Bloggers Mike and Megan Jerrard share tips for where to find romance in Venice, Italy. (Photos: MappingMegan.com)
With its historic charm and romantic waterways, Venice is an inviting destination for couples. Of course, its reputation is no secret, and some 20 million people visit the floating city each year. So how is a couple supposed to fill the air with romance while trying to dodge pushy street vendors and a barrage of selfie sticks waiting to poke your eye out, all while rubbing shoulders with sweaty tourists in overly crowded St. Marks Square? How can we possibly keep calm when I feel as though I am being frisked at an airport while making my way to the Rialto bridge?
Thankfully there are still many spots throughout Venice where you can escape the crowds and enjoy a magical, romantic atmosphere. The key is to throw out the travel guide you bought which lists the best “not-to-miss” hot spots — although do refrain from tossing it into the lovely canals.
Venice is a feeling and a way of life, not simply a destination with a list of attractions you should see. So get out there and spice up your love life; the following tips will help you escape the crowds.
Isola delle Rose
By far the best way to avoid the hustle and bustle of St. Marks Square is to take the complimentary shuttle boat courtesy of JW Marriott and head to the lush island of Isolla delle Rose, where the resort is located. The gorgeous manicured grounds and well-designed biking and walking trails are a couple’s dream, and nature lovers will be amazed at the wildlife.
We walked hand in hand beneath olive trees with owls overhead, while gazing out at the Venice skyline. Best of all, you don’t need to leave the island when the sun sets; JW Marriott offers some of the finest accommodation you will find. An extended stay here is easy, and the hotel offers everything you might need.
Venice’s northernmost district, or sestiere, Cannaregio is the go-to spot to avoid tourists and experience authentic Venetian charm. The area abounds with character and we were given a glimpse of the true Venetian way of life.
Each alleyway is lined with doorways boasting unique door knockers and windows. No two alleys are alike, which meant we were inspired to continue exploring. The area is also home to private gardens with caves and fountains found at Boscolo Venetia hotel. Best of all, the area is easily reachable from the city’s airport.
Walk Late at Night or in the Rain
As darkness descends upon Venice, many tourists clear out which offers travelers spending the night a much more intimate experience.
The reflection of lights upon the canals and the delicate sounds of lapping water set the mood for romance. Even when an evening thunderstorm caught us off guard it allowed us to cuddle closer together under the umbrella as the smell of pasta lured us into a small restaurant to wait out the heaviest of the rain.
Relax Along a Canal
Many alleyways reach a dead end upon hitting a canal, but don’t let that stop you from sitting down with a book or catching up on some journal writing. You won’t have tourists walking past nor any commotion from storefronts. Take time to soak in the quiet atmosphere where only the occasional gondola may pass you by.
Take Refuge in an Off the Beaten Path Church
Avoid the main St. Mark’s Basilica and opt for a lesser known church away from the crowds. It is a great way to break from the midday sun and find your spiritual side. We had many churches nearly to ourselves which allowed for quiet inner peace. The lack of crowds allows you to greatly appreciate and take in the essence of these smaller places of worship.
Megan and Mike Jerrard were solo travelers that met and fell in love. Now, they blog about their romantic adventures together at MappingMegan.com.