The Most Romantic Spots You Can’t Miss in Venice
Venice exudes a romance unique to itself. It is not for nothing that Venice is known as the City of Love. The city on the water provides the quintessential backdrop for romance and there are many spots that naturally enhance the ardor. Timeless canals winding endlessly, cozy islands, intimate bridges, architecture that eludes time and place, and a waterfront that encourages loving combine to provide what is a veritable model of romance.
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For lovers, the attractions in Venice are many and varied.
When the moon hits your eye Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore
When the world seems to shine Like you’ve had too much wine, that’s amore
When the stars make you drool Just like a pasta e fasule, that’s amore
When you dance down the street With a cloud at your feet, you’re in love
When you walk in a dream But you know, you’re not dreaming, signore
Scusami, but you see Back in old Napoli, that’s amore.
The old crooner may have been waxing lyrical about Napoli, not Venezia, but that is just geography. The heart knows what the heart knows, after all.
Just like love, the island that is Venice might leave you feeling lost in a strange place. That is because the island is very much like a labyrinth with blind streets and bewildering layouts. The hidden nooks, intimate cobblestoned corners, run-dead streets, and cozy eateries tucked away are all part of the allure of finding yourself exactly where you are. This is where lovers come to look into each other’s eyes and deep into one another’s souls. Don’t forget to look up, though, because the moon will never look the same as it does over Serenissima, the City of Water. Reflecting off the sea beyond the square is just as good a place to get a different perspective of the heavenly body.
Cantina Do Spade
When lovers are looking at what to do in Venice, Cantina Do Spade is well worth some serious consideration. Rumor has it that inside this 600-year-old trattoria, the Venetian Casanova, one of the most famous lovers in history, romanced many a lady friend. Where better then to start our romantic look into the Queen of the Adriatic than right here, behind the Rialto Fish market? There can be few better places than a traditional eatery and one of the oldest of Venice’s bacaris to indulge in local fare at old-school prices while feeding off the romantic ambiance.
What are bacaris, you might be wondering. The Bacaro is Venice’s answer to the wine bar. The typical Venetian bacaro serves Ombra (wine) accompanied by snacks, known as cicchetti in Italian. The Bacaro offers a heightened experience of local drinking and eating off of the busy narrow streets. Other Bacaris to visit while here are Cantina Do Mori, possibly Venice’s oldest wine bar, and Bacaro Risorto.
The Bridge of Sighs
Ponte dei Sospiri may have had a less than romantic appeal in yonder years, but is now among the attractions in Venice to provide the perfect setting for amorous kisses. Back in the days of old, Venetian prisoners were known to enjoy their last breaths of liberty on the bridge. The bridge now captures its kissing couples. Venetian lore has it that kissing under the Bridge of Sighs will guarantee eternal bliss and an eternity together.
What better way to land up under the Bridge of Sighs and precisely where couples falling in love want to be than by gondola? It is anyone’s guess how many betrothals have played out in the presence of a discreet gondolier on the waters of the City of Bridges. A must on the Venice to do wish list is gliding through the canals and under the bridges on a gondola with the person you love. The gondolier is as integrally woven into the tapestry of Venetian culture as the gondola. Standing on the gliding boat as it pops into every corner of the canals, the gondolier is also known to serenade the luckier couples in his gondola.
Dorsoduro, the Bohemian Neighborhood of Venice
Dorsoduro has so much to offer, with an appeal blanketed in quaintness and a certain stillness that is not always apparent in the bustle of tourist presence to be found in the City of Water. Its Bohemian ambiance is enhanced by the cobbled streets, scatterings of down-to-earth eateries, interesting pubs, indie shops, vintage boutiques, and ageless shrines to Venetian heritage. A great answer to the question of what to do in Venice.
Churches, museums, and galleries the likes of Gallerie dell’Accademia, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Scuola Grande, deCà Rezzonico, and San Sebastiano are all just a stroll away. One of the many names by which Venice is known is the City of Masks, and in Dorsudoro you will come face to face with the reason behind this. Cà Macana is the city’s famed Venetian Carnival Mask shop! There is no describing the interior of this marvel. You simply must step inside for the experience. And of course leave with as many souvenirs as your heart desires.
Giudecca is a very small island that is part of the Dorsoduro area, slap bang against the main island of Venice. This island is calm in comparison to the main island, being more residential and less tourist orientated. Take a Vaporetto, the Venetian motorboat that serves as a canal bus, from the main island to enjoy a relaxing and intimate break on Giudecca. For a romantic meal or drink, couples visit the Hilton Molino Stucky or Cipriani Hotels, or they spend a leisurely day as a couple in the biggest private gardens to be found in Venice.
When pushed to rate the most romantic neighborhood in the City of Masks, Fondamenta delle Zattere is it! The best time to take in this option of attractions in Venice would definitely be at night when you can be enchanted by the light dancing on the water of the Giudecca Canal. Walking the long promenade under the light of the moon and stars with views of the pastel Baroque buildings on both sides of the canal is about as enchanting as you could wish for. For a glimpse into the art behind the gondola, take a stroll by the gondola workshop on Squero di San Trovaso of an evening.
