What is it about Venice that makes us go weak at the knees? Is it the crooning gondoliers, the graceful bridges, the winding canals perfect for a lazy stroll? However you account for Venice’s charms, there’s no question that this famous Italian city is the ideal backdrop for a romantic weekend getaway with the one you love. It’s hard to go wrong in the incomparable City of Water, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Looking to eat well in Venice? Learn how the locals do it.
What to Do
- Gondola Ride for Two
This quintessential Venetian custom is practically made for lovers! It’s tough to miss the gondoliers, clad in their striped shirts and flat straw hats, gently propelling their long boats along the networks of canals. Climb aboard and relax with the one you love while you float peacefully under bridges and past historic waterside palaces.
- Feed the Pigeons in St. Mark’s Square
St. Mark’s Square, perhaps the most famous place in Venice, is well-known for the flocks of pigeons that gather despite the crowds of tourists. Mingle with some true Venetian natives by tossing some breadcrumbs to the flocks with your partner – don’t forget the camera!
- View from the Campanile
After you’ve used up all your bread crumbs, take the lift to the top of the campanile (bell tower) of St. Mark’s Cathedral. From 99 metres up, you can see the red rooftops of Venice set against the turquoise lagoon, and, on a clear day, the Dolomite Mountains in the distance. The ideal background for a grand romantic gesture!
- Stroll the Zattere
This long promenade runs along the southern shore of Venice’s main island, and is the ideal place to stroll hand in hand. As you walk, take in the splendid sixteenth-century former palaces, or pop into any number of stunning Baroque churches.
- San Giorgio Maggiore
Take a water taxi (vaporetto) to the tiny island of San Giorgio Maggiore (visible from the Zattere), which is dominated by an enormous 16th century church of the same name. A stunning example of Renaissance and Palladian architecture, the waterfront church is the ideal setting for a romantic photo op.
- Follow Casanova’s footsteps
Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) was a Venetian author and adventurer, particularly famous for his numerous and complicated affairs with women. In fact, Casanova was so notorious for his romantic escapades that his name is now synonymous with ‘womaniser’. Follow in the footsteps of the famous lover by sipping wine at Do Spade bar on Calle de Spade, not far from the Rialto Bridge. It was in this bar that Casanova wined and dined his lovers, so it’s clearly the right setting for romance!
- Get Lost
Don’t make the mistake of sticking to the main drag. While the most popular city sights (such as the Doge’s Palace and the Cathedral) are no doubt worth a look, they are nearly always packed with tourists. For a more intimate adventure, take a wander through the dense maze of canals and medieval alleyways so characteristic of this city. The neighbourhoods of Cannaregio and Dorsoduro are both excellent places to get lost. Discover secluded squares, beautiful bridges, and charming side streets that will bring out the hopeless romantic in anyone.
- Share Some Gelato
This is Italy after all, so you can hardly walk ten paces without encountering a gelato shop. Velvety and decadent, this Italian specialty is the ideal accompaniment to your romantic escape. Choose a scoop (or two) of your favourite flavour and a couple spoons, then find a quiet bench or canal-side promenade to enjoy it on.
- Musica a Palazzo
You’ve probably heard of Venice’s acclaimed La Fenice opera house, but opt for a more intimate experience at the Musica a Palazzo – a smaller-scale opera performed in the Baroque Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto overlooking the Grand Canal. The small ensemble of singers and instrumentalists has performed great masterpieces such as La Traviata and The Barber of Seville in this elegant space. Immerse yourself in the romance and intrigue of this up-close opera experience!
- Sunset on the Accademia Bridge
At the end of a long day of walking and sightseeing, take in the sun setting over the lagoon from one of Venice’s most famous bridges. This narrow wooden bridge arcs gracefully over the Grand Canal, offering splendid views across the water.
How to Get to Venice
Can’t wait to escape to Venice with the love of your life? Luckily, this romantic paradise is just a two-hour flight away from London. Nonstop flights leave daily from London airports with easyJet, British Airways, Monarch, and more.
Once you’ve landed, you’re no doubt eager to get started. If you’ve pre-booked your airport transfer from Venice Marco Polo into the city proper, you can hop right into a waiting vehicle with not a minute wasted!
Where to Stay:
Hotel Antiche Figure – Location-wise, it’s hard to beat this hotel situated right on the Grand Canal. You’ll be immersed in the rhythms of Venetian life right from the start with a canal-view room from which you can watch gondolas and water taxis cruise the waters. Outfitted with classically-styled furniture and elegant tapestries, this three-star hotel puts you under a spell.
Al Ponte Antico – Boasting views of Venice’s iconic Rialto Bridge, this four-star hotel feels as sumptuous as the palace it once was back in the 14th century! Ornate furnishings, sparkling chandeliers, and carved wooden ceilings will have you feeling like royalty. Slip on a complementary robe and soak in the luxury.
The Gritti Palace – For truly all-out palatial decadence, look no further than this spectacular five-star hotel. This former noble residence has been restored to its original splendour – with modern amenities and luxuries added, of course. Treat yourselves to breakfast beneath the hotel’s chandeliers and dinner in the Club del Doge, which serves local cuisine made with ingredients from the nearby Rialto market.
About Shuttle Direct:
Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a business trip, your travel plans are safe in Shuttle Direct’s hands. As the largest provider of transfer services in Europe and North Africa, we’ve pretty much handled every situation imaginable. Book your next airport transfer with us to see what the Shuttle Direct experience is all about.