Romantic things to do in Venice usually include gondola rides along the canals and waterways, as well as exploring St Mark's Square arm-in-arm. Stop at a cute cafe, listen to the charming musicians who will serenade you, and enjoy a ludicrously expensive glass of wine. With its gondola rides, opera and lavish baroque buildings, Venice oozes romance from every piazza, bridge and canal.

    So what are the romantic things to do in Venice?


    A gondola ride for two

    • Couples

    There’s nothing more romantic than punting slowly past beautiful baroque and Renaissance buildings. Pick up a gondola at any of the main bridges – the Rialto or Accademia. Just look out for the driver’s boater hat and striped shirt. 


    A boat ride to the islands

    • Couples

    Take a motorboat a few miles across the Venetian lagoon to the unspoilt islands nearby. Wander Burano’s streets of pastel houses and bargain with lace sellers. If you're looking to shop signature coloured glass ornaments, then choose your accommodation on the island of Murano.


    Follow Casanova’s footsteps

    • Couples

    See romantic Venice through the eyes of one of the world’s most famous lovers, Casanova. Sip wine at Do Spade bar on Calle delle Do Spade, near the Rialto Bridge, where he met his lovers. Or reserve your room near the Doge’s Palace, to visit his prison home until he escaped.


    Sunset on St Mark’s Square

    Wonder at the sheer scale of the domes of the Basilica San Marco and the ornate Doge’s Palace on Venice’s romantic central square. Wander between the arcades past street orchestras to Caffè Florian for tea on the terrace. 

    Location: Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy


    Venetian art at the Church of the Frari

    • Couples
    • History

    For passionate, religious masterpieces by Venetian painter Titian head to Church of the Frari. This old Gothic church in the low-key San Polo district is a Renaissance art gallery. Stroll hand-in-hand with your lover through hidden alleyways and quiet squares on the way. 

    Location: Calle del Scaleter, 3072, Venice, Italy

    Phone: +39 041 272 8611


    photo by london road (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Exploring the Dorsoduro

    • Couples

    Next to the Grand Canal, the canals and streets narrow and the city becomes a village. Shop in quiet alleys for romantic gifts like Venetian masks and Murano glass. Book a hotel in the Dorsoduro district to be closeby.

    Location: Dorsoduro district, Venice, Italy


    Grand Canal views from Venice’s bridges

    Make sure you’re out of your Venice hotel in time to catch the Grand Canal light up at sunset from the majestic, 16th century Rialto Bridge. Meander past its archway shops selling handmade gifts. Walk over the wooden Accademia Bridge for a romantic afternoon’s browsing of contemporary art at the Peggy Guggenheim museum. 

    Location: Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy


    A lazy lunch on Torcello

    Follow writer Ernest Hemingway’s wanderings and drift on a waterbus over the marshes to inspiring Torcello island, 10km from St Mark’s Square. Amble past the old Byzantine cathedral to Locanda Cipriani restaurant for an idyllic Italian lunch on the terrace under the shady pergolas.

    Location: Torcello, Venice, Italy


    Views from the Campanile

    Look out over the maze of red rooftops and the endless lagoon from St Mark’s Campanile bell tower, 99 metres above the square. Take the lift to the top on a clear day for views of the Dolomite mountains. 

    Location: Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy


    Performances at Theatre La Fenice

    • Couples

    Swoon over a romantic ballet or opera performance as you settle into your seat in the gold balconies of this restored opera house. Start your evening with a romantic waterbus cruise past palaces on the Grand Canal to Santa Maria del Giglio - the nearest stop to the theatre. 

    Location: Campo San Fantin, 1965, Venice, Italy

    Phone: +39 041 786654


    photo by Benh LIEU SONG (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveller

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