Venice is a wonderful place to go for a romantic getaway with your favourite VIP travel companion escort. Yes, it can be touristy — but with a carefully planned itinerary, you can enjoy all that it has to offer and miss (a lot of) the crowds. I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend in Venice recently, thanks to a very generous friend, and I can’t tell you how gorgeous it was. In fact, you should see for yourself — check out my beautiful Venice photos here!
The enchanting — and slightly bewildering — thing about Venice is that the city is effectively a living museum. Everywhere you look is a pretty square, a beautiful building, an ancient church full of priceless art. But this means it’s an amazing place to spend a few days.
Here are a few of my favourite finds for Venice. Check them out, and let me know what you think!
Galleries and Sights
Ca’Rezzonico get there early and have a coffee in the café (a hidden gem with fantastic coffee and a perfect little terrace on the canal) and then see the Tiepolo ceiling frescoes, and the spectacular Murano-glass chandeliers.
Galleria dell’Accademia has a beautiful collection of art, and when we were there, contemporary artist Anish Kapoor had a huge Biennale exhibition which we thoroughly enjoyed seeing. Make sure you get a photo of the view from the bridge!
Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a beautiful building and garden, with a really fun gift shop, too! I enjoyed the collection, which is kind of a checklist of a modern art who’s who.
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute to see the collection of Titians in the Sacristy and enjoy the lovely architecture.
The Doge’s Palace tour is one of the best I've ever enjoyed. We had a knowledgeable guide who took us through the Palace, explaining the art, the rooms, and the history of the Doges of Venice.
St Mark’s Basilica is once of the most incredible sights of Europe, in my opinion, and the private night-time tour was well worth the expense. Seeing that gold ceiling glowing in the lights, while having a private guided tour — the Basilica was silent; it felt precious and, dare I say, holy. A very special experience that I will always treasure. If you do only one thing on this list, make it this — and that’s really saying something.
To be honest, in Italy, I'm a have-a-gelato-whenever-you-see-one type of person, because you really can’t go too far wrong. That said, it’s easy to tell the truly great stuff from the more touristy fare!
Gelato di Natura at Campo Santi Apostoli, for great flavours and a super-cute location — sit under a tree by the canal and watch the world go by while you enjoy your gelato!
Gelatoteca Suso is called the best gelato in the world, and the queues will attest to its popularity. I had the wonderful pistachio and cherry, and it was divine.
Bacaro del Gelato simple flavours, done exceptionally well — and it’s next door to a wonderfully cute wine bar, Vino Vero.
Al Timon is a lovely, intimate, no-frills restaurant popular with locals. The wine was excellent, and we got the meat board for two: a perfectly grilled steak, fried potatoes, fresh veggies and a juicy chunk of pineapple. Make sure you’re hungry!
Vino Vero, a canal-front wine bar loved by locals. It’s the ideal place for an afternoon of wine and cicchetti in the sunshine — sitting by the canal and having a giggle together.
Sora Al Ponte is the most beautiful, tiny restaurant where, if you’re lucky, you’ll get one of the tables on the bridge. Everything was delicious, but the Mama Mia (spaghetti and meatballs) was exceptional.
1000 Gourmet makes the most fantastic pizza: get a takeaway (try the pistachio and mortadella pizza!), get a couple of cold Birra Morrettis from a street vendor, and walk it along to the lagoon front to watch the sunset. Heaven.
Enoteca Schiavi for canalside cicchetti and an exceptionally nice wine list, best enjoyed sitting in the sunshine by the water, or in the park on the other side of the canal.
Saturday is a busy day in Venice, so it’s a good day to get out of town. Nearby Padua or Verona are beautiful for a day trip, or catch the ferry to the cemetery island, Isola di San Michele, to see the graves of Dhiagilev, Stravinsky and Ezra Pound.
The key to a great holiday is having a few unmissable things booked in advance, and a few in-between things that you’d like to see. Mix in a selection of great eats and drinks, and of course, the perfect hotel, and there you have it!
I am an expert at itinerary-planning, whether we’ve got a few days or a few hours. If you need to get away this summer, and you’re looking for the perfect European travel companion escort, get in touch and let me organise a few days of fun and relaxation. So take someone special to Venice, or ask me to plan the perfect itinerary for us in a city of your choice — let’s go!