Venice in May: weather and travel tips

written by Joanne Owen

updated 14.02.2024

Thinking of visiting Venice in May? Great idea! But before booking your trip, read on to wise-up on what to expect, and what to do during this convivial month. Alongside running through the likes of what to expect from the weather in Venice in May, we also share some itinerary suggestions to inspire your Venetian voyage.

Is May a good time to visit Venice? 

Offering warm weather and longer, brighter days, May is definitely a good time to visit Venice. Think basking in the sun in the back of a gondola. Taking trips to the Venetian lagoon. Meandering markets, and pottering around piazzas and palazzos in shorts and sunnies.

Of course, given these allures, Venice starts to attract more visitors through this month. Though on the edge of shoulder season (the really huge crowds ramp up from mid-June), the merry month of May sees tourist traffic ramp up. And, following the trend of rising temperatures, and rising visitor numbers, prices are on the rise, too.

All that considered, you’ll definitely need to book accommodation well in advance — read up on where to stay in Venice to start planning.

Thinking of visiting Venice in May? Browse our inspirational Italy itineraries to kick-start creating your perfect trip.

Gondolas in Venice © Shutterstock

The warm weather in Venice in May is all the better for sun-soaked gondola trips © Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Venice in May

Wondering about the weather in Venice in May? The average lowest and highest temperatures are between 17°C and 23°C.

As for the sea temperature, May averages 18.5°C, but can be as low as 15°C. For context, this compares with an average of 13.3°C in April, and a rise to 25.3°C in July. So, if you’re hoping to swim, bear in mind that you might have to brace yourself before taking the plunge.

For more info, read up on the weather in Italy in May and when to go to Italy.

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © Apple Kullathida/Shutterstock

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © Apple Kullathida/Shutterstock

Is it warm in Venice in May?

By now, you’ll have picked up on the fact that it is warm in Venice in May. But, though there’s the possibility of temperatures rising to 23°C, you will want to bring layers and perhaps a light jacket, especially if you’re hoping to enjoy al fresco, canal-side dining in the evening. What’s more, rain is possible, so best to pack your brolly, too.  

Mad keen on taking a trip in May? Discover more of the best places to visit in May

St Mark's Square from the Grand canal. Venice, Italy © volkova natalia/Shutterstock

St Mark's Square from the Grand Canal. Venice, Italy © volkova natalia/Shutterstock

Unforgettable, fully customisable Venice itineraries 

Longing for an early summer break that’s steeped in la dolce vita vibrancy? Browse our tailor-made Italy itineraries, some of which put Venice centre stage.

What’s more, the following suggestions can be tailored to your exact needs, with a local Italy travel expert on hand to offer insider tips, and take the hassle out of planning and booking.

  • Romantic Venice: featuring a gondola ride and immersive walking tour, our Romantic Venice trip is the ideal way to soak up Venice’s enchanting ambience on a weekend break you’re sure to remember.
  • Treasures of Italy: covering Venice, Florence and Rome, with a rewarding mix of cultural experiences that can be totally tailored to your tastes, our Treasures of Italy trip enables you to see some of Italy’s top attractions in around a week.
  • Grand Tour of Northern Italy: from Venice’s canals and islands, to Milan’s medieval delights, through to Florence’s Renaissance riches, our Grand Tour of Northern Italy itinerary is an exhilarating two-week experience.

Still not quite sure when you want to go? Read about Venice weather in April or visiting Venice in June.

boboli-gardens-florence-italy-shutterstock_666798283

Rough Guides' Italy itineraries can take you from Venice's canals, to Florence's gardens © Shutterstock

What to do in Venice in May 

The weather in Venice in May is perfect to do some sightseeing. Of course, you don’t want to miss visiting the likes of St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Museo Leonardo da Vinci, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Then there’s the unique experience of zipping around by vaporetto water bus, taking a romantic gondola trip, and meandering the market at the Rialto Bridge. Add to that a few month-specific events, and May has much to offer visitors.

Experience Festa della Sensa

Marking the first day of Venice’s regatta season, Festa della Sensa celebrates the city’s marriage with the sea. The celebrations begin with a procession of traditional rowing boats from Saint Mark’s Basin to the Church of San Nicolo at the Lido.

During this, the mayor throws a ring into the water to signify the marriage. The pomp, ceremony and golden boat is something to behold. The Festa also sees the season’s first major rowing event hit the waterways.

Enjoy Mare Maggio

Held over three days in mid-May, Mare Maggio features historic re-enactments and traditions linked to Venice’s naval glory days. With events centred in the Arsenale, a complex of former shipyards and armouries, this delivers absorbing history and entertainment in equal measure.

Visit the Venetian lagoons and lido

The islands to the north of Venice – San Michele, Murano, Burano and Torcello – are the places to visit when the throng of tourists in the main part of the city becomes too much. And May is the ideal time to explore them.

Murano has been renowned as a glass-producing centre for hundreds of years, while beautiful Burano was famed for its lace work. Enclosed by the Lido and Pellestrina, the islands near the lagoon to the south of the city, are spread over a larger expanse of water than their northern cousins.

If you don’t have time to venture to them, opt to enjoy a warm, sunny May day in the Lido. Known for hosting the Venice Film Festival in September, the Lido boasts a bounty of beautiful beaches, ancient history, and an array of incredible architecture and eateries.

Aerial view of Lido di Venezia © Shutterstock

Lido di Venezia © Shutterstock

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 14.02.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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