By Sarah McBrien
If you hope to go on your honeymoon right after your wedding, it’s so important that proper planning and thought is put into choosing where you will be beginning your marriage with your new spouse. Venice is undoubtedly one of the most exquisitely romantic cities in the world and is one of our favourite honeymoon locations. If you dream of days spent exploring narrow, winding streets and sun-soaked markets or nights lounging on a gondola watching the stars, here’s everything you need to know about seeing it come true:
Before you go
Entry requirement: Passport valid for three months post-departure
Language: Italian, but as it’s a popular tourist destination most people will have a little English
Flight time: 2.5 hours from Dublin
Transport: Vaporetto (waterbus), traghetto (gondola with fixed stops), gondola and water taxi
When to go
Best weather: April – June and September – November. July and August are the hottest months and most popular for tourists.
Best prices: Winter (excluding Christmas holidays and Carnevale week)
Where to stay
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa: This 5-star luxury hotel is on Isola delle Rose, a private island located in Venice. They have a huge variety of rooms available, from standard doubles to suites with private terraces and pools. Live like royalty and explore the verdant gardens and lagoon views and enjoy the complimentary 15-minute ferry ride to Venice.
Hotel dei Dragomanni: Another 5-star option, this time located in Venice’s historic centre, just four bridges from the must-see Saint Mark’s square. Book a room with a view of the Grand Canal for a truly awe-inspiring experience and soak up the Venice romance from the comfort of your hotel room.
Hotel Palazzo Abadessa: Our final 5-star fantasy, set in a former Duke of Venice’s 16th century residence, is located centrally, just a few steps from the Ca d’Oro Museum and a short walk from the popular Rialto Bridge. If you want to feel like a real Venetian during your time there, this is the place for you. Decorated to the heights of Italian tradition, the décor is composed of rich carpets, marble walls, golden gilding and faded brocade. It also has a private garden where local pastries, Italian ham and fresh cappuccinos are served daily.
What to do
Get lost in the markets: Spend your first few days exploring the city and get an idea of what else you want to make time to see. Pick up some fresh flowers at the morning Rialto markets, a bottle of Prosecco from one of Venice’s best wine shops, Drogheria Mascari, and a box of posh chocolates from VizioVirtù in San Polo. Retire to your hotel with your goodies and enjoy a romantic night in with your new spouse.
Visit Piazza San Marco: This lively square is saturated with activity during the day, and happens to be the location of the enormous domes and glittering gold of the Basilica di San Marco and the stunning frescos of the Palazzo Ducale. A truly breath-taking location that will give you the true Italian experience you’re looking for.
Try the local Italian cuisine: Restaurants in Italy are notoriously busy so be sure to scope out where you want to eat and book a table in advance so you’re not disappointed. We recommend the canal-side Ristorante da Raffaele, Harry’s Bar, where the Bellini was invented, and for romantic outdoor dining try Linea d’Ombra.
Take a gondola ride: The pinnacle of any Venice trip is the gondola ride, which is why we recommend leaving it until the end of your trip. At around €80 for a 40 minute trip, they don’t come cheap, so you want to make the most of it! Find a quiet time of day, or night, talk to your gondolier about where you want to go and be sure to ask if they’re okay with you bringing on a bottle of wine and glasses to really heighten the experience.