Dare to get lost in Venice
I travel almost incessantly for work. So when I travel for fun, or even romance, I want to visit a city that completely sweeps me of my feet. Venice does just that. As a matter of fact, it sweeps me of my feet, drags me through its labyrinth of medieval alleyways and canals, then kisses me passionately in the middle of a flooded square. Oh, the stories I could tell you! But you know what they say: what happens in Venice, stays in Venice. Here are some tips to make your own unforgettable memories. Perhaps, this Valentine’s day?
1) Feel like a moviestar for 20 minutes, and take a watertaxi straight from the airport to your hotel. Within minutes you will be slipping beneath the Rialto Bridge with the wind in your hair. Without a doubt the most romantic and thrilling way to enter any city! And surely it’s no coincidence that the drivers are all hunky as hell. Mama mia! Once you’re settled, you can take a gondola to punt more slowly past the beautiful baroque and Renaissance buildings.
2) This is the hotel where Angelina Jolie made Johnny Depp sleep on a couch. Only in the movies, right? (The Tourist, 2010) No couch for you. Sail directly to the very discrete check-in, which is located to the side in the canal, and get to sleep in your own antique 17th century gold bed. The legendary Hotel Danieli was built in the 14th century to meet the demands of Europe’s traveling nobility. It has been beautifully restored to truly represent the splendor and romance of Venice, lavishly decorated with stained glass, ornately carved pink marble, gold leaf columns and Murano glass chandeliers. Feel like splurging? Get a suite on the top floor with a beautiful balcony for sweeping views over those Venetian lagoons.
3) Hungry? How about lunch amongst the rich and famous at Venice’s most exclusive hotel: Cipriani? The whole place has a dazzling film-set elegance, and I suggest that once you finish their gorgeous risotto with fresh local vegetables, you take a stroll through the beautifully gardens and visit the huge swimming pool. Hey, check out the guy on the sun lounger. Could that be George Clooney? And of course you can’t leave Venice without having tried a Bellini at the birth place of this iconic drink (peach juice and champagne): Harry’s Bar, founded in 1931.
4) You can visit the stunning St Mark’s Basilica –nickname: ‘Chiesa d’Oro’ or ‘Church of Gold’- as a tourist, but why not attend a holy mass there? (Check the website for a schedule) They are free of charge, and you do not have to make a reservation. This is when the church with its opulent design and gold ground mosaics really comes to life! You don’t have to be a believer to enjoy the ancients rituals and moving hymns.
5) Venice oozes romance from every piazza, bridge and canal. And getting lost among the beauty of the slow decay, the inimitable light, and the lavish baroque buildings is the most romantic thing you can do. So turn off Google Maps, -as a matter of fact, turn of your phone entirely- and dare to be surprised!
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