There is no city in the world like Venice, Italy. For centuries, people have marveled at its beauty and mystery; seduced by its canals, bridges, gondolas, and winding waterways. And with its unique culture of artisanship and merchantry, it is not hard to see how this magical place inspired the likes of Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Casanova, and Wagner.
Today Venice is less a city than an open-air museum full of artistic treasures created by the early Venetians.
Venice—a City for All Seasons. One of the best ways to enjoy Venice is to take time to explore it slowly during all four seasons. The city is a photographer’s paradise, offering a new perspective with each change of light and shade throughout the day.
In springtime Venice is abuzz with celebrations for the Carnival – magnificent parades, glittering gondolas, and masked merrymakers celebrating to the beat of Italian orchestras. During summer, you can sit back and relax as a gondola glides you through the canals or enjoy a drink as you watch the sun set over the lagoon. In fall, Venice’s parks and piazzas take on rich autumn hues and in winter, snow dusts the saintly statues and bridges, creating a fairy-tale world.
Venice is also one of the most romantic cities in the world. It’s no wonder that newlyweds love to take their wedding photographs here with its iconic gondolas, lacy bridges, and beautiful waterways as a backdrop. Here are a few of the most romantic places that you must not miss in your visit to Venice!
Top 10 Romantic Places in Venice
1. The Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of all the bridges crossing over the Grand Canal, and was completed in 1591 during restoration work on a previous bridge. It has been featured in many famous novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and Casanova’s memoirs. The bridge is named after the Rialto market area, which it joins together.
2. Santa Maria della Salute Church
The church was built in thanksgiving for the end of a plague epidemic; construction began in 1631 and was completed six years later under the guidance of Andrea Palladio. Years later, it became a sanctuary for the blind and deaf after its acoustics were enhanced to help them take advantage of its perfect sound reflection.
3. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection occupies a palazzo on Venice’s Grand Canal that once belonged to Peggy Guggenheim. She used her inheritance to collect modern art and opened the museum in 1952 to share it with the public. Since 1979, a number of works have been added from other collections around the world, including pieces by Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
4. Nicolo Bambini Sculpture Garden
The Nicolo Bambini Sculpture Garden is one of the hidden gems of Venice. For more than four decades, sculptor Nicolo Bambini used this garden as his personal workshop. This is where he created some of his most famous works inspired by the city. The garden was opened to the public in 2010 with pieces dating back to 1932. And today, it is a well-loved attraction in the city.
5. Ognissanti Church and Oratorio di San Rocco
Not to be confused with the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, this church is located on Calle dell’Ospedale. Also, it was built in the late 14th century. It houses a painting of The Last Supper by Tintoretto, as well as works by Vittore Carpaccio and Palma Il Giovane. Adjacent to Ognissanti is the Oratorio di San Rocco which is known for some of the finest works from Tintoretto’s brush, including The Last Judgment and The Crucifixion.
6. Teatro La Fenice
Since its opening in 1792, the theater has been destroyed by fire no less than three times. It was rebuilt each time according to designs of renowned architects such as Jacopo Sansovino, Sanmicheli and Antolini. It has hosted many great opera singers throughout the years including Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.
7. Bologna Square
One of the main squares in Venice, it is known for its two palm trees which were a gift from the city of Bologna in the 19th century. The square was built in 1630 and takes up a whole block between two canals, connected by a bridge. It is surrounded by four impressive buildings: Antonio Foscari Palace on the North side, the Public Palace (Palazzo Pubblico) on the South side and two small buildings facing it across the bridge: the House of Carlo Goldoni and Casa degli Spiriti.
8. Church of San Giorgio degli Schiavoni
This beautiful church in Venice is located in a charming little square and is dedicated to St. George of the Slavs. It was built in 1592 by order of the Croatian community living in Venice, after they were granted permission from Pope Clement VIII to build their own place of worship. The church houses a stone sculpture depicting St George slaying the dragon and two paintings: one showing Venice presenting Croatia with the keys to its city gates and another showing St. Blaise presenting St. George with the Croatian flag.
9. La Pietà Church
This church is found at the far end of Venice’s Dorsoduro district, not far from Piazza San Marco. It was built in 1710 and is the final resting place of Vivaldi, a baroque composer. He wrote over 40 operas as well as sonatas, cantatas, oratorios and concertos.
10. Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’oro
This gorgeous 17th century palace houses the Franchetti Gallery, an art museum where you’ll find paintings by Tiepolo, Carpaccio and Giorgione. There are also some ancient sculptures dating back to the Greek period as well as medieval mosaics. It is one of my favorite places in Venice because it’s free to enter and has no time restrictions. So make a day of it and explore!