Venice is one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in Europe and is often overlooked by visitors. In fact, it’s probably one of the best places to celebrate New Years in the world! If there’s one city that knows how to combine incredible views, delicious foods, and an epic party, it’s Venice!
Since the beautiful city of Venice is located in Northern Italy, be sure to dress warmly! Dressing in layers is key to being comfortable all night. Restaurants will be warm, outside will be cold, so just be prepared.
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Start your night off by taking a dinner cruise around the city. Enjoy a true Venetian-style dinner while the city gently floats by. You’ll see key locations around the city including Rialto Bridge and ending near Saint Mark’s Square. Since the celebrations go on until midnight, dinner is ideally served between 8 and 9 at night.
The traditional Venice New Year’s Eve dish is Cenone di Capodanno made of lentils and sausages. Be sure to make a reservation a few weeks in advance if you’re planning on eating out. However, if you’re looking for a quiet night in – you can often find Cenone di Capodanno in shops as a ready meal to take with you.
The party really starts around 10:00 PM in the Piazza San Marco where the annual ‘Love’ event takes place. The plaza is transformed with small bleachers to sit on around the piazza. There are a lot of people at the party and since it’s dark, many of my NYE photos did not come out very well. It’s so much fun to be surrounded by the beauty of the piazza.
Live music and street performers help tourists and locals alike ring in the New Year in this piazza. Bellini is the sponsor of the party and provides a small bottle to all attendees to toast with at midnight.
Fun Fact: The wearing of red underwear at midnight is a tradition! It should be a gift and worn for the first time on New Year’s Eve!
Around 12:00 AM the fireworks begin over the water. They illuminate the skyline of the islands and are a truly breathtaking show. The city parties and dines throughout the night, welcoming the new year with open arms and large smiles.
Travel Tip: If you want a really good view of the fireworks, head to Riva degli Schiavoni, Riva dei Sette Martiri, Riva San Biagio, or Riva Ca’di Dio.
If you’re a brave traveler, on January 1st, you can join the ‘Auguri di Capodanno sulla spiaggia del Lido di Venezia’ or a polar plunge in the Adriatic Sea. It’s a refreshing way to start the new year!
If you’re a lover of music and theatre, there is an annual new years eve concert held at La Fenice Opera House. Typically held in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, the show is also held on December 30 and 31, as well as New Year’s Day.
Travel Tip: If you’re planning on sightseeing in Venice on New Year’s Day be sure to get your tickets online. Some of the tours I recommend are:
Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Venice is one of my favorite memories. Yelling “Bonanno” (happy new year) to every smiling face, eating incredible food, and savoring in the wine made it completely unforgettable! Don’t forget to learn some travel phrases for your trip so you can have a more authentic experience!