70 Venice Quotes That Tell You About the City of Canals

The uniqueness of Venice has left even the most ingenious poets speechless.

Luckily for you (and your next Instagram caption), we’ve compiled a list of the 70 coolest quotes about Venice that will either trigger sweet memories or have you pack up for Italy right away!

Short Instagram captions about Venice

We both know this is what you’re here for! Pick one of the quotes about Venice below for maximum impact, yet keep scrolling afterwards and you’ll be in for a lot of hidden gems.

Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.

Italo Calvino

Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.

Truman Capote

Venice is incredible. Although you may have seen it in pictures, you can’t grasp how beautiful it is until you visit.

Gino D’Acampo

It seemed like a magical city, floating on the lagoon as if conjured by an enchanter’s wand.

Kate Forsyth

Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water.

Frida Giannini

If anything can rival Venice in its beauty, it must be its reflection at sunset in the Grand Canal.

Peggy Guggenheim

In memory Venice is always magic.

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Venice is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.

Erica Jong

If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you’ve imagined. Venice is — Venice is better.

Fran Lebowitz

Everything in Venice is just a little bit creepy, as much as it’s beautiful.

Christopher Moore
Quotes About Venice

When I seek another word for ‘music’, I never find any other word than ‘Venice’.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Venice bewitches. Like many before me, I have been seduced by its art, architecture, poetry and beauty.

Russell Norman

A wondrous city of fairest carving, reflected in gleaming waters swirled to new patterning by every passing gondola.

Sylvia Pankhurst

Venice, its temples and palaces did seem like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Venice quotes by your favorite artists

Filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians… Creative souls are attracted to the city like bees to a honeypot and come up with the most memorable quotes about Venice.

Venice is the most romantic place in the world but it’s even better when there is no one around.

Woody Allen

In the winter, Venice is like an abandoned theater. The play is finished, but the echoes remain.

Arbit Blatas

The building I most admire is the Doges Palace in Venice, both by day and by night. Looking at it from the lagoon, it resembles a floating kilim carpet. I love all the bridges which connect houses, people, gardens and palaces.

Anouska Hempel

Paris is an ideal place to become informed, while Venice is a place to think and write.

Pontus Hultén

When I went to Europe for the first time, I went to Paris and then to Venice. So after Paris, Venice was my first great European city, and it just blew me away.

James Ivory
Quotes About Venice

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the feeling of a city like Venice, where everything is just beautiful color and gorgeous buildings that are so peaceful. You can roam around and get lost in the labyrinth.

Nanette Lepore

I love to get out and see real life and to walk, which is why I love Venice so much — it’s such a great walking city.


If I could live in one city and do every single thing I do there, I would choose Venice. You can’t turn your head without seeing something amazing.

Nile Rodgers

I’m often in Venice in November and December when it’s foggy and wintry, and the decorations in the shops and the lights in the churches make the place feel both Christmassy and melancholic.

Juergen Teller

My mother took me to Venice one time and showed me all the houses where famous composers used to live. It gave me a fascination for music and the city, but also architecture. It was a valuable lesson.

Ben van Berkel

Venice as described by classic authors

The City of Canals has been inspiring the great masters of world literature since immemorial times, so we made sure to include here some quotes about Venice by these household names.

Whenever the jetty fountains splash into the marble basins, they seem to me to be telling the story of the floating city.

Hans Christian Andersen

“Floating city” seems to be a recurring metaphor for Venice. I find the image of a whole town either gone adrift or anchored in the Lagoon truly powerful!

Venice once was dear, / The pleasant place of all festivity, / The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy.

Lord Byron

Venice, half fish, half woman, is a siren dissolving into a morass of the Adriatic.

Jean Cocteau

The moon was enchanting and pulling at the plain just as she enchants and pulls at the sea, drinking all that vast earthly dampness from the horizon with her silent, insatiable throat.

Gabriele D’Annunzio
Quotes About Venice

In Venice, like no other city, I have found such a unity of present-day life with a life that speaks to us from the works of art from its golden age, and in which the sun and the sea are more essential than all of history.

Hermann Hesse

An orange gem resting on a blue glass plate: it’s Venice seen from above.

Henry James

White phantom city, whose untrodden streets / Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting / Shadows of palaces and strips of sky; / I wait to see thee vanish like the fleet / Seen in mirage.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty this city, half fairytale and half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism.

Thomas Mann

When I went to Venice, I discovered that my dream had become — incredibly, but quite simply — my address.

Marcel Proust

Venice… a splendor of miscellaneous spirits.

John Ruskin

There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.

Mary Shelley

Venice astonishes more than it pleases at first sight.

Madame de Staël

In the glare of the day, there is little poetry about Venice, but under the charitable moon, her stained palaces are white again.

Mark Twain

Once did She hold the gorgeous east in fee; / And was the safeguard of the west: the worth / Of Venice did not fall below her birth, / Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.

William Wordsworth
Quotes About Venice

Quotes about Venice by contemporary authors

Venice never ceases to amaze. Writers of every stripes continue to flock to the city and then share a bit of its magic with their readers. Check out some of the more original quotes about Venice in modern literature.

In the end, there’s always this city. As long as it exists, I don’t believe that I, or for that matter, anyone, can be mesmerized or blinded by romantic tragedy.

Joseph Brodsky

The swans have returned and so have the dolphins to the Canals of Venice. Nature creates the most beautiful art!

Avijeet Das

Nothing ever seems straightforward in Venice, least of all its romances.

