Venice Snow Makes a Rare Appearance

I hit the jackpot.

Yes, I’d been waiting for this rare occurrence, Venice Snow. Last winter I waited and hoped. But no luck. Ever since I saw a few photos (on display at a local gallery) that had captured Venice blanketed in snow, I’d been itching to have my own crack at it. I have volumes of Venice images in color-saturated summer, and in dreary rain, but no snow. Imagine my delight when I saw snow in the forecast with a high probability. We hopped on, found a screaming deal of a room adjacent to the Rialto Fish Market, and I charged my batteries and packed up my photo gear. We boarded the train to Venice with great optimism. Would the forecast be correct? Would I be gifted with this rare opportunity?

Yes, yes, and yes!

Jed Smith Photography, Venice Snow

Feeling the Bite © 2018 Jed Smith

Four hours of wandering in the Venice snow yielded bountiful results.

It wasn’t easy. The snow wasn’t timid and I had to wrap my scarf around my beloved Canon 70-200mm f.2.8 and my Canon 5D Mark III camera body while still allowing control with my fingerless gloves. And, conditions were ideal for slipping and falling. Not a good scenario for my gear. Simone offered to be my pack mule and carry my bulky camera backpack. Otherwise, I couldn’t have managed. And thank God the Venice city workers (see the fella above) were out in full force making sure the main pathways were cleared and dusted with salt.

Jed Smith Photography, Venice Snow

Wine Time, No Matter What © 2018 Jed Smith

Venice snow doesn’t crimp Venice style.

Imagine my good fortune to stumble upon this scene of locals having their lunch aperetivi. With a decent umbrella in hand, you’re good to go.

This leads me to pause in wonderment at the apparent preparedness of a city that rarely sees snow. While things might be slowed down a bit, the Venice I saw on this snowy day didn’t falter at all.

Jed Smith Photography, Venice Snow

Vaporetto Departure in the Snow © 2018 Jed Smith

The Grand Canal traffic was hopping as usual.

Vaporettos came and went with the same frequency. Commercial deliveries continued. And it all happened against the subtle, yet sublime wintry backdrop.


Jed Smith Photography, Venice Snow

Snow-Dusted Gondolas © 2018 Jed Smith

But gondola business came to a standstill.

I didn’t witness one gondola in operation during the Venice snow. No gondoliers were to be seen offering their services and their boats had been parked and were steadily collecting snow.

So, yes, lucky, lucky me to have had this amazing photo opportunity. These images are only scratching the surface of what I experienced. I love the mood of these black and white images, but I have several other images that excel in color. Those are coming next week, so stay tuned!

By |2019-01-19T21:06:20+01:00March 7th, 2018|A Romance with Venice, Black & White, Exploring the Veneto|28 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Tony March 8, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

    So hard to believe given how hot it was in July. Thank you for capturing and sharing the snowy side of Venice.

    • Jed March 10, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Hi Tony! Yes, now you see the extremes. Snow and this kind of cold is a more narrow window of opportunity, while the heat you experienced in July often seems like it won’t abate!

  2. Cyndi March 8, 2018 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Everything about this post is delightful! Thank you for my favorite Italy Wise entry of the year. I know it’s early yet; but I’m casting my vote for this as the best of 2018.

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:35 am - Reply

      You are too kind, Cyndi! I’m so glad this post resonated with you. Thank you for your vote!

  3. Nancy LeMaster March 8, 2018 at 2:19 am - Reply

    Lucky is the perfect word for your opportunity. Thanks for sharing the results.

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Yes, Nancy, I’m still pinching myself!!!

  4. Amy March 8, 2018 at 1:47 am - Reply

    Jed, um… You told me that I shouldn’t worry about not being able to see Venice in the snow because, “It’ll happen again”. Now I’m reading your post about how rare it is! What gives? ;^)

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Hi Amy. I guess it sounds like I’m speaking out of both sides of my mouth. It WILL happen again, though the odds are a bit like standing at the roulette table and waiting for the ball to drop on your number. I had to wait at least five years for the planets to align, which included my being just 30 minutes away––so I effectively could be on standby when the forecast came to fruition. When it snows in Venice, it’s usually just a day, maybe two, and then it vanishes. Perhaps you’ll live in Italy one day, or be here for an extended period in winter. Then, you can be like me and hover over the forecast and position yourself to seize opportunity! In this particular instance, snow was steadily forecast for at least five days prior. And my photo trigger finger was ready!

  5. Kathryn Smith March 7, 2018 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Love these pictures! I have shared this on Facebook.

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Thanks, dear friend!

  6. Nicole March 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Ah lucky you to experience snow in Venice what a fun adventure. Great photos and looking forward to seeing more!!

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Good to hear from you, Nicole! It’s a view of Venice not readily seen by most people.

  7. Joe March 7, 2018 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Love, love the images Jed!!!

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:24 am - Reply

      Thanks, Joe!

  8. Deborah Haywoo9d March 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Absolutely Beautiful ! Thank you both for your adventure. Looking forward to the colored photos.

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Deborah, you’d have been in awe! Glad I could transport you to the experience just a little!

  9. Gloria March 7, 2018 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Simply wonderful. Cha-Ching.

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Thanks, Gloria. I’d love to do a gallery exhibition of a broader selection. They really do tell a story!

  10. Suzy March 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    I would like to send you my snow images

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Please do, Suzy! I’d love to see.

  11. Mark Hanson March 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I could feel your excitement and love the photos

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Grazie, Mark! I was like a kid, playing in the snow, but in a different way this time!

  12. Joyce Beckett March 7, 2018 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Love your enthusiasm and your pictures. Both make me wish I had been their myself to see the city dusted white. I’m looking forward to seeing more. Beautiful, Jed!

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Thanks, Joyce! The window of opportunity was narrow and I was fortunate to live so close so as to be on “standby” to capture the day. I hope you like the color edition next week.

  13. elizabeth wholey March 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Venice in the snow, how romantic! And it didn’t leave potholes in the roads, like down here in Umbria!

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Romantic indeed! The proliferation of city worker in Venice is impressive. I suspect they’d gladly exchange a few potholes for high water and constant erosion!

  14. Chip Meeks March 7, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Cool beans! Thanks Jed!

    • Jed March 8, 2018 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Glad you like, Chip! Hope all is well.

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