One big difference between Venice and other stops on “The Big Three Tour” is the lack of crowds in major art venues. The first time I took students with me I made sure that I had reservations for the Uffizi, set up everything in advance for the Borghese in Rome and checked TA for loads of suggestions for the best time to avoid the lines into the Vatican Museums. When I was planning for Venice, I checked out the website for the Accademia, and started to plan out getting reservations for the museum. I remembered going there as a student, standing in the (incredible) room that has the (renamed) Feast at the House of Levi by Veronese on your right as you enter; The Stealing of the Dead Body of St Mark by Tintoretto; and the last painting by Titian, Pietà, finished after his death by Palma Giovane. The room was largely empty. You could sit there, by the radiator stuck in the middle of the room, as long as you wanted. I had a hard time navigating the website and hoped there would be no problem when we arrived.
There wasn’t. I apologized at the desk for not setting up reservations; the woman said there was no need to.
Every time I have been there, the museum is not crowded at all. Each time I spend a lot of time in the room that houses the St. Ursula series by Carpaccio, and each time, as I look at how a figure aligns with a mast, links through a flag to an architectural detail back to a column framing a kneeling figure, I could spread out a picnic lunch on the floor and probably not be bothered.
The same is true with viewing Tintoretto’s masterwork in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and seeing Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin and the Pesaro Altarpiece in the Frari. I don’t know why. But I’m not necessarily complaining about it.