The 10 Most Romantic Things to Do in Venice
Known as Serenissima, Queen of the Adriatic and the City of Light, Venice doesn't disappoint when it comes to breathtaking romantic sights and experiences.
St Mark's Square
St Mark's Square is one of the most recognizable sights in Venice and a great place to sit and watch the world go by - Napoleon even went so far as to call it 'the drawing room of Europe'. A glass of wine at dusk at one of the square's cafes offering live music provides a romantic end to even the busiest day of sightseeing.
St Mark's Cathedral
The domes and spires of the Basilica Di San Marco dominate St Mark's Square, and the intricately carved gold and marble facade is one of the city's most famous sights. Travelers can take a guided tour around the 11th century building, the interior of which is covered with golden mosaics, or admire its impressive bell tower from the square.
The historic city center is almost completely free of cars so why not get around in style and opt for a gondola ride through narrow canals under picturesque bridges. This traditional form of transport is not cheap, but does allow travelers to really soak up the essence of Venice - particularly if the gondolier serenades passengers during the journey.
Bridge of Sighs
Named by Lord Byron, who imagined the sighs of convicts taking in their last view of Venice before being imprisoned, the Bridge of Sighs was built in the 1600s and crosses the Rio di Palazzo. Travelers can pass underneath it in a gondola, take photos from the nearby Ponte della Paglia or take a closer look during a tour of the Doge's Palace.
Dating from the ninth century, this impressive building faces onto both St Mark's Square and the Venice lagoon - dominating the view of the shoreline from boats approaching the city. Formerly the home of the Venice Doges, or Dukes, as well as Venice's government and justice system, travellers can take in the grand architecture on a tour of the building.
Located around 70 miles from Venice, Verona is a popular place for couples thanks to it being the setting for Shakepeare's great tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Travellers can visit the Casa di Guilietta, Juliet's House, where one can stand on a balcony like the one in the play and reflect on the story of the star-crossed lovers in their 'home town'.
Art and History
A sense of the long and dramatic history of Venice can be gained by a visit to any one of the city's many museums. The Marciano Museum in St Mark's Square houses for example the original bronze horses from the front of the cathedral, while the Accademia Gallery is home to famous works by Bellini and Tintoretto, among other Italian masters.
Just a two-hour train ride from Venice, Lake Garda is situated at the base of the Dolomites Alpine region and offers stunning natural scenery and a range of activities. Sports such at kiteboarding and wind-surfing should keep energetic travelers busy, while late-night shopping, fine dining and fashionable night-spots mean there is something to satisfy all tastes.
Couples looking to ensure every part of their trip is romantic, from finding the right hostels in Venice to the right modes of transport, could ride the Orient Express to the city. The famous train runs on a number of routes that call at Venice, including London-Paris-Venice and Venice-Budapest-London.
An island in the Venetian lagoon, Burano is renowned for its traditional lace-making industry. Couples can learn about the craft and see different designs at the Museo del Merletto di Burano, the lace museum. There are many shops in Burano and the rest of Venice selling pieces made from the delicate material - from handkerchiefs to wedding dresses.