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Discover Venice in December, Italy’s winter wonderland

For most of the year, Venice is gorgeous, but maddening: the finest squares, flanked by churches and palaces, are choked with people; while the tawdry side-industries that thrive on mass tourism diminish the appeal of the city and make a mockery of its nickname, La Serenissima.

In winter, though, the crowds melt away as the December mists confer the canals with an exquisite extra dimension. While Christmas and New Year are popular (especially with Italian visitors), travelling before midwinter's day and between early January and the St Valentine's Day weekend is richly rewarding.

If you have been to Venice previously only in summer, you get a chance to see the beauty of the naked city. Without the waterborne congestion caused by gondolas, you are better able to appreciate the fascinating ways in which the city copes with its unusual geography: everything from the post to funeral processions moves by water. And after the sun sets (before 5pm at this time of year), you will also meet its people, and discover a conviviality in the cafés and restaurants that gets submerged when the tourists take over.

More practically, air fares are at their lowest in early December (with bargains to be found after new year, too), and hotels are offering special deals.

Regardless of the time of the year Venice is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Search Bargain Villas for some fantastic deals on Venice villas and apartments.

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