Saint Mark’s Square
Sunrise is indubitably the best time to take in this icon of La Dominante. A definite must when deciding what to do in Venice. At this time of the day, enjoy the opulent church of gold that is Saint Mark’s church without the buzz of tourists about. Seeing the Italo-Byzantine style church by the golden hue of sunrise is perfectly romantic. Doge’s Palace is an unapologetic testament in gothic style to the Doge’s wealth. A must-see of the attractions in Venice on the square with its imposing staircases and government chambers. The sun over the waterfront dazzles in a way that cannot be described to the uninitiated. It must be experienced, it is that simple. Don’t forget to capture the Kodak moment while you are here, though.
This is the place to bring your loved one for that stylish dining experience that you will forever remember with fondness. The mesmerizing experience straight out of a fairytale, made possible by the 180° waterfront views of the lagoon, islands, and buildings is the epitome of romance. For an added surreal romanticism, choose a table overlooking the San Giorgio island. In fact, these very tables are the infamous place of proposals in Venice City. The staff of Terrazza Danieli secret the engagement ring in a tantalizing dessert if you arrange so beforehand. A fairytale start to a life together, complete with the most beautiful views in the world! What could be better?
And now for something completely different on the Venice to do bucket list. A hard-to-access, magical Venetian beach that is not only a paradise protected by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature Inc.) but also very much an oasis to be enjoyed only by a select few. Those who are lucky enough to secure a booking can make memories to last a lifetime during a vacation along this intimate beach free of crowds of tourists. Well-known among the affluent, Alberoni Beach offers vast open spaces dotted with golf courses and locations perfect for a romantic getaway.
The Colorful and Lacy Burano Island
The Burano island is as well known for lace and lace creations as it is for its vibrantly painted houses on the canals. But it also has a lesser-known gem in the form of the appealing walled vineyard that can be reached via the footbridge to Mazzorbo. Wanna know why the houses are painted so colorfully? The fishermen painted their homes in this way to be able to discern their own from the others in the fog that envelops this island town. You are welcome to paint or draw the scenes!
A half-hour boat ride gets you here from the Venetian Lagoon where couples stroll hand in hand, capturing moments in photos as they go. Visitors are welcome to watch the elderly ladies sitting outside their houses, creating intricate beauties in lace with mesmerizing skill and patience. During the 1500s the women of Burano Island dedicated themselves to the craft of lacemaking to support the local fishermen, and they have never looked back. The Museo del Merletto or Burano Lace Museum is among the interesting attractions in Venice and provides visitors with a look into the history and craftsmanship of Venetian lace.
Teatro La Fenice
For a cultural what to do in Venice experience, the theatre persists to satisfy visiting art lovers. Venice was once a popular city for vibrant balls and official dinners. Today, operas, classical music concerts, ballet, and chamber music are among the offerings of seasonal shows at the theatre located on San Marco. If you miss out on getting a seat at a booked out show, you can still marvel at the architecture of the theatre from the exterior. If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, try for a private box at the theatre hall for an intimate and romantic experience.
Dinner and a Drink
Venetian cuisine is quite unique, thanks to its position as a main port for imports and exports back in the day that assured it easy access to the best and freshest ingredients. Seek out the preferences of the locals rather than any of the attractions in Venice that are tourist hotspots. Think Paradiso Perduto in the Cannaregio area and the fancy Gritti Terrace overlooking the famous Campo della Salute.
What can be more romantic than a rooftop bar offering the most scenic views of The Floating City? With the scenic views of the island city to be enjoyed, being up high is the place to be. And fortunately, there is no shortage of super rooftop bars here from which to take in the panoramic view with a prosecco or cocktail in hand. Take your partner to the Skyline Rooftop Bar on Giudecca Island or the top floor of the Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel.
Or go out for an aperitivo. This is a must when in Italy when everybody heads out for a snack and a glass of aperitif before dinner. The aperitivo as a drink is regionally specific. Venice is in the Veneto region which offers Aperol and Campari spritz, a bubbly and crispy prosecco, or a Bellini. At a good bacaro, you will be served ombra from its place of origin. Pop into a speakeasy bar in Venice to enjoy an aperitivo with attitude, and ease into a romantic evening as a couple with well-selected drinks and an array of small bites.
No, we have not left Venice. Alaska is the best place for delectably delicious Italian-style gelato in Venice. Alaska is no more than a hole-in-the-wall establishment but it happens to be the gateway to some extraordinary gelato flavors. Depending on the season and time of year, you can find such unexpected flavors as ginger, basil, and avocado! Carlo is the genius behind Alaska and he can pair flavors like no one on earth, so put him to the test; he never fails to deliver. There are many options of great gelaterias or ice cream shops to be discovered all over the island when considering a different slant on what to do in Venice. You can partake on the move with a cup, cornetto, or sorbet or opt to take a load off and sit down to enjoy a taste sensation Italian style.
When passion is on the mind, Venice should be on the cards. Ti amerò sempre, Venezia.