I love Venice but preferably well out of season. February there is nice. Not too many people on the vaporetti. The museums are not too crowded. You can see the paintings by Veronese in San Sebastiano (my favorite Venetian church) without being jostled. You can get a table in any restaurant - though Venetian food, permanently tainted by the demands of mass tourism, is never a reliably good as it is in the rest of Italy. If you want to be sure of eating well, take a day trip out of Venice to one of the nearby cities of the terra firma: Padua, Verona, Vicenza.
But thank God I wasn’t in Venice for the opening of this year’s Biennale, even though I had a number of artist friends who were exhibiting there. The crowds to get into the main shows are fierce, with queues at all the main national pavilions. So is the social competition. “Have you been invited to this?” “Have you got a ticket for that?” Elbows out. Armour-plated ego at the ready.
The truth is, from the numerous reports coming in on my computer, I’m obviously better off sitting at my desk, looking at a screen. There have been few, if any, hosannahs for the all too numerous exhibitions on view. I’m content to let others do the legwork for me.