I recently spent a long weekend in Venice to celebrate my two year anniversary with my other half. As cliché as it might sound, Venice is definitely the most romantic place in the world. I live in Paris, another romantic city in the world, but I must say that Venice is at the top of the list.
Depending on whether you’re going to Venice on a romantic occasion or simply with friends or family your itinerary will probably be different. If the latter, you will probably want do more cultural things like visiting the Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica. Venice can get really busy and there’s nothing less romantic than hurdles of tourists and long queues… So if you’re going to Venice on a romantic occasion then I suggest you follow my own weekend plan.
Wander along the small canals
As much as I loved the Grand Canal and all the impressive monuments along it such as the Rialto Bridge, there are too many crowds so it’s much more enjoyable to wander around the small canals and get lost in the backstreet alleyways. Venice is like a labyrinth and it’s so nice to just let yourself go, get lost and discover the hidden gems. The areas of Castello and San Polo are a lot less busy and the architecture of the buildings and the bridges is just spectacular.
Cross over to San Giorgio Maggiore
This little island south of Venice offers some amazing views over Venice and is less crowded than the area of San Marco. It felt like a little peace haven when we went and it was so enjoyable to admire Venice amongst a few other people.
Eat lots of gelato
Like anywhere in Italy, gelato is a big deal and on a sunny day in Venice, there’s nothing more enjoyable than a delicious Italian ice cream. I personally recommended Suso and Nico. As a big as they might seem, they’re so well made that they’re light and you too can easily finish this huge ice cream like I did.
Enjoy a good Aperol Spritz
This famous orange coloured drink originates from Venice so which better place in the world to enjoy a glass of Aperol Spritz?! De Pisis is a great place for an afternoon Aperol Spritz with the Santa Maria della Salute Basilica just opposite you.
Spend a morning in Burano
It only takes 30mins to reach Burano by boat and it’s so worth it. You probably will have already seen the beautiful coloured houses of Burano on social media and let me tell you that it’s just as bright and beautiful in real life. The colours of Burano are quite unique and it’s what makes this island so charming so you shouldn’t miss out on it.
Savour Venetian cuisine
I love Italian food in general and I think everyone else does too. There are some lovely restaurants in Venice where you can try traditional things such as marinated sardines “Sarde in saor”, squid cooked in their black ink either with pasta or as a risotto “nero di sepia” and seafood linguine. I personally recommend Il Paradiso Perduto, Osteria alle Testiere and Trattoria la Madonna.
Go on a gondola ride
You can’t leave Venice without riding on a gondola. Despite this being a major tourist attraction, it’s part of the Venetian tradition and the gondolas are so beautifully made that you won’t be able to resist them. In Venice you will walk a lot so having a little cruise on a gondola is pure bliss. I do recommend paying a little extra to go on a longer tour because it goes by really quickly.
I really do hope that this post inspires you to visit Venice because it’s a unique place in the world by the fact that it’s surrounded by water and there are no cars, trains, bikes, etc. Don’t be put off by what people say about it being so busy and go see it for yourself. Like anywhere nowadays you just need to avoid the central touristy parts of a city.