It is called the Serenissima. Famous for its canals and gondolas, Venice is a city full of charm. The perfect place for a romantic trip or for a romantic getaway.
Why leave a few days in Venice?
Venice is an ancient city of Italy, and therefore full of history. Founded around 528, it was the capital of the Republic of Venice for more than a millennium, from 697 to 1797. As a maritime power, Venice was at that time one of the largest commercial centers in Europe. The “City of the Doges”, name given to the former elected chiefs of the republic, was also a high place of the Renaissance, just like Florence. This Italian city feels in the almost magical atmosphere and lends itself to a stay of a few days in love.
Moreover, beyond the clichés, Venice is really the city of lovers. With its romantic atmosphere, its canals, its architecture, its cafes and restaurants, a stay in Venice can quickly turn into an unforgettable experience to live with the chosen one of his heart.
The essentials of a romantic trip to Venice
Start your adventure on the Grand Canal, the largest and widest canal in the city. On board a vaporetto or a gondola, sail on the inverted S of the canal, bordered by the palaces and pass under the famous Rialto bridge. A good way to start pleasantly your romantic getaway.
The Rialto Bridge is another must. This bridge is one of the oldest and probably the most famous of Venice. 48 meters of unique architecture, three pedestrian passages separated by two rows of small shops and the Grand Canal that passes underneath, this is what you will discover on this bridge.
St. Mark’s Square is the symbol of Venice, famous all over the world. Formerly the religious, political and economic center of the city, the square is today a high architectural and historical site. Its arcades are home to tourist shops and cafes, such as the famous Caffé Florian.
It is also on this square that we find the beautiful Basilica of Saint Mark, the most important basilica of Venice, but also the campanile of St. Mark, almost 100 meters high. At noon, all the bells of the basilica and campanile begin to ring for a small musical show that give the signal for the lunch break. The prices on the square itself are quite high, but there are many excellent restaurants around St. Mark’s Square at often affordable prices.
Midday is also the ideal time to visit the Doge’s Palace, since the affluence decreases during lunch hours. Also located in Saint Mark’s Square, the former residence of the Doges was built in 1340. Magisterial and elegant, its style plays with Gothic and Byzantine. Interestingly, the palace once housed under its roofs a prison that has notably hosted Giacomo Casanova.
Venice is very rich in palaces and museums, some buildings associate the two, like Ca ‘Rezzonico. This palace located on the Grand Canal was the home of the Rezzonico family and is now converted into a museum. Superb seen from the outside, with its marble facade, the palace is also sumptuously furnished, and is full of works of art. We also recommend the Galleria dell ‘Accademia, a museum that houses an impressive collection of Renaissance paintings including masterpieces by Bellini, Carpaccio and Veronese.
And what would Venice be without its gondolas? A romantic getaway would not be complete without a ride on the canals aboard one of these charming little boats. Know however that the dream has a price; count about 80 € for a little over half an hour. This is an experience you will not soon forget.
Sleep, drink and eat during a romantic getaway in Venice
Stroll through the Dorsoduro district, near the university, to discover authentic Venice, its daily life. You will find some artists and mask shops, but especially many cafes and affordable restaurants. Why not try a good pasta dish in a small typical restaurant like Al Vecio Marangon, an almost hidden treasure in the Dorsoduro district. Lose yourself in the alleys of the Cannaregio district, near the Grand Canal. It is the refuge of small craftsmen and small bars of very friendly neighborhoods. And if you want to soak up the atmosphere of one of the most picturesque fish markets in Italy, go to the Pescheria stalls in Rialto.
Venice is Italy, so of course there are delicious pizzas and pasta to die for. But it is the products of fishing that are the most typical of the city. Fish, scampi, and even pasta with cuttlefish ink, everything that comes from the sea is good in the “City of the Doges”. And for the drink, do not forget the spritz, this cocktail from the region is also part of our top 10 drinks of the summer (possible link to the top 10 drinks).
You will find many hotels in Venice, for all tastes and for all budgets. In the tourist area of San Marco, we recommend the NH Collection Venice Palazzo Barocci a four-star hotel near the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal. For the artistic district of Dorsoduro, the four-star Hotel Agli Arboretti can offer you a setting of character for your romantic getaway. The Castello district is a third option for those looking for a friendly hotel at a lower cost. But the city also has many Airbnb, so do not hesitate to take a look.
When to go / What is the best time?
We advise you to avoid the high season, especially from July to September, because the city is packed with tourists and prices are inflated to the maximum. On the other hand, it is in January that there is the least affluence. And Venice under the snow is almost magical.
The carnival of Venice takes place every year in February, ten days before Ash Wednesday until Mardi Gras. It’s a real international celebration and an incredible atmosphere. But prices during the carnival fly away. Why not make your getaway in the week leading up to the carnival? You will enjoy the atmosphere that will already be present without suffering excessive prices.
The most ideal period for a trip between lovers is autumn, October and especially November. It is mild, the prices are affordable and the city is, as always, romantic.
So Fuzzy, have you ever made a romantic getaway to Venice? If so, what is your best memory?
You may like my article on the Slow Travel !