Is Venice really the most romantic city of them all?
When it comes to romance, Venice is definitely a cliché. Images come to mind of floating down the Grand canal in a Gondola, serenaded by a flamboyant, swarthy Gondolier whilst gazing over beautiful old facades, the very ones so unceremoniously blown up by James Bond & his cronies in ‘Casino Royale’.
But does the reality of this city live up to the picture-perfect images? Is it possible to succumb to the romance of Venice on just a one-day trip?
From incredible architecture to quaint cafes
With the tang of the sea in the air, the faded grace & splendour of Piazza San Marco is a sight to behold. Pigeons vie for space with street performers and salesmen selling everything from postcards to novelty masks compete for your attention (and your Euros).
Shops and restaurants line the square and it can be wonderfully relaxing to just sit with a (albeit rather expensive) coffee, or perch on a nearby bench with a cold drink, close your eyes and listen to the melodies wafting over from the violinists hired to play for restaurant patrons.
A city without roads
St Mark’s Basilica rises up above you, dominating one entire end of the Piazza and while there are hefty queues, they move quickly and before you know it, you can find yourself in the tall Campanile bell tower, perhaps one of the most recognisable symbols and even get a breathtaking bird’s eye view across the city’s canal network, marvelling at the perspective without roads.
Head over to Doge’s Palace, the magnificent Gothic building neighbouring the Piazza, where once the Doges ruled over the Venetian Republic with an iron fist. Wander over the Bridge of Sighs to the prison, connected to the palace by the bridge, where they could keep their enemies close at hand.
The romance of everyday life in Venice
From here, you can walk through meandering alleyways, follow mums taking their kids home from school, laden with groceries for that evening’s meal and stop off at tiny bars in equally tiny piazettas for Spritz & Prosecco, making ultimately for the famed Rialto bridge. This is one of the best spots to watch the sun set, and although the view is almost exactly what you expect it to be, you cannot help but be awed.
In Venice, everything requires transporting by water and watching the Venetians going about their daily business, tourists thronging the vaporettos, eyes agog at the old palaces lining the route and goods floating off to their intended destination, the views are enchanting and difficult to tear yourself away from.
As evening falls on Venice
After a delicious meal at a renowned Osteria, we find ourselves strolling hand in hand down narrow alleyways, circumnavigating sudden dead ends overlooking picturesque canals, and I feel pretty convinced the magic of Venice has well and truly cast its spell over me.
Did you think Venice was the most romantic place you’ve been? Let me know in the comments below!
About the author
Manasi is a thirty-something foodie crazy about travel and eating her way through the world, one cuisine at a time. Manasi can usually be found daydreaming about her next holiday and blogging about her food and travel exploits at inher30s.com.