70 Inspirational Venice Quotes & Captions You’ll Want to Steal

Are you looking for a quote about Venice to use as a photo caption for your Instagram feed? Or perhaps you are simply seeking inspiration to book your next trip to Italy.

Well, you’re in luck. Over the millennia, La Serenissima has been a source of inspiration for poets and novelists, thinkers and travellers.

From witty puns to profound quotes, here is my hand-curated collection of the best Venice quotes that best reflect the multi-faceted nature of this bewitching city.  

Feel free to copy your favourite Venice caption and paste it into your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook post.   

boats and buildings along the grand canal which is the inspiration for many venice quotes

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Famous Venice Quotes

row of gondolas covered in blue tarpaulin at side of canal in venice

Let’s start with some of the best-known Venice quotes. From philosophers to film directors, there is something for everyone.

1. Venice is eternity itself.  – Joseph Brodsky, poet and essayist.

2. Paris is an ideal place to become informed, while Venice is a place to think and write. – Pontus Hultén, Art Collector & Museum Director

3. When I seek another word for ‘music’, I never find any other word than ‘Venice’. ― Ecce Homo, Friedrich Nietzsche, 

4. A realist, in Venice would become a romantic, by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him. – Arthur Symons

5. Nothing ever seems straightforward in Venice, least of all its romances. – Roger Ebert

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

7. When I went to Venice, I discovered that my dream had become-incredibly but quite simply – my address. – Marcel Proust

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

Quotes from Titans of Literature

bird sitting on wooden post by venice canal

The City of Water has inspired some of the greatest novels and sublime poems in history. From Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice to the works of Byron and Shelley (both Mr. and Mrs.), here are some of the best Venice travel quotes from these towering works of literature.

9. … nothing in the world that ever you have heard of Venice, is equal to the magnificent and stupendous reality. The wildest visions of the Arabian Nights are nothing to the piazza of Saint Mark, and the first impression of the inside of the church. The gorgeous and wonderful reality of Venice is beyond the fancy of the wildest dreamer. – Charles Dickens from his letters sent in 1844

10. 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. – Death in Venice, Thomas Mann

11. Venice once was dear, The pleasant place of all festivity, The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy. – Lord Byron 

12. And sure enough, afloat on the placid sea a league away, lay a great city, with its towers and domes and steeples drowsing in a golden mist of sunset.The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain 

13. In Venice, Tass’s echoes are no more, And silent rows the songless gondolier; Her palaces are crumbling to the shore, And music meets not always now the ear. – Lord Byron

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

15. 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

16. In the glare of the day there is little poetry about Venice, but under the charitable moon her stained palaces are white again. – The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain

17. Though there are some disagreeable things in Venice there is nothing so disagreeable as the visitors. – Italian Hours, Henry James

18. White swan of cities, slumbering in thy nest
So wonderfully built among the reeds
Of the lagoon, that fences thee and feeds,
As sayeth thy old historian and thy guest!

Venice, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

19. The trouble is, walking in Venice becomes compulsive once you start. Just over the next bridge, you say, and then the next one beckons.Don’t Look Now, Daphne Du Maurier 

Inspirational Venice Captions

brick archway with the words la bienanale

I have chosen the next bunch of Venice captions to inspire you to plan your visit. These words have been uttered and written down by those from all walks of life including philanthropists, monarchs and fashion designers.

20. 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

21. Venice can wash through you the love you have never made, the battles you have never fought, the beauty you have never created.The War in Venice, Glenn Haybittle 

22. Venice, the most touristy place in the world, is still just completely magic to me. – Frances Mayes 

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

24. Nothing is simpler than to lose oneself in Venice; and nothing is more fun than to be in this labirinth without a Minotaur, as a Theseus without an Ariadne’s thread. – Jean-Louis Vaudoyer

25. Venice seemed incredibly lovely, elvishly lovely–to me like a dream of Old Gondor, or Pelargir of the Numenorean Ships, before the return of the Shadow. – J. R. R. Tolkien

26. Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased, Polo said. Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little. – Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino, 

27. She quickly learned that the sight of Venice at given moments can root you in your deepest longings.The War in Venice, Glenn Haybittle

28. … 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.
― The Silent Gondoliers, William Goldman, 

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

30. It is always assumed that Venice is the ideal place for a honeymoon. This is a grave error.  To live in Venice, or even to visit it, means you fall in love with the city itself.  There is nothing left over in your heart for anyone else. Peggy Guggenheim

31. 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

32. In the winter, Venice is like an abandoned theatre. The play is finished, but the echoes remain. – Arbit Blatas, artist and sculptor.

