A city built across over a hundred small islands linked by arched bridges and meandering canals, Venice is one of the world’s best-known romantic travel destinations. Sip espresso at a quiet waterfront cafe, float through picturesque canals, barter at charming Italian street markets and bask in culture galore…Venice is the romantic home of Casanova, and couples who choose this classic honeymoon destination will see that Casanova was just the beginning.
Venice is a hot destination for international tourists, so we recommend taking your trip in the off season to avoid the crowds, if possible. If not, going just a little off the most well-worn track will reward you with a quieter side of Venice, and those little local secrets that most tourists miss. When you’re in a city this romantic, you’ll want it all to yourselves! Don’t be afraid to explore – check out the north side of Cannaregio for a taste of local life, where peaceful cafes and restaurants along the canal often become stages for spontaneous serenades from local jazz musicians.
Hold hands in a sleek wooden Gondola and take a sweet, slow ride through the narrow canals winding along the foundations of the city’s centuries-old architechture. Watch the setting sun splash color across the arcades of St. Mark’s Square, or catch an Italian opera at Venice’s oldest theatre, the La Fenice Opera.
Luxury-soaked hotels and resorts, intimate restaurants like the cafe where Casanova famously courted so many women, and an old-world charm that’s baked into the fabric of the city…romance flows in Venice like the water through its canals. Explore it for yourselves and treat your honeymoon to hundreds of years of romance history!
- PLEASANT VENETIAN PASSTIME: While nothing may seem more “touristy” than a gondola ride along the narrow canals of Venice, Italy, the activity is popular for a reason. Gondolas are the Rolls Royces of the canals, and offer the intimacy that larger boats simply can’t provide. Once used exclusively by Venice’s elite, gondolas are handcrafted boats equipped with cushioned seats, for a cozy ride and a taste of old Venetian tradition. A great gondolier - the guide who powers and steers the gondola by hand - can give you further insight to this marvelous city with over 400 bridges. For an even more romantic experience, book a sunset gondola ride with live by music. After all, what’s sweeter than a serenade as you traverse one of the most enchanting cities in the world?
- SHOPPER'S DELIGHT: A trip to the city of Venice isn't complete without at least one trip to explore the city's hundreds of shops andas colorful street markets. Visit the Rialto Market first thing in the morning to watch local vendors set up shop before the bustling crowds emerge. The market’s beautiful backdrop of Mediterranean style buildings lends itself to breathtaking photo ops. Foodies will appreciate the bright, colorful fruits and vegetables that are locally grown. Fresh, exotic seafood is also bountiful in this lagoon city surrounded by lush waters. Don’t let Venice’s quaint charm fool you. Among its many cafes and markets lie big labels and designer shops...it is Italy, after all! Around Piazza San Marco you’ll find everything from Versace to Prada. Searching for that one unique find? Plenty of stores offer lesser-known but high quality brands. Do you have a whole day to devote to shopping? Consider a trip to the small island of Murano, whose claim to fame are it’s glass-making factories. The island is only a twenty-minute boat ride from Venice and you can see how each stunning piece is crafted.
- CULTURAL CENTER: Heralded as one of the world’s most famous squares, Piazza San Marco, often referred to as “The Piazza”, is at the center of Venetian life. This cultural center of Old Europe is filled with street artists, live music and café-style restaurants. The Piazza is also in the vicinity of important historical buildings including St. Mark’s Basilica (a bell tower with magnificent views of the lagoon) and Doge’s Palace (a museum that holds some of the finest art Italy has to offer). In the morning, grab a cup of espresso at a street-side café before you begin your sightseeing. During the day, marvel at Venetian pillars and ancient architecture that has stood the test of time. People-watch from a bench while enjoying gelato. Spend a sultry summer evening, unwinding with a glass of wine while listening to the pleasant sounds of a live orchestra.
- THE HEART & SOUL OF VENICE: While there are hundreds of sights to see when visiting the city of Venice, the churches and museums are a must. Not only do these monuments showcase the masterful architecture of the Venetians, but they also offer visitors an in-depth look at the rich history of the city. Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta is a cathedral that was founded in 639. Renowned for its exquisite mosaics, this centuries-old church is on the island of Torcello, part of the Venetian lagoon. This hidden gem is a welcome respite from the hustle of Venice. For those with more modern sensibilities, Venice’s Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a welcome change. Featuring twentieth century art and a beautiful sculpture garden, this palatial museum celebrates the work of artistic greats like Picasso. Art loverswill be amazed by this expansive collection of fine contemporary art.
- AN EVENING STROLL: Known as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice is indeed a city for lovers. Take advantage of its narrow paths and no-car policy by taking a late evening stroll with that special someone. You’ll miss the large crowds but you’ll get all the charm that Venice has to offer. Walk along the waterfront of Riva degli Schiavoni. Pass the Accademia Bridge and get a splendid view of Venice at twilight. As you wander along the back alleys and side canals, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a wonderful dream.
Tips and Advice
- BEST TIME TO VISIT: Venice has a humid subtropical climate classified by cool winters and very warm summers. Weather wise, spring and fall are the best times to visit.
- GETTING IN: Venice is a lagoon comprised of a group of islands. The quickest way to get to Venice is by plane. The nearest commercial airport is Marco Polo Airport, on the mainland near Mestre.
- GETTING AROUND: From the mainland, visitors can access Venice by boat or water taxi. There are also cruises that will get you to the lagoon city if you have the luxury of time.
- CURRENCY: The official currency of Venice is the Euro.
- AREA CODE: The international code used to dial Italy is 39, and the local code is 041.
- ELECTRICITY: 220V, 60Hz
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- PEDESTRIAN CITY: Due to its narrow streets, Venice does not permit cars. Once you’ve reached the city, the trek to your hotel will be by foot so be sure to research the distance before booking your trip.
- SAFE & SOUND: Although, you can walk from one end of Venice to the other within an hour, be sure to pace yourself, particularly when the weather is warmer. Take advantage of the free tap water available at fountains throughout the city. The streets are often packed with locals and fellow tourists. While you marvel at the picturesque buildings, be sure to hold on to valuables in case of pickpockets. Dial “113” if you have an emergency.
- WATCH THE WEATHER: The city is prone to flooding, during the winter months. To avoid the wetter areas during those times, purchase a map with highlighted routes from a tourist office. If you speak Italian, listen out for flood warnings on the radio. Street vendors also have waterproof shoes for sale.
- GETTING LOST: With its many winding roads and narrow pathways, Venice is easy to get lost in. While maps may come in handy, many are hard to read. When going to a specific place, keep in mind that addresses are organized by district number. If all else fails, signs placed across the city can direct you to main sights. Of course, sometimes getting lost in Venice means discovering off-the-beaten track treasures that all the other tourists miss!
- DINING OUT: When frequenting touristy parts of Venice, be wary of restaurants with inflated prices and lower quality food. Steer clear of eateries where employees are placed outside, soliciting your business.
- KEEP RECIEPTS: Italian law requires customers to have receipts for all purchased items.
- DON'T FEED THE BIRDS: When visiting The Piazza, you’ll see amazing monuments but you’ll also find a staggering number of pigeons. Recent law forbids people to feed the birds. The pigeons have damaged numerous sites around The Piazza including St. Mark’s Basilica’s ancient mosaic.
- SEE THE SIGHTS: Churches are a main attraction in Venice because they hold the city’s history and reveal the beauty of its past. However, few churches offer free admission. If you plan to visit several over your stay, buy a pass at a tourist office to save money.