Venice Honeymoons, Italy
Visiting Venice is like unwrapping a present for the senses: The toll of church bells; beribboned gondoliers churning their oars; the sharp scent of coffee; glass chandeliers twinkling; and slender, twisting streets suddenly turning onto sun-filled market squares. The elegant piazzas and glistening waterways of this northern Italian city breathe ancient urban grandeur and romance.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
10 hours from NYC, 14 hours from LA, 14 hours from Dallas
Vaporetto, traghetto (a gondola with fixed stops), gondola, water taxi
When To Go: Venice at its best
April to June, September, and October. July and August are hottest months, and the canals may smell when it's hot. Tourism swells May through September.
Winter (excluding the Christmas holidays and Carnevale week), early spring, and late autumn.
What To Do
Take a canal tour:
No trip is complete without a gondola ride -- so cuddle up and glide through the enchanting Venetian canals (it'll run you about $75–100 for up to a 50-minute ride).
Visit Piazza San Marco:
Pigeons, tourists, and street entertainers flock to this lively plaza, home to the glittering gold and mosaic-embellished Basilica di San Marco and the fresco-filled Palazzo Ducale. Tour the palace and cross the Bridge of Sighs, so named because it was the last view Venetian prisoners had before facing their fate.
You're likely to get turned around in Venice, but getting lost was never so much fun. Labyrinthine streets will reveal new discoveries at every turn. Don't pass up that off-the-beaten-path shop selling candy, Carnevale masks, or marbled paper.
Travel by vaporetto:
These boats, which carry Venetians just as city buses carry passengers in less liquid locales, are the best way to see the Grand Canal.
Eat fine Italian cuisine:
Water, water everywhere provides some of the best seafood in Europe, and the Italian touch creates risotto beyond compare. Best bets include Trattoria Madonna, canal-side Ristorante Da Raffaele, and Harry's Bar, where the Bellini was invented and still reigns supreme.
See Ponte di Rialto:
This bridge over the Grand Canal also serves as a marketplace, the perfect spot to buy a gondolier's hat or assorted souvenirs.
Take day trips:
Just a short vaporetto ride away are: Murano, the birthplace of Venetian glass; Burano, known for its candy-colored houses and fine lace; and Torcello, site of two lovely 11th-century churches and plenty of prime picnic spots.