Autumn - Breakfast - Food - Travel

November Guide: What to See, Do and Eat in Venice


This is our second post in the series “Visit Venice responsibly – month by month”:

In 12 episodes, we’ll show you what Venice looks like during the year. You will see how colors change, taste seasonal food and get more tips to explore and learn about Venice. And we hope that these blog posts will help you pick your favorite month in Venice, and that you will enjoy our tips for books, online classes, restaurants and recipes!

Let’s get started with the November moodboard, and introduce two new resources for you to explore Venice in autumn! For November isn’t just any month: It’s all dedicated to Venetian heritage:

The visitors coming to Venice now will see Venetian history come alive. Life in the city is more intense than ever. The only setback you might have when you come in November is that you might skip a trip to the islands due to fog. Nevertheless, there are also sunny days!

What you should know about November in Venice

Two votive bridges in one month. A “new” bridge connects Venice with the cemetery island San Cristoforo – San Michele between 31 October and 10 November 2019. This takes up an ancient tradition interrupted in 1950. So it’s new for my generation and a memorable experience! The Venetians have even found a name for the bridge: Ponte del Ricordo (Remembrance Bridge), or Ponte del Cielo (Sky Bridge).

That was the good news. But – there’s no November without flooding called acqua alta. Due to weather conditions which we’ll explain in a minute, flooding is most serious in the last week of October and first two weeks of November. In 2019, we’ll have to deal with acqua alta on 12 and 13 November: Tides are predicted to rise to 140-150 cm. Levels above 150 cm are considered acqua granda (extremely high tide).

What does Venice look like in November?

Muted yet bright, turquoise, indigo, crimson red, light brown and ash green. Like in this moodboard!

What’s the weather like in Venice in November?

This is one of the rainy months of the year (not pouring but you must expect steady rainfall on some days). But then, on the Mediterranean shore, it’s essential for the vegetation to store water in autumn and spring. In the Lagoon, you will have heard that two winds are present in November in particular: the northerly bora and the southerly scirocco. When acqua alta is serious, a third wind dominates the climate, called libeccio, the south-westerly wind:
Libeccio brings heavy rain from the west, causing the rivers discharging their waters into the Lagoon swell. When the wind suddenly turns south, even more rain is expected, bringing on extreme acqua alta. You can find information on how to predict and avoid acqua alta in the resource list below.

November breakfast tip

A secret for you: 21 November is the only day, in addition to January 5-6 when Venetian pastry stores offer fritole (frittelles). Just for the day, a wonderful opportunity to start your day with a warm and crispy fritola! Rosa Salva pastry store is a great address, or any bakery around Campo Santo Stefano. If you’re exploring the area around Basilica della Salute, you could taste one of the five varieties of frittelles and krafen at Pasticceria La Toletta.

What to eat in Venice in November

You can still eat zucca (pumpkin) soup, and by now, fresh wild leaves from the estuary called rosolaccio. The first greenish-purple radicchio is present at the markets, and also green cicoria which is why I love November as it produces my favorite greens! On 21 November, you could try the traditional dish of the day, castradina, at Caffé Quadri in Piazza San Marco (a tradition they’ve been taking up for a couple of years now).

Itineraries in November: Santa Maria della Salute and its neighborhood

On 21 November, Venice is celebrating her special Thanksgiving feast. We’re still recalling 22 October 1630 (when the Doge and Government made a solemn vow to build a basilica if Venice was saved from the deadly bubonic plague), and 21 November 1630 (when the Doge + Patriarch finally declared the epidemic as over).

The background of this feast and the itinerary I recommend in November is in our e-book on THANKSGIVING IN VENICE – FESTA DELLA SALUTE.

Special Feasts in November
We celebrate All Saints Day (Ognissanti) on 1 November, Festa di San Martino on 11 November, and finally, Festa della Madonna della Salute = our special Thanksgiving on 21 November.

How do we celebrate Thanksgiving in Venice?

21 November usually starts foggy, but you’ll meet many people on the streets as they take off at least half the day. We walk with white candles in hand across the votive bridge spanning the Grand Canal from 20 November noon. After the mass service at the Basilica della Salute, many Venetians go to see the culinary fair next to the basilica called Fiera della Salute. Join us in a photowalk + guide for the day in the e-book THANKSGIVING IN VENICE!

November garden impressions

The garden is so sleepy now (like the Lagoon is getting ready for the quiet months ahead), but it still gives us unexpected gifts, like these white cyclamen and agave blossoms.

Which island should I visit in November?

November isn’t the best time to visit islands (often, too foggy!). The Lagoon is simply taking a break.. On a sunny day, I’d go to Burano in the late morning.

Which gifts to buy in November

Sweet gifts, in any case. Pumpkin-flavored pasta at Panificio Rizzo’s store in Salizzada San Grisostomo. Or maron glacés at Rosa Salva’s. In late November, it’s cotognata time. Cotognata is solid quince jam which we also use in the festive dishes before and at Christmas.

November Surprise – give-away + new resources for you to explore Venice

We’ll be running a surprise give-away from 14-20 November. After all, November is heritage month in Venice, when ancient traditions and dishes are coming back to life. There will be three winners this time, stay tuned :-)

Here’s my resource list for Venice in November:


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