Some people consider Paris to be the city of love. While it may have the Eiffel Tower, the champagne, the fashion, and the pastries, it will never compare to the sweet intimacy that permeates the air of the Italian islands that make up the city of Venice. A perfect place to stroll through the streets with your partner, with many a streetlamp to kiss romantically under and vendors selli roses for a euro to give to your sweetheart, Venice is the truly perfect city in which to spend your early days of marital bliss.
When to Visit Venice
A perfect place for fall honeymoons, Venice is most delightful to visit in the months of September, October, and November, when the hordes of tourists desert the city, the hotel rates are lowest, and the canals are empty, giving you and your spouse the privacy you desire with all the amenities of a tourist-based locale. With temperatures ranging from the 30’s to the 70’s, you may have to bundle up, but isn’t it even more enjoyable for you to have extra layers for your lover to strip off of you after a romantic evening of good music, wine, and food?
Things to do during your Venetian Honeymoon
Gondola Ride: Of course, if you are in Venice with the person you love, you are almost obligated to take a gondola ride through the Grand Canal.
There are stops all around the city for you to board one of those slim, beautiful boats with a dashing gondolier in a striped shirt.
While the Grand Canal is perfect for seeing some of the history and architecture of Venice it might not be the most romantic activity. If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, you can glide in seclusion through the canals that make up the streets of the city, and for a few euros more, you can hire a musician to serenade you. The average price of a Gondola ride is €80, rising to €100 if you want to see the canals in the moonlight. You should not have to pay more than this unless you are extending your ride or hiring a musician.
Murano and Burano: Another must see for any couple, but especially a couple furnishing a new home together, are the outlying islands of Murano and Burano. Accessible through any of the water taxi stations on the coasts of Venezia (the main island), Burano is known for its handstitched lace and tapestries, which sometimes make years to make (Not a bad place to buy wedding accessories if for some reason your honeymoon predates your wedding, brides.)
Murano is known for its beautiful glass sculptures, the best in the world. Italy pioneered the techniques of glass blowing in Europe, and their artists are just as talented now as they were then, with the secrets of the trade passed down from generation to generation. The prices of the pieces differ, but you can purchase anything from the most intricate chandeliers to the hardiest sets of drinking glasses, to beautiful, delicate jewelry. Most studios will even let you watch their artists as they work, free of charge, so don’t sign up or purchase tickets for a demonstration.
Harry’s Bar: If you feel like stepping out with your beloved into a different generation, put on a dress and a suit and head over to Harry’s bar, the birthplace of the peach Bellini. You’ll be served overpriced drinks then promptly kicked out when you’re finished, but the old-world atmosphere, waiters in tuxedos, and delicious concoctions the bartender makes up will all be worth it.
Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace: For couples that are interested in art, religion, architecture, history, and standing in line, there are a plethora of things for you to do! Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s palace are a must.
The Basilica is the Cathedral Church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. Incorporating elements from the Gothic, Byzantine, and Romanesque architectural styles, complete with colorful columns, mosaics, a museum dedicated to Saint Mark, and even the tomb of Saint Mark himself.
Full of too much history to even attempt to record here, The Doge’s Palace was occupied by the Doge of Venice (the monarch) in the former Republic of Venice, before Venice became part of Italy. It opened as a museum in 1923. You will see gilded ceilings, frescoed walls, and grand staircases fit for royalty. Filled with paintings, statues, and other beautiful forms of art, it’s the perfect place for a bride who feels like a princess and a groom who feels like a prince to visit on their honeymoon in order to feel like royalty.
The Bridge of Sighs: It is said that if you kiss someone under the Bridge of Sighs, or Ponte Dei Sospiri in Italian, the two of you will be together forever. The bridges past is not so romantic. Made of beautiful white limestone and containing windows with stone bars, the bridge passes over the Rio di Palazzo. It used to connect the prison to the interrogation room at Doge’s palace and was called the Bridge of Sighs because you could hear the sighing of the prisoners as they left the jail to be punished. Not exactly lovey-dovey, but you could give still give it a go. Who knows, maybe it works.
Rialto Bridge: On a less gloomy note, if you’re in Venice you simply must visit the beautiful Rialto Bridge. Connecting the districts of San Marco and San Polo, in addition to being beautiful, it is the best place to shop for souvenirs. Jewelry, Venetian masks, gold, paintings, leather-bound books, there is nothing you can’t find in the Rialto Market which sits atop the breathtaking bridge.
Where to stay during your honeymoon in Venice
Of course, when planning a honeymoon, one must not overlook where they’ll be staying. There are many hotels that offer honeymoon packages for any price range.
Westin Europa, $$$$: The Westin Europa is currently offering a €600 Romance Package, which includes sparkling wine and strawberries upon arrival, full breakfast in room or at the included restaurant, and a leisurely four pm checkout.
The Cima Rosa $$$: The Cima Rosa is a Bed and Breakfast, located in a beautiful private courtyard off the Grand Canal. Offering suite prices from €285-€475, they offer free breakfast, concierge service that they pride themselves on, a great location, and the potential to rent the entire property. Imagine having an entire courtyard villa on the canal to yourselves, newlyweds.
The Hotel Carlton $$: The Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal offers rooms for as little as $213, but if you’re willing to pay extra, you can be treated to their Grand Romance package, which includes a buffet breakfast, a bottle of quality Italian Prosecco served with appetizers, bouquets of fresh flowers in the room, and a Romantic Gondola tour for two.
The Hotel al Codega $: The Hotel al Codega going for the spectacular price of $154, features upscale rooms with marble bathrooms offering a bar and a free breakfast buffet. Even though this hotel is more smaller and more affordable, it still boasts of 4.7 stars!
Where to eat in Venice
When it comes to cuisine, the locals know best. According to them, these are the four places you absolutely cannot miss:
Paradiso Perduto-A large, boisterous Osteria with long tables, good for people who like to interact with strangers. You can enjoy appetizers and wine at the counter, or you can take a seat, in which case your table will be set up by a waiter and you will be given a menu. Sometimes, musicians will decide to join the fray and you can dance with the locals between the tables. Located at Cannaregio 2540, Fondamenta della Misericordia and open from one pm until midnight.
Alla Madonna-Near the Rialto Bridge, you’ll walk into this restaurant and feel like you have been transported back into the fifties. Few tourists frequent this establishment, but the ones that do are welcomed with old-fashioned courtesy. The dishes are delicious, and the service is efficient. Always as the waiter for their recommendation. Located at San Polo 594, Calle de la Madonna.
Al Covino-A restaurant that seems to be specially made for a romantic dinner for two, this top of the line eatery has only seven tables and a kitchen, all in the same room. The meal is simple but well selected; a choice of three courses accompanied by a local quality wine. Reservations are required. Located at Castello 3829, Calle del Pestrin.
Boccadoro-A large elegant restaurant with Venetian flair, which offers fresh fish, vegetables grown by the chef, fresh pasta, and quality wine. Away from the crowds of the Rialto and St. Mark’s Square, it is a favorite of artists and a place where you can get a true taste of Italian culture as well as cuisine. Located at Cannaregio 5405 A, Campiello Widman.
We hope that your honeymoon is incredible, and your marriage, even more so.