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Known as a jewel of the Adriatic, city breaks don’t come much more romantic than Venice and it’s the perfect place to whisk that special someone away too. There’s romance lurking around every canal and piazza in Italy’s Romance Capital, but with so much to see and do it can be difficult to decide on the best way to spend your time.
From gondolas to operas, make the most of a weekend away in Venice with our guide to the city’s top romantic attractions.
Okay so they might be a bit of a tourist trap, but there’s a reason gondolas are such a popular attraction! There’s nothing more romantic than cosying up and enjoying a slow cruise past the city’s famous baroque and Renaissance buildings. The boater hats and striped shirt of the gondoliers are hard to miss, and you can pick up a gondola at either of the city’s main bridges.
Take a Boat Ride
If you can’t get enough of being on the water, take a motorboat across the Venetian lagoon and pay a visit to the nearby unspoilt islands. Burano is famous for its picturesque pastel houses whilst Murano is a shopper’s paradise, offering plenty of places to pick up some bargain lace of colourful glass ornaments.
Watch the Sunset
Watching the sunset is one of the most romantic things to do with your partner, and the end of the day looks pretty spectacular at St Mark’s Square. It’s the perfect way to round off a wander past the Basilica San Marco, the ornate Doge’s Palace and around the quaint streets. Caffè Florian is a great place to enjoy tea on the terrace.
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Venice, but why not shop like a local and treat that special someone to a home-cooked Italian meal? Named after the nearby Rialto Bridge, this brilliant food market at the front of the city’s oldest church (San Giacomo di Rialto, founded in 421AD) is hugely popular with Venetians and sells everything from fruit, meat and veg to its most famous produce – seafood. There’s plenty on offer to accompany a plate of pasta including baby octopus, soft-shell crabs, giant prawns and fish fresh from the lagoon.
Spend the morning strolling round the market before heading back to your apartment to cook it all up.
Watch an Opera
If all that wasn’t enough to make you book a weekend break at Secretescapes, then this next option certainly will! Venice is famous for its operas, and though La Fenice is the most popular option, a night at the Musica a Palazzo is just as romantic. Performances are much more scaled down and the setting is much more intimate, with candlelight adding to the romantic atmosphere.
See La Traviata and follow the performers from set to set as each act takes place in a different room. It’s sure to be a very special evening!
Explore the Churches
When you’re in Italy a church is never too far away, so take some time to explore some of these beautiful grandiose buildings. St Mark’s Basilica is the obvious choice, but if you don’t fancy braving the queues head to the Santa Maria della Salute. Considered to be one of Italy’s finest churches, this stunning octagonal building is easily accessible from St Mark’s via targhetto – the gondola ferry that will take you across the Grand Canal.