In going to Venice in July we knew we wouldn't be alone, and 'no' it would be fair to say we weren't. Having said that, as long as we weren't within 5 minutes walk from Piazza San Marco or the Rialto bridge, we could meander along the narrow alley ways in comparative peace. We live in Montmartre in Paris so we're accustomed to crowds of tourists in our neighbourhood during the summer. Venice didn't feel much worse. The apartment we had rented was in a totally secluded spot where we only ever met one or two people during the whole week we were there.
One morning during our stay I woke up very early and decided to seize the day and head towards Piazza San Marco to avoid the crowds. It was about 7h30 am. I wasn't the first there by any means, but it was definitely very quiet.
The cafes were certainly empty.
As were the arcades running alongside the Piazza. The previous day when we had been in the same place I hadn't realised what beautiful paving lined the arcades.
People were setting up their stalls for the day.
I was alone when I took this photo of the Bridge of Sighs.
Here are some gondole before the customers arrive.