Ocio che nevega – January in Venice

Last night Venice enjoyed something that may be perfectly normal in other parts of Italy while here, it’s not something you get to see so very often :-). Already from mid-November, you find the ocio che nevega brochures available at the Town Hall. Ocio che nevega means attention – it’s snowing, and that’s what finally happened last night. After all, there had been no snow since 27 December 2014 !!

You know when it starts snowing and you see the first snow flakes, you can’t take it for granted that it will last long. People will rush out and take pictures of the first snow flakes dancing in the humid air. This time, the snow cover didn’t last long but in the morning you could still see white traces all over town.

Snow fall makes it more difficult to walk due to the uneven cobbled streets in town. Salt is used to melt the slippery icy cover – le lastre di ghiaccio, but this may take a least an hour.

In the last few years, we’ve come to expect snow every third year in a row while in the 19th century, especially during the Austrian occupation of Venice and also in the early 20th century, the climate must have been harsher and there were longer spells of snow. You may have seen this video of La Laguna ghiacciata – the frozen Lagoon in 1920.

Below is my favorite picture of the night of 13 January showing the fresh snow against the dark night.

Before or even during snow fall, you can expect acqua alta too, and that’s what happened this morning and also in the morning of 13 January.

So even if the weather conditions may be somewhat harsher, perhaps it’s really worth traveling to Venice in January? In particular, if you love food and exhibitions, having Venice to yourselves, this would be a good choice, so we will give you five reasons to enjoy Venice in winter, when she is half asleep …

Another staple food is the winter cakes and winter desserts, for example, the zaleti – sweet breads seasoned with raisins, and marrons glacès. Rosa Salva has a wonderful selection right now 🙂

I saldi – Sales are another good reason to be in Venice right now. We get text messages from our friends working at the fashion stores in Venice that sales weeks have started, so I can never miss it. Officially, it started on 5 January this year, and there’s more to come ..

Cioccolata calda – We could never stand the long cold nights of January without hot chocolate. You know our dense variety whichoften comes flavored with liquors or spices. Even if you enter a pastry store in the morning, you can sometimes have it to yourselves. Like I was lucky to have Pasticceria al Ponte del Lovo all to myself (for five minutes 🙂 ).

Le fritole. Officially, you can taste these sweet Carnival favorites from 7 January in the Venetian pastry stores, but of course, also on Epiphany Day. These days you can see how the vetrine (store windows) are slowly being prepped up for Carnival. It’s a slow beginning while Venice is taking a collective rest. As of now, she’s still dreaming the New Year and preparing everything to shine back-stage.

Le Mostre – Exhibitions. And the Museums, of course. Plenty of time and room to enjoy them all … plus the cafetteria with a view of Piazza San Marco at Museo Correr. If you are interested in discovering the commercial relations between Venice and Britain, Non Solo Spezie was an interesting exhibition to visit at the Biblioteca Marciana. You can read more about this topic soon in our Blog.

Yet there are a few basic rules for traveling to Venice in winter and stay healthy, for now is also the season of influenza. In our next post we’ll share a few warming dishes, special food and tricks from Venice to stay warm and enjoy our town in the cold season !

4 thoughts on “Ocio che nevega – January in Venice

    1. Thank you dear Michelle! That’s an honor for us, and we are very happy that you like our Blog ! You know that I also love your books and blog ! Will write soon, Iris.

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