Venice by Night

A walk through the city as it sleeps, while silence is only broken by unusual odd passers-by.

When the sun sets, every city takes on a look and feel much different than during daytime.

Venice is no exception. In fact, as night falls, the city becomes even more beautiful.

Once dusk has fallen, darkness envelops the streets, which bask in the faint light spilling from the street lamps and windows.

Hurried passers-by bustle towards their destination, momentarily breaking the silence with the patter of their steps, while awestruck tourists wander past, gazing open-mouthed and struggling to believe they are in the same place that, during the day, was teeming with people.

On one of my walks, I saw a young couple with a lost look about them, bowled over by the charm of the city by night, holding each other’s hand and taking a seat on some steps to enjoy the secretive intimacy offered by the silence.

The silence of Venice by night is a different kind of silence; there is no road noise, making it much quieter than any other city.

A wander through Venice’s calli and campielli will reveal some beautiful little corners, but you can enjoy a wonderful view of it all from a water bus. Climb aboard at the Rialto stop, heading towards St Mark’s Square and, as the majestic Rialto Bridge vanishes behind you, admire the romantic, seductive beauty of the city opening up before your eyes.

Dreamy palazzi line the Grand Canal, still bearing the names of the famous families that made Venice great all those years ago. The names of doges, mercenary leaders and ship’s captains sit alongside those of the famous businessmen who helped build the beauty we see today.

You’ll spot Ca’ Farsetti, Ca’ Loredan, and the Grimani, Contarini, Tiepolo, Querini, Barbarigo, Pisani and Corner palaces.

At the so-called volta de canal, where the Grand Canal takes an almost right-angled turn, it is bordered by the imposing Ca’ Foscari followed by Ca’ Rezzonic, opposite the Palazzo Grassi.

Once you’ve passed the Ponte dell’Accademia, you’ll come across the unfinished Ca’ Venier dei Leoni followed by the Gothic Ca’ Dario. And rising above it is the Chiesa della Salute, which provides a contrast with the light, Gothic elegance of the Palazzo Contarini Fasan, known as the Palace of Desdemona, on the opposite bank.

After St Mark’s basin you’ll reach the S. Zaccaria stop. With your feet back on dry land, take in the view of the square and the Doge’s Palace, then wander through the almost deserted space, where a lone stall is still selling visitors souvenirs of the city.

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