Unwind in the romantic drawing room of Europe

St. Mark's Basilica
My fiancé and I want to get away for a weekend before our wedding and would love a romantic city break. We have been to Paris before so any other suggestions on where to go and what to do would be fantastic. Thank you.

My fiancé and I want to get away for a weekend before our wedding and would love a romantic city break. We have been to Paris before so any other suggestions on where to go and what to do would be fantastic. Thank you.

Venice is one of the world’s most romantic cities and there is a whole host of activities to do there that will make for a perfect weekend away. Once you cross the Venetian lagoon you are transported into a world of mystery, romance and wonder. Venice is a small and concentrated city which is steeped in history; every corner, monument, church and museum has a story to tell.

Referred to as the ‘drawing room of Europe’ by Napoleon, simply being in the magnificent and bustling piazza San Marco is an experience in itself. The centrepiece of the piazza is, of course, the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica. Often seen as the living testimony of Venice’s links with Byzantium, it is also an expression of the city’s independence. This unique and impressive building boasts both picturesque facades and a rich interior that makes for a wonderful couple of hours of exploration.

Venice is a unique and precious repository of art. From the late Middle Ages until the mid 18th century, artists of the highest calibre left their mark all over the city and works by Venice’s grand masters Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto and Tiepolo can still be viewed in Venice’s churches and museums today. Venice also has a vibrant contemporary art scene that lives up to its glorious art history; The Peggy Guggenheim Collection of 20th-century masters has long been one of the city’s most visited attractions.

As a lagoon city, Venice had a long and delicious culinary tradition based on fresh seafood. A wide variety of sea creatures go from the stalls of the Rialto and Chioggia markets straight to the local restaurant kitchens. Sampling la cucina veneta (Venetian cuisine) requires an open mind and experimental taste; spider crab, sea snails and mantic shrimp are all regulars on the menu.

No trip to Venice would be complete without a trip down one of the city’s picturesque waterways in a traditional gondola. There are official set fares but the rates vary depending on when you take your gondola ride and how long for. I would recommend taking a gondola ride on the quiet, back canals rather than on the crowded Grand Canal. Riding through less touristy areas allows you to see a different view of Venice and there won’t be bumper to bumper gondolas or river traffic.

When planning a trip to Venice, some times of year are definitely better than others. Weather and the famous acqua alta (high water) should be considered when deciding when to go, winter and spring are the perfect times to visit.

Where to Stay

Hotel Excelsior Venice (*****)

Prices start from €162 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Hotel Excelsior Venice is a remarkable and elegant resort in Venice Lido, just a short boat ride from St. Mark’s Square.

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice (*****)

Prices start from €119 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Hilton Molino Stucky is a five-star hotel on Giudecca Island with panoramic rooftop pool and complimentary shuttle boat to San Marco. It also boasts the city’s largest ballroom and spa.

Starhotels Splendid Venice (****)

Prices start from €127 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

The Starhotels Splendid Venice is the ideal choice for a wonderful leisure break and to enjoy the very best of Venice. A five minute walk from St. Mark’s Square, the hotel is set on a canal in the Mercerie area of Venice.

Hotel Giorgione (****)

Prices start from €70 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Hotel Giorgione Venice: is an elegant four-star hotel in Venice a few minutes walk from the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!