Roger Ebert

Venice has always fascinated me. Every country in Europe then was run by kings and the Vatican except Venice, which was basically run by councils. I’ve always wondered why.

Alan Furst

And by daylight it is one of the glories of the Earth. But at night, especially when the moon is full and the soft illumination reflects off the water and onto the palaces — I don’t know how to describe it so I won’t, but if you died and in your will you asked for your ashes to be spread gently on the Grand Canal at midnight with a full moon, everyone would know this about you — you loved and understood beauty.

William Goldman

My first impression of Venice was that it might be hard to make anything happen there. Everything seemed to have already happened. Venice seemed like a kind of exalted remembering.

Glenn Haybittle

The quality of Venice that accomplishes what religion so often cannot is that Venice has made peace with the waters. It is not merely pleasant that the sea flows through, grasping the city like tendrils of vine, and, depending upon the light, making alleys and avenues of emerald and sapphire, it is a brave acceptance of dissolution and an unflinching settlement with death.

Mark Helprin

I love how most authors don’t seem to mind the risk of sounding pompous when describing Venice. It’s almost like such an imposing place demands elaborate comparisons and fancy words!

Venice appeared to me as in a recurring dream, a place once visited and now fixed in memory like images on a photographer’s plates so that my return was akin to turning the leaves of a portfolio.

Gary Inbinder

I always wanted to go to Venice. It’s supposed to be the romance capital of the world.

Gordon Korman

And off in the far distance, the gold on the wings of the angel atop the bell tower of San Marco flashed in the sun, bathing the entire city in its glistening benediction.

Donna Leon
Quotes About Venice

Venice and its History have always fascinated people from all walks of life. It is a place of contradictions – a city without land, an empire without borders. Everyone knows what Venice is, but fewer know why it is or how it came to be.

Thomas F. Madden

The perennial wonder of Venice is to peer at herself in her canals and find that she exists — incredible as it seems. It is the same reassurance that a looking glass offers us: the guarantee that we are real.

Mary McCarthy

I row into the neck of the Grand Canal, and, one by one, the reflection of each colorful façade appears, only to dissipate into wavering, shimmering shards under my oar.

Laura Morelli

Venice is a complicated place, physically and spiritually, and it is extraordinarily difficult to establish Venetian facts. Nothing is ever quite certain.

Jan Morris

I became fascinated by marionettes, which I first saw in Venice. They were so haunted and so alive. You walked by them, and you could feel their presence, with their beady eyes just fixed on you.

Laura Amy Schlitz

In Venice, if you didn’t know where you were going, you usually ended up in the Piazza and since that was always true, maybe it was always where you were going.

Scott Stavrou

I had a similar experience myself, which is especially puzzling given how mazy the city’s street layout is!

At night, when the hordes of day-trippers have gone, another Venice appears. Dance across a floodlit square. Glide in a gondola through quiet canals while music echoes across the water. Pretend it’s Carnevale time, don a mask — or just a fresh shirt — and become someone else for a night.

Rick Steves

I cannot write about Venice; I can only write about me, and the sleeping parts of myself that Venice has shocked into wakefulness.

Jessica Zafra

Other Venice quotes

General Grant seriously remarked to a particularly bright young woman that Venice would be a fine city if it were drained.

Henry Adams

Venice, Italy, is one of my favorite cities, a place I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice.

Rosecrans Baldwin

Venice has the quality of disappearing in an instant — not spooling out right and left, as the train passes, as do other towns, but of lapsing totally, as if it ceased to exist; as if it has never existed.

Nina Berberova

Oh yes, it was my Venice! Beautiful, / With melancholy, ghostly beauty — old, / And sorrowful, and weary — yet so fair, / So like a queen still, with her royal robes, / Full of harmonious color, rent and worn!

Ada Cambridge

Until it seems the whole city will be covered with gold pollen shaken from the bell-towers, lilies plundered with the weight of massive bees…

Hilda Doolittle
Quotes About Venice

The trouble is, walking in Venice becomes compulsive once you start. Just over the next bridge, you say, and then the next one beckons.

Daphne du Maurier

I could almost agree with this quote… Well, except that I don’t think that this “compulsion” is troubling at all.

If I were not King of France, I would choose to be a citizen of Venice.

Henry III of France

To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.

Alexander Herzen

Since you have become a woman, the stars that stand above the halls of Palladios have not yet disappeared behind the domes of San Marco. But only since then has the world become the world.

Alexander Lernet-Holenia

There is a glorious City in the Sea. / The Sea is in the broad, the narrow streets, / Ebbing and flowing; and the salt sea-weed / Clings to the marble of her palaces.

Samuel Rogers

Beds unmade for days on end, piled high with bedding crumpled and disordered from the weight of dreams, stood like deep boats waiting to sail into the dank and confusing labyrinths of some dark starless Venice.

Bruno Schulz

A city like a water-lily, less / Seen than reflected, palace wall and roof, / In the unfruitful waters motionless, / Without one living grass’s green reproof.

Arthur Symons

You’ve got to see a city of slender towers and white domes, sleeping in the water like a mass of water lilies. You’ve got to see dark waterways, mysterious threads of shadow, binding all these flowers of stone together.

E. Temple Thurston

History and legend and art and romance meet and mingle to create that indefinable sorcery of Venice. It is like nothing on earth except a poet’s dream.

Lilian Whiting
Quotes About Venice

Ready to win over your Instagram followers with one of our quotes about Venice? Let us know in the comments what other citations inspire you! Also, indulge in some daydreaming about your next summer trip to Italy with our posts on the best quotes about Rome and Italy!

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