Forget Paris with its monuments and Prague with its castles, Venice is top of our list as one of the most romantic places on Earth. A city known for its stunning waterways, iconic architecture and, of course, that smooth-talking charmer Casanova, it’s always been a hub of grandeur and intrigue. Made up of 118 tiny islands, Venice is nestled off the balmy Adriatic coast and has a fascinating history that goes all the way back to Roman times.
Whether you venture to this beautiful water haven for a birthday treat or to celebrate a special anniversary, you’ll no doubt need an itinerary that makes the most of this enchanting city. From jaw-dropping sunsets to entrancing gardens, here are just a few of the most romantic spots in Venice:
Venice is famous for its many bridges which cross over the canals. Perhaps one of the most famous is Academia Bridge, one of only four bridges to cross the Grand Canal. While the original was built in 1448, this version is just decades old but no less beautiful. The ideal place for a selfie or to drop down on one knee to ask that special question, head here after dark or early morning to avoid the crowds.
Just a short boat ride across from the main island is Giudecca, a small strip of land just a few miles long. While mostly residential, it also features the lovely Fondamenta Croce, a waterfront promenade with views looking back towards the Grand Canal. Explore the shops and then stop for a meal or glass of wine, admiring the scenery and watching the boats glide by on the water.
The Doge’s Palace
Intricate and ornate, The Doge’s Palace is a true relic of Venice’s changing history. Built in the traditional Gothic style, it was once the home of the rulers of the Republic of Venice before the area became part of Italy in the early 19th century. From the extraordinarily grand ceremonial staircase in the courtyard and the grand private rooms in the Doge’s apartment to the eerie prison with its aptly named Bridge of Sighs, stepping into the palace is like taking a trip back in time to the romantic days of courtiers and masked balls.
Campanile di San Marco
If you’re after a bird’s-eye view of the city and the perfect spot to propose, the top of the Campanile Bell Tower is your best bet. Forming part of San Marco’s Square, this bell tower’s redbrick design and carved faces on the top of the tower have made it one of the most iconic sights in Venice. Take the lift to the top and admire views across the city and ocean – on a clear day, you can even see the peaks of the Dolomites to the north.
The Zattere Promenade
If you’re searching for that perfect sunset, a stroll along the Zattere is a sublime option. A wide promenade on the southern side of the Dorsoduro district, it overlooks Giudecca island and features a range of bars and eateries. Walk along the waterfront or enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious Italian feast as you watch the colourful skies of a Venetian sunset.
The Gardens of Saint Giorgio Maggiore
The serene gardens of Saint Giorgio Maggiore really are a slice of paradise, and only a short water-taxi ride from the centre of Venice. Forming part of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini cultural centre (once a monastery), visitors can get lost in the impressive labyrinth, view some fantastic artwork in the outbuildings or catch a show at the beautiful 1950s open air Teatro Verde. It’s the perfect spot for a little alone-time away from the crowds.
A trip to Venice wouldn’t be complete without taking to the water. While gondolas are the choice of many, a water taxi is a cheaper and more efficient way of exploring Venice’s many canals. Sit back and relax with your loved one as you dreamily glide across the smooth waters.