While just heading down the streets and the canals is romantic in itself, we have 10 suggestions for totally romantic things to do in the city of Venice, Italy. This gorgeous city, with its baroque architecture, beautiful canals and fantastic annual carnival is truly a wonderful place to be. However, here are 10 suggestions for romantic things to see and do in Venice this summer.
1. Enjoy a gondola ride for two
This might sound like an obvious thing to do in Venice. However, when it’s just the two of you, gliding past the beautiful Renaissance and Baroque buildings, it is truly special. Head to any of the main bridges in Venice, like the Accademia or the Rialto, to find a free gondola. Climb on board, and if your guide has a good voice, he might even serenade you as you float along the canals.
2. Take a boat trip to the islands
Staying with being on the water, catch a motorboat across Venice’s lagoon to the beautiful islands nearby. Exploring the streets of Burano with their pastel-colored houses is lovely while buying some ornate lace to take home. Alternatively, head to the island of Murano to window shop for beautiful, hand-made glass ornaments as a souvenir.
3. Enjoy lunch on Torcello Island
Take a ride on a waterbus to Torcello Island, one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite haunts, just 10 km (6 mi) from St. Mark’s Square. Once there, stroll past the beautiful Byzantine cathedral to Locanda Cipriani Restaurant. Here, you can both enjoy the perfect Italian lunch under the shady pergolas on the terrace.
4. Catch the sunset on St. Mark’s Square
Exploring St. Mark’s Square at sunset makes this beautiful spot even more romantic while gazing at the Basilica San Marco, and the ornate Doge’s Palace. Meanwhile, veer off the city’s main square and head down the arcades where street orchestras serenade you as you pass. Then, relax on the terrace at Caffè Florian sipping tea and gazing into each other’s eyes.
5. Follow in the footsteps of Casanova
Imagine seeing the romance of Venice through the eyes of the world’s most famous lover, Casanova himself. Spend the evening sipping wine near the Rialto Bridge at Do Spade bar on Calle Delle Do Spade, where Casanova met his lovers. Alternatively, book a room close to the Doge’s Palace, his prison home until his famous escape.
6. Visit the Dorsoduro district
Located next to the Grand Canal of Venice, the narrow streets of the Dorsoduro district offer a true shopping adventure. Book a room at a hotel in the district, and then head off to explore the narrow alleyways, shopping for romantic gifts like Murano glass or Venetian masks.
7. View Venetian art at the Church of the Frari
Romantic couples with a love of art can enjoy the beautiful, religious masterpieces of the famous Venetian painter Titian. The work is located in a Renaissance art gallery in the old Gothic Church of the Frari, in the quieter San Polo district. On the way, explore the quiet squares and mysterious alleyways of the district.
8. Take Grand Canal selfies at sunset
Make sure you leave your hotel in time to view the sunset coloring the Grand Canal from the 15th-century Rialto Bridge. This perfectly Instagrammable spot is ideal for taking romantic selfies as a memory of your Venice vacation. Spend some time shopping for quaint homemade gifts, then head to the Accademia Bridge to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Here you can have a leisurely browse of the beautiful contemporary art on display.
9. Enjoy a performance at Teatro La Fenice
After sunset, take a romantic waterbus ride past the gorgeous palaces on the Grand Canal, stopping off at Santa Maria del Giglio. From here, head to the Teatro La Fenice to enjoy a romantic opera or ballet performance. Make sure you get your seats in the gold balconies of the beautifully restored opera house for the perfect romantic evening.
10. Enjoy views across Venice from Basilica San Marco
Get the very best views of Venice by heading up to the Campanile bell tower of the Basilica San Marco, 100 m (62 ft) above St. Mark’s Square. After taking an elevator to the top enjoy views of the red rooftops of Venice, the lagoon, and, on a clear day, right across to the Dolomite Mountains.
Visit Venice this summer with your significant other, taking in all the sights and attractions this wonderful city has to offer. Even better, if you time your visit well between February and March, you can enjoy the wonders of the Carnival in Venice. Hide from the crowds behind ornate masks and experience the excitement of this colorful annual event.