Drag your partner out of bed really early in the morning and hop on a gondola ride while the sun is rising. Nobody will be awake but for a few Venetians beginning their work, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world. The legend goes that if you kiss as you pass under the Bridge of Sighs in your gondola, you’ll stay together forever. This is an optimal occasion to test the truth of that claim.
As the sun sets over the canal, you’ll be facing out over the southern edge of the lagoon, which is the perfect place to see the glorious colors changing over the water. Perhaps you’ll buy a gianduiotto from Gelateria Nico, a deliciously rich block of chocolate and hazelnuts nestled in a bed of whipped cream. As your partner is savoring this creamy confection, take the prime opportunity to get down on one knee on the canal.
San Marco during the day can be crowded and touristic, but at night the square clears out, and the quartets in front of the fancy restaurants begin to play. The flickering lights of the Piazza, the darkness, and the beautiful music all work together to create an irresistible atmosphere of romance.
This vaulted brick taverna is hidden away behind many twists and turns, but it boasts one of the most beautiful courtyards in the city that opens directly onto the beauty of the Grand Canal. There’s live music every night, and the feeling is lively but intimate. It’s one of the best places in the city to wine and dine your sweetheart.
The tower of San Giorgio offers an incredible panoramic view of the city and its lagoon. The island itself is isolated from the rest of the city, and gets much less foot traffic than the tower in St. Mark’s Square. If you’d like to be alone with your partner, head up at seven in the morning when it opens. You’ll be surrounded by early morning light and the mist on the water.