Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Travel :: Romance in Venice


Can you think of anything more romantic than spending Valentine's Day in Venice, Italy?  Ok, well maybe Paris {lucky Melinda will be doing just that!} but I have to tell you that the most romantic night of my life was spent in the beautiful Italian lagoon city of Venetia.  Ryan and I had just spent two and a half fantastic weeks making our way from the Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Florence and chose to spend our last two days in Italy in Venice.  To be honest, after hearing from multiple friends and fellow travelers, we were very, very hesitant about visiting due to the number of negative comments we received {"Venice is a tourist trap," "Venice is like Disneyworld for adults," "Venice is dead"}.  But, because it had always been on my bucket list we decided to give it a shot.  And can I just tell you that we were absolutely blown away by the architecture, the light, and the opulent elegance that is Venice.  It was pure magic.  For a perfect date night in Venetia...

Take a gondola ride at twilight: Yes, it is expensive.  And yes, it does feel kind of touristy.  But a trip to Venice is not complete with a ride in one of its famed gondolas, which were the chief means of transportation in the Venetian Lagoon from the 14th century until fairly recently.  We found that the canals were much more peaceful in the evening {after the cruise ship tourists left} and the light at dusk is absolutely magical. Prices are regulated across the city so pick a gondolier who you click with.  We were so lucky to have found Fabio, an old fisherman who had been a gondolier for over 25 years.  He was the perfect combination of humor, history, and grace.  Although typically you have to pay a premium to have music on your gondola {hiring a singer and/or accordion player to ride with you}, Fabio quietly sang old Italian fishing songs for us.  We cuddled under a blanket and spent forty minutes floating along the tiny canals and watching our last Italian sunset.  It was truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life, and I couldn't recommend it more.  At the end of your ride, have your gondolier drop you off for...

Dinner at The Gritti Palace: For the utmost luxury, head to this famous five-star hotel for a decadent dinner at Club del Dodge along the Grand Canal {be sure to make reservations and request a table with a view}.  Start with Bellinis at their Bar Longhi.  Afterwards the maitre d' will take you to your table along the water with a {hopefully} unobstructed view of the iconic church of Santa Maria della Salute.  The white table cloth service is professional and inviting.  Your meal {I'd recommend the Mezze Maniche Pasta with Pecorino, Black Pepper and Lemon to start followed by the Sole Filet with Almonds and Lemon} will be accompanied by a pianist playing classic Italian music on a Grand Piano.  Linger over your food and drinks enjoying the mild Venetian climate and the stunning views while watching the gondolas float alongside your table.  After dessert {you must get the Chocolate Souffle for two}, put on your comfortable shoes for some...

Dancing under the stars in Saint Marks Square: An absolutely magical tradition, every evening {weather permitting} orchestras set-up outside the famous cafes in Saint Marks Square and take turns playing music.  Patrons can either sit at one of the outdoor cafes and enjoy food and wine or stand behind the tables and wander across the square as the different bands play {we sat a Caffe Quadri one night and the other night just meandered around the square}.  Enjoy the beautiful ambiance and when one of your favorite songs is played grab your love and slow dance together under the stars.  Amore...

More romantic travel destinations: Villa Cicolina, The Amalfi Coast, Lucerne, Paris, The Gritti Palace

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out. ;) Venice does sound like a very romantic destination! I've never been, but would love to go someday! That's too bad some people have negative opinions of it - it seems like a beautiful city!

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  2. LOVE these photos! I studied abroad in Florence and spent a weekend in Venice, and I'm glad I did. It's so romantic!

    xx - Erica

    http://www.sweet-endeavors.com/2014/02/brickyard-buffalo-giveaway.html (giveaway on my blog!!)

