How can you not go to the city of romance for your anniversary when your so close to it? Even though we were going to Italy later in the summer with our friends for a music festival. We were never going to go to Venice with them so it was a great chance to experience some romance in Italy. We hopped onto the internet and found ourselves a great hotel called Hotel Al Sole that was offering a recession special: stay 2 nights get 1 night free. Complete with a gorgeous view of your typical Venice canal, we couldn’t pass this up for our anniversary.
And we’re glad we went to Venice, as this was one of our best anniversaries to date. We made sure to experience it all whether it was walking hand in hand and getting lost in the walkways, drinking wine on the side of a canal while chatting about the finer points of life. We watched all the gondolas go by, ate dinners outside on the café sidewalks to enjoy the ambiance of Venice at night, got roses from the vendors who accost you to buy their old flowers, took a stroll through St Marks Square and stopped to feed the pigeons, and to top it all off an evening gondola ride to really seal the deal. It was pretty much like we were in a movie.
If you are traveling to Venice alone, try and stay near the Campo Santa Margherita and you will be sure to find fellow backpackers and travelers at night. It’s a busy Italian courtyard surrounded by cafe, bars and a public market dating back to the 1400’s. With no cars, lots of locals and no one trying to sell you something, it’s a breath of fresh air! We spent a great night there buying bottles of wine and drinking them in the square while meeting some great new friends.
One thing that we couldn’t pass up was the traditional gondola ride. After seeing it in so many movies and books, it’s almost a crime not to take it. But be prepared as it’s not done on the cheap, and daytime rates are set with tariffs that will run you 80 euros and night time rides will be 100. While you can negotiate a bit with them, they won’t drop more than 10 or 20. One of the more expensive moving rides we’ve taken to date but seeing Venice from night on the water is magical. It’s truly a beautiful city. As for the singing… we didn’t do that. The ride is just as great without it and the extra 50 euros sits better in our pockets than theirs!