Venice's St. Mark's Square

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

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Venice
Fall is the golden season for traveling in Europe—cool weather, fewer crowds and definitely no students backpacking around in Birkenstocks. In Venice, the magical time to go is in October and early November, although the city starts to get pretty wet by mid-November. No matter, just pack your umbrella and enjoy a city that's practically devoid of tourists.

My advice: Start the day very early with breakfast on the rooftop of the legendary Hotel Danieli. Even this pricey hotel is offering an autumn package: Book by November 8 for stays through January 31, 2010, and get up to 30 percent off, with a two-night minimum stay. An evening drink (just one; they are outrageously expensive) at Harry's Bar is a must for first-timers, followed by an experience in Saint Mark's Square that you could never have during the spring or summer—having the square almost completely to yourself!

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