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  3. oh Venice. i went and visited last March and it remains one of the prettiest places I have ever seen. it was like walking into a painting. there could be NOTHING more romantic.. especially since it was so small.
    and i also agree about the gondola, we didn't ride it at twilight but early morning and it was so peaceful. it is expensive, but honestly, you HAVE to do when you're there... you see Venice from a totally different perspective!


    xo, Brikena
    www.jarofjoy.blogspot.com

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  4. I went to Venice during the off season, so I didn't experience the 'tourist' season. During the off season, I can definitely say that it was SO magical and romantic. We woke up early one morning and walked the empty streets by ourselves. It was my favorite moment in Venice, and maybe of all time!

    http://liveitinerantly.com/

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  5. Allie @ 6000 Miles to HomeFebruary 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    beautiful :). I love that place so much. There's something so magical and fairytale-esque about it. glad you guys had fun!

    http://6000milestohome.blogspot.com/2014/02/mindful-01-introduction.html

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  6. Oh Molly! This gets me so excited. Can't wait to vsit the magical city in the fall. Thanks.for all your help

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  7. Oh gosh, if only! This place looks absolutely stunning! I'll just pretend that I'm there over this love weekend ;)
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  8. I love the Gritti Palace - beautiful photos!
    Sarah
    whatsarahknows

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  9. This post just made me have a serious case of wanderlust! I love Venice so much.

    Isn’t That Charming.

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  10. Yeee.... I would think a lot of places for the Valentine's Day.
    I agree. The place is .... I'm out of words .... AMAZING!
    But the main thing is .... with whom? Who is the person I am spending my V day...
    Great photos!
    Margaret
    http://www.decordesireforbeauty.com/blog.html

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  11. Oh how I love Venice! I went there during my semester abroad in London and it turned out to be my favorite Italian city. I don't understand how some people think it's dirty and unimpressive. I couldn't afford to do a gondola trip at the time, so I snuck inside one to snap a photo! Of course, my karma came back and I ended up getting that camera stolen, so sad.


    I totally owe you an email - I'm on it now! :)

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  12. Highheels & TutusFebruary 12, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    What amazing photos. It looks like a spectacular place! I am dying to go there!

    www.highheelsandtutus.com

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  13. Venice was just amazing. Lovely images. So romantic.


    pinkandnavystripes.com

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  14. thank you carys!
    it truly is magical, i couldn't recommend it more :)

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  15. thank you so much for the sweet words julie!
    i hope you're having a lovely week :)

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  16. it really is gorgeous. honestly, cities like paris, venice, NYC, etc. are always filled with tourists...but the reason is because they are truly spectacular :) venice is just more challenging because it is small and an island, so on days where 4-5 cruise ships disembark i can imagine there is just not enough space to comfortably hold all of them!

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  17. that sounds absolutely magical erica, i loved florence and am envious you studied there :) i'll definitely check out your giveaway, thanks for stopping by!

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  18. i completely agree with you kayleigh :)
    hope you're having a lovely week!

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  19. i'm so glad you loved it as much as i did! there is actually a monet painting of san giorgio maggiore at our local museum and i must have visited it at least five different times since returning :)

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  20. that sounds absolutely fantastic quyen! both ryan and i agree we would love to go back in the winter when it is much more peaceful and quiet. glad you loved it too :)

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  21. i completely agree allie, it honestly felt like time stood still and we easily could have been transported a century or two in the past without even noticing :)

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  22. i'm so glad you liked it jennifer! personally, i think that a lot of people i know who went there either A) just stayed near saint marks square the entire time {which yes was busy, but to me no worse than near the duomo in florence or st. peters in rome} or B) did so during study abroad and were wanting to go out and party the whole time, which clearly isn't what you do in venice :) your time in rome sounds magical!

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  23. i will be doing the same :)
    hope you're having a great week TJ!

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  24. i know, i really wish we stayed there...it was so stunning and completely transported me back to a different, more refined century :)

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  25. i'm so glad you liked it emily!
    hope you're having a lovely week :)

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  26. i would be perfectly content being my own valentine's day date in venice :)
    thanks for stopping by margaret, i hope you're having a lovely week!

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  27. thank you so much lindsay!
    hope you're having a great week :)

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  28. oh no, how terrible your camera was stolen! it sounds like you and hal may need to go back someday to take new pictures and take that gondola ride :) thanks for the email dear, so excited for friday! xoxo

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  29. Beautiful photos! You really captured the essence and elegance of Venice. I've been to this place 3 times now, but would love to go back there as an adult, and with a loved one (I went when I was much younger so didn't appreciate it as much). I can only imagine it being utterly romantic and fantastic to wander around the narrow little streets. You got me dreaming now! :)

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