Traveling to Venice in 2020 or 2021 is the best decision you can make this year. In times of Covid-19, the streets are deserted by the usual hordes of tourists. The city breathes, and regains a charm that was difficult to appreciate when we walked on each other.
I went to Venice in 2015, and I wanted to take advantage of the drop in tourist traffic due to the Covid in order to rediscover the Serenissima. Just imagine: of the thirty million annual tourists, two-thirds spent only one to three hours in the city, disembarking for day trips from Milan, Rome, or a cruise ship.
All these ephemeral visitors have disappeared this year, as well as non-Europeans (as of September 20, 2020, the external borders of the EU are still closed due to the health situation). In short, there have never been so few people in Venice.
To know more :
Should you go to Venice in 2020/2021?
An update on the health situation
Going on a trip to Venice in 2020 or 2021 is quite possible. Wearing a mask is compulsory in transport, in bars, restaurants, museums, etc; but not in the streets.
There is no more chance of catching the Covid in Venice than in France. The number of contaminations remains stable, and compact crowds have disappeared: you can easily move around while respecting the safety distance meter.
Warning : on your arrival in Italy, you will have to take a Coronavirus test (free). Allow about thirty minutes to do so. There is no quarantine measure. If you have a negative Covid test that is less than 72 hours old, you may be exempt from testing.
Yes, we all know it: mass tourism is a real scourge for Venice. However, this statement must be qualified by taking into account a myriad of other factors:
– the city’s economy is extremely dependent on income generated by tourism
– the real problem of the city is the rising waters: the question is no longer to know “if”, but “when” Venice will disappear, because of global warming and land subsidence.
– there is a project to save the city : the “Moïse plan”, which notably provides for the construction of at least 78 dikes to protect the Serenissima from rising waters. Guess what source of income finances, in large part, the construction of these dikes …
– in addition, the tourist problem is not actually caused by vacationers like you and me, who stay several nights in the city. The scourge is mainly made up of passing visitors, who only stay a few hours and leave. These represent almost two thirds of tourists.
What to see, what to do in Venice?
A few loose tips to know about Venice:
• Venice extends over 121 small islands linked together by 455 bridges
• There are 177 canals and 123 churches
• The city is divided into two: the intramural city (centro storico) and the city on the banks (Terraferma)
• The historic center is entirely pedestrianized
• In 2007, Venice welcomed 21 million tourists. In 2018, they were more than thirty million.
• Acqua alta refers to high tide, which can cause sometimes extremely serious flooding, as in 2019. Check the internet to see the tide predictions.
• On GEO, an interesting article to discover five islands off the beaten track
The 8 must-see visits in Venice
1. Saint Mark’s Basilica
… And the famous square that bears his name, the most touristic place in the city.
2. I frari
The Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (I Frari), is one of the main churches in Venice.
3. The Rialto market
On the famous bridge of the same name, one of the most beautiful in the city.
4. The dell’Accademia Gallery
5. The Basilica del Redentore
6. La Fenice
7. La Scuola Grande di San Rocco
8. The Doge’s Palace
The best restaurants in Venice: my good addresses
– I Figli delle Stelle: on the Giudecca, a magical view even if it seems that the quality of the cuisine has declined. To check.
– Il Refolo: good pizzeria and trattoria.
– Al Mascaron: an excellent restaurant in the Santa Maria Formosa district
– Da Marisa: a popular trattoria / working-class restaurant, which serves good, no-frills traditional cuisine.
– Osteria Alba Nova: for typical Venetian cuisine
– Le Bandierette: fresh fish every day
– Trattoria Da Remigio: raw langoustines and other typical Venetian dishes. Best meal I have had the opportunity to have in Venice!
– Osteria Da Rioba: signature cuisine. One of the best in Venice.
– Trattoria Da Scarso: fish restaurant, excellent value for money.
– To drink tea out of sight: Fujiyama Venice
How to go to Venice?
Find a cheap ticket to Venice
Before the health crisis, there was the Thello train: a night train, offering a trip from Paris to Venice for only € 29 in a sleeper compartment for 6 people, and from € 85 in a 2-bed cabin. Unfortunately, Thello has ceased all circulation since the appearance of Covid 19.
With Easyjet: there are flights from 49 € round trip for a stay of 4 to 6 nights (often with a Sunday departure).