Concierge Ideas – Valentine’s Day

We are regularly asked for ideas to do on Valentine’s Day and if you’re out to impress here is a really special idea:

How about the romantic city of Venice?

Romantic Venice

Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world – it’s also one of the most touristy, so how do you avoid feeling ripped off? Here’s our guide to the Venice experiences that are worth splashing out on – and the ones that aren’t

Take a water taxi from the airport, but don’t bother with a gondola

Within minutes of landing at Marco Polo airport we were zipping across the lagoon on a water taxi, with the wind in our hair; 10 minutes later we were on the Grand Canal and slipping beneath the Rialto Bridge before pulling up right at our doorstep.

Don’t eat out all the time – shop at the Rialto market

Staying in a self-catering place gives you the perfect excuse to shop like a local. Just a minute away from Rialto Bridge is the brilliant food market of the same name, in front of the small church of San Giacomo di Rialto (the city’s first church, founded in 421AD). All of Venice comes here to buy its fruit, veg, meat and, most famously, seafood.

Stunning Venice

La Fenice is not the only opera

Venice’s famous opera house, but I doubt it could be more romantic than Musica a, the operatic equivalent of a secret supper club, which takes place in a fading historic palazzo down a blind alley just off the Grand Canal.

Sights schmights! Head for quieter neighbourhoods

Venice has more than its fair share of world-class churches, squares and museums, and though St Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace et al are obviously worth a gander, for me the labyrinth of medieval alleyways and canals is what makes the city so special.

Avoid the tourist traps and eat like a local at a bacaro

To get a taste of real Venice, and take a break from sightseeing, pop into a bacaro, one of the small bars where locals go for a glass of wine, a quick snack and a chat. In a city bulging with crappy tourist restaurants, bacari, where you can get a small tasty snack for a euro and a decent glass of Veneto wine for two or three, are life savers.

Courtesy of and many thanks to Gavin McOwan at the Guardian

To read the article in full, see The Guardian

Also worth a look at the official Government Site for Venice

Tours that include Venice are rare in February, but we have found this excellent 8 day Italy tour, that includes Venice and also Florence and Rome

8 Day Luxury Tour of Italy

The afternoon is entirely at leisure – enjoy Rome at your own pace or check with your Tour Director about additional sightseeing options

Hotel – Romanico Palace SF

Meals Welcome Reception / Buffet Breakfast

Day 3 to Day 4 – Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima

Depart the ‘Eternal City’ and follow the course of the River Tiber north. Drive through the idyllic Tuscan countryside before descending to the fertile Po Valley and the glorious city of Venice beyond, with its quaint bridges, ornate palaces and gondolas

Your prestigious hotel overlooks the city’s most romantic stretch of water. Even for the experienced traveller, there can be no better joy than waking-up in Venice

Appreciate her splendour as you cruise by Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark’s Square. Your Tour Director will explain the glorious history of ‘La Serenissima’, once one of the greatest trading centres of the world – its wealth and power is echoed by the riches of St. Mark’s Basilica

See the Doges’ Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs, then visit one of the glass showrooms for a demonstration of traditional craftsmanship, unchanged for centuries

There is time to explore or browse through the shops on the Rialto Bridge in the afternoon. Don’t miss the chance to try the delicious seafood, freshly caught in the lagoon.

Hotel – Carlton on the Grand Canal SF

Meals Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

Day 5 to Day 6 – Florence, Birthplace of the Renaisance

Bid farewell to the unique islands of Venice this morning and re-join your coach. Follow the river Reno high into the Apennines to the Renaissance city of Florence

On arrival meet with your local guide for a walking tour of the historic centre. Visit the Academy Museum to see Michelangelo’s original ‘Statue of David’. Admire the marble clad Cathedral and Baptistery, where Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise’ have been recreated in all their glory

Next stop is Signoria Square filled with Renaissance masterpieces. Finally, learn all the secrets of traditional Florentine leather-work with a demonstration

Tonight, there is a wonderful selection of local restaurants to choose from on your Florentine Dine-Around evening. The following day is entirely yours to do as you please

Everything is easily reached on foot. Traverse the medieval streets to the Ponte Vecchio, haggle for leather goods at the market around San Lorenzo or relax amid the terraces of the Boboli Gardens

Be sure not to miss the magnificent museums and galleries – how often do you get the chance to see some of mostfamous works of art in the world

Perhaps consider an optional excursion into the undulating hills of Tuscany and medieval San Gimignano before sampling some fine Florentine cuisine and Chianti wine?

Hotel – NH Anglo American SF

Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dine Around

Day 7 – The Powerhouse of the Popes

As you drive through the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany, there is an informative tutorial about the Chianti wines that make this region so famous. Continue along the smooth autostrada back to Rome

Amazing Rome

Your Intermezzo reaches its crescendo at the Vatican Museums. Wonder at the collection of ancient and Renaissance art gathered by Popes over the ages, then enter the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected

This is where your audio headset comes into its own, providing clear, expert commentary from your local guide. Gaze up now and truly appreciate the significance of Michelangelo’s famous painted ceiling. You last night on tour is a night to remember

Over a sumptuous dinner of Roman cuisine, fill your glasses with local wine, and sing along with the live music, arias and best-loved Italian songs

Hotel – Sheraton Roma SF

