I made time to head to Venice (Italy) in what I can only assume is the time of year with the least amount of foot traffic. And still, the crowds in mid-January were sometimes overwhelming for this space-loving, quiet desert kind of girl! Once you understand the flow of the crowds, it is quite easy to avoid them. Be out the door well before 6am (an hour before sunrise) and the streets and plazas are empty. Once the church bells ring at 7am, the day officially begins and the commuters are arriving and bustling off to their jobs in shops and hotels. Likewise at the end of the day, once the sun goes down, the crowds magically disappear and Venice at night is quiet and calm.
Change of scenery is good, or so they say. As a small child, I distinctly remember the day I interrupted my parents during a discussion they were having about something that now escapes me. Over and over I kept hearing sentences beginning with “They say”. So I finally interrupted with the question “who are they“? My father replied “The experts.” You can imagine my small, below-age ten mind conjuring up the scene of a large room with Experts sitting around a large table, handing missives to their staff to dispense to who knows who.