20.00The historic Fenice Theatre, is located in the heart of San Marco district. There are so many spectacular performances to be seen, you will not be disappointed. However, it is also the atmosphere even before entering that feels particularly timeless.
21.30As you come to the end of the spectacle, you will be, I’m sure, thinking of dinner. We have plenty of local restaurants to recommend in this area. Two options are particularly well-paired with the Fenice timings, are Do Forni and Quadri. We recommend starting with a drink and a plate of Venetian fish Antipasti.
As you wander home, wrapped up warm in layers and exhilarating conversation, take a moment to stop and appreciate the Christmas lights, the silent streets, and the secret excitement that is different to the summer frivolousness.
This may seem an alarmingly simple guide, or perhaps even obvious. Yet it really is an evening that can only be experienced as it should be in winter, and most definitely only in Venice. There is something about sweeping into a candle-lit room from a cold street that reminds us of the many romances (and scandals) that have taken place in this city. And in turn giving us a sense of permission to have our own.
Amongst the endless ways you can experience Venice, this is just one, slightly special suggestion.
Find more of our winter guides here.