“How all the other passions fleet to air, As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair, And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love, be moderate”
Whether you are enjoying the giddiness of new love like Portia from “The Merchant of Venice” or looking to celebrate a long lasting love, there is one city that ignites the flames of love in every heart and which should be on your list of best cities to spend Valentine’s Day
It is a city of 118 islands connected by bridges and boats and possibly one of the most romantic activities in the world.
Forget punting in Cambridge or Oxford, there is only one way to navigate waters and that is by Gondola in Venice. Although there are no longer 10,000 gondolas being sculled along the canals of Venice, you will have no difficulty in finding one of the 400 gondoliers to take you on a romantic trip for two. Splash out and have your loved one serenaded in Italian.
Leaving Venice is always difficult, so picture prisoners condemned to death sighing as they catch their last fleeing glimpses of Venice as they are marched towards their deaths. Thus the Bridge of Sighs was named.
These days, it is less foreboding and instead is one of the many bridges that make walking around Venice such a wonderful and romantic experience.
At the heart of Venice is the Rialto Bridge. It spans across the Grand Canal and is the perfect setting for any modern day Cassanova making a romantic proposal. lined With pretty boutiques, souvenir shops and exclusive stores lining and surrounding the Rialto bridge, it is also the perfect place to pick up some Venetian art.
Test how much your partner loves you by asking for them to buy you a coffee in St Mark’s Square. As the largest and most important square in Venice, it is the place to people watch and with the stunning Basilica of St Mark’s, the Campanile (bell tower) and Doge’s Palace towering over it, it is one of the most impressive squares in Italy, if not the world.
Although Rialto is the main island of Venice, you really should explore some of the other islands for some romantic experiences in Venice this St Valentine’s
Our favourites are Murano and Burano and these can make for relaxing day trips or, for those on short breaks, a quick tour.
Murano is famed for its glassmaking and a tour of one of its workshops provides a fascinating history of glass making (and an opportunity to buy) on the island while the mosaic floor of the Church of Santa Maria and San Donato is also a work of art.
While the glassmakers of Murano create elegantly coloured glassware, it is the fishermen of Burano who we have to thank for making this island a sensory delight. With the smell and taste of fresh fish, book one of Burano’s seafood restaurants for a romantic meal. But not before you have enjoyed a romantic walk along its vividly painted homes and visited its lace workshops.
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