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Honeymoon in Venice

Who needs a heart-shaped bathtub in the Poconos when there's a singing gondolier beneath the terrace of your bridal suite?

Kissing couple - Venice, Italy, honeymoons

Italy is a popular destination for honeymooners, and with good reason:

The climate is warm much of the year; street life runs toward the quaint, especially in the South; Italian food and drink contribute more to a romantic atmosphere than do burgers and fries or corned beef and cabbage; and the Italian attitude toward love puts more emphasis on the physical than the spiritual, despite--or perhaps in defiance of--the sexually repressive traditions of the Catholic church.

Venice attracts its share of the Italian honeymoon trade, if only because it is (and always has been) one of Italy's most popular tourist destinations. We can think of several practical reasons for spending a wedding trip in Venice:

  • A starry-eyed couple can walk hand in hand across a piazza or campo without getting run down by a Fiat;

  • The city is compact, making it easy for newlyweds to return to their hotel beds between sightseeing excursions;

  • Nightlife is virtually non-existent, forcing brides and grooms to rely on each other for entertainment;

  • The atmosphere of the city is so removed from the modern-day world (at least outside the peak tourist season) that it becomes an exquisitely romantic backdrop for that delightful if predictable mini-drama known as a honeymoon.

So what's a honeymooning couple to do in Venice, besides the obvious? Here are a few suggestions:

Go for a gondola ride. Sure, it's a cliché. But if you're on your honeymoon, you're probably willing to surrender your public inhibitions, snuggle against the plush cushions of an oversized rowboat, and exchange sentimental kisses while tourists on nearby canal banks and bridges record the proceedings on videotape or film.

Cruise the Grand Canal on a vaporetto. Wait until after dark, then catch the No. 1 local water bus at the railway station. Sit near the bow (if you're on an older boat) or in the open area behind the cabin. If the weather is cool, you can huddle together for warmth as the vaporetto snakes its way past scores of grand and beautiful palazzi on its way to St. Mark's Square.

Visit the San Michele Cemetery. A graveyard may not seem romantic, but look at it this way: its inhabitants are dead, and you're not. Being reminded of that simple fact can make your life together that much sweeter.

Take a boat to the outlying islands. Torcello, Burano, or the small garden islands of San Francesco del Deserto and San Lazzaro degli Armeni offer a refreshing change from the urban glories of Venice--and when you return to your room in the city, you'll feel that you're going home.

Add a roundtrip cruise to your stay. More than a dozen cruise lines offer ocean, lagoon, or river cruises that start and end in Venice. You can lose yourself among the crowds on a large ship or enjoy the intimacy of a small ship. See our Roundtrip Cruises from Venice article for details.

Otherwise, the best advice for a honeymoon in Venice is simply to take things slowly, giving yourself time to enjoy each other's company instead of exhausting yourselves while sightseeing.

Related material at Venice for Visitors

A Venice Wedding
Before you tie the knot in Italy, let an expert help you cut the red tape.

Where to Sleep in Venice
Use our advice and links to choose your honeymoon hotel in Venice.

Practical Tips
A catalog of articles on planning your trip, arriving in Venice, the best tourist maps, local transportation, and dining in the Veneto.

Gallivanting by gondola
Rent a boat and tour the moats. (Singing is extra.)

To Die in Venice
On San Michele, Venice's beautiful island cemetery,  you can remind yourselves that it's better to be wed than dead.

Venice books and movies
Your trip to Venice is likely to be a good deal less stressful, but just as romantic, as Katharine Hepburn's was in Summertime.

Related Web link:

Luca, Photographer in Venice
If you want a visual souvenir of your honeymoon and can afford a professional photographer, talk to Luca Fazzolari on Skype before your visit. His photos are stunning, and he can discuss your photographic needs in Italian, English, French, or Russian.