33. 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. – Death in a Strange Country, Donna Leon, 

34. 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. – Losing Venice, Scott Stavrou, 

35. Venice is a city that has sea for its floors, the sky for its roof and the flow of water for its walls. – Signa

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

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

38. I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that. It is like a mask. And for me the Carnival of Venice lasts all year long. – Karl Lagerfeld

39. The Ducal Palace of Venice contains the three elements in exactly equal proportions – the Roman, Lombard, and Arab. It is the central building of the world. – The Stones of Venice, John Ruskin 

40. 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. – Watermark, Joseph Brodsky, 

41. He liked the fact that Venice had no cars. It made the city human. The streets were like veins, he thought and the people were the blood, circulating everywhere. – The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

42. Some cities are pretty at night, others only during the day but a handful truly great places can be both pretty at night time and at daytime. Venice is one of them.Nietzsche’s Birthday Party: A Short Story Collection, Ryan Gelpke, 

43. 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

44. 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, Photographer

Gondola Ride Quotes

gondola on canal in venice

The gondolas that ply Venice’s waterways are one of the city’s most iconic sights.

For centuries, these narrow rowing boats were the main means of transport in Venice. Today’s Venetians use tragehetti – passenger boats that criss-cross the Grand Canal – but a gondola ride is on many tourists’ Venice bucket lists.

45. It’s not a real trip to Venice without a gondola ride.

46. We stepped into a gondola, our bags being loaded in afterwards. It was a singularly romantic situation, when you come to think of it: entering Venice by moonlight and gliding off in a gondola in company with an unknown and charming Italian girl who smiled and sighed by turns and fairly glowed with delight and pride at my evident enslavement to the beauty of it all.A Traveler at Forty, Theodore Dreiser

47. Gone with the gondola 

48. I seated myself in a gondola and … went along the northern part of the Grand Canal, into the lagunes, and then entered the Canal della Guidecca, going as far as the Square of St. Mark. Now was I also one of the birds of the Adriatic Sea, as every Venetian feels himself to be whilst reclining in his gondola. Letters from Switzerland and Travels in Italy, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

49. Venice, I’m gondola miss you

50. Who would not have to suppress a fleeting shudder, a vague timidity and uneasiness, if it were a matter of boarding a Venetian gondola for the first time or after several years? The strange craft, an entirely unaltered survival from the times of balladry, with that peculiar blackness which is found elsewhere only in coffins—it suggests silent, criminal adventures in the rippling night, it suggests even more strongly death itself, the bier and the mournful funeral, and the last silent journey. – Death in Venice, Thomas Mann

51. My gondola followed the course of the small canals; like the mysterious hand of a Genie leading me through the maze of this oriental city. – Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust 

52. Going, going, gondola

Rib-tickling Venice Puns for Photo Captions

slice of pizza on a white plate

Let’s lighten things up further with some more corny Venice puns.

There are times when only a pun will do. Here’s my pick of the best humorous Venice captions.

53. St Marks the spot 

54. You cannoli imagine how beautiful Venice is!

55. Came to Venice for the sights, stayed for the gelato

56. I’m having a Venice time

57. It’s Venice to see you

58. Venice has a pizza of my heart

59. There’s nothing to wine about in Venice

60. How nice? Venice

Venice Instagram Captions

woman wheeling case along the banks of canal in venice

Finally, if you are looking for short Venice quotes for Instagram, take a look at the selection below. Perfect for a caption for your Venice photo.

61. Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go. – Truman Capote

62. I think if one lived years in Venice there would still be half of its treasures to explore. Effie Gray

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

64. Venice is a bit of my brain from this time. – Charles Dickens

65. It seemed like a magical city, floating on the lagoon as if conjured by an enchanter’s wand. – Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth  

66. Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water. – Frida Giannini, Fashion designer

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

68. 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

69. Venice astonishes more than it pleases at first sight. Madame de Staël, Political theorist

70. Getting lost is the only place worth going to. – Tiziano Scarpa, Italian novelist

Take a look at these next!

If you like these Venice quotes, take a look at this set of captions about Rome, these quotations about Florence, this set of quotes on Tuscany, these yummy Italian food captions, these Milan quotes or Italy quotations or these sayings about Naples.