Venice is crowded, hot and expensive in the summer—which doesn’t stop many tourists. Those venturing to the canal-crossed city in winter face colder weather, but the tradeoff comes with a big bonus: Winter travelers can see the Italian city more as locals do, without giant cruise ships, sneaker-clad tourists and overflowing cafes. Wake early and you may feel close to alone for fiery sunrises like this one. Claudio Cantonetti took this photo, one of a Venice-focused series, just a few days ago.
Things won’t exactly be quiet on Dec. 31, of course. Venice celebrates New Year’s in fine style, with crowds gathering in Piazza San Marco for fireworks and jubilation as the clock strikes midnight.