Venice is often praised as one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. But once travelers arrive, they may be surprised by the amount of tourism, people, and frankly, unromantic things that happen in Venice. Almost every corner of the city is covered with some shop or the other selling the typical Venetian tourist souvenirs such as Carnival masks and Murano glass. While shopping and spending way too much money is definitely a part of travel, eventually you will want to get away from the consumerism. And along with the tourism comes thousands and thousands of people coming to Venice everyday. With its narrow walkways, the city can seem very crowded at times. Even the ‘romantic’ canals with their gondolas and gondoliers can be less than romantic: many of the canals are not as beautiful and as pleasant-smelling as the travel brochures would want you to believe. Yes, all these things could put a damper on a romantic trip, but don’t lose hope. Venice can be extremely romantic, but it’s important to know the right tips and procedures.
- Plan your timing- Venice is typically a spring or summer destination for many tourists. So consider planning your trip during another time of the year that may not be as busy. Also, going later in the day will help you avoid the large number of crowds who make a day trip.
- Enjoy the atmosphere- Many tourists can get so swept up in the excitement of being in a new city that they try to see everything in one day. But resist the urge. Cities are best introduced slowly, giving time for you to adjust to new culture, foods, sights, and smells. If you’re able to, find a small Italian cafe and enjoy the scenery and weather for an afternoon.
- Get off the beaten path- In tourist cities such as Venice, it’s easy to simply follow the crowd and go where every other tourist wants to go like Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge. Instead, try making your own adventure. Put down the map and let yourself get lost. You’ll be amazed by how quiet the backstreets of Venice can be.
- Try a scoop of every kind of gelato- Gelato could easily be described as “heaven on earth,” and although the dessert can be found throughout Italy and Europe, eating it in Venice is non-negotiable. And with a gelato stand on almost every corner, why not try a scoop at every stop? You’re on vacation, and you’re allowed to indulge.
- Catch some culture- Traveling anywhere in Europe affords you the opportunity to see so many historical and cultural achievements. Give yourself some time to listen to a great concert, see an opera, or visit an art museum.
- Stay up late- A city gains a whole new character at night. With many of the tourists gone, the streets take on a different vibe, feeling more relaxed and intimate. If you have the time, allow for yourself and your travel companions to stay a night. There’s a reason why Venice is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world, and the night air will only aid in helping you develop the same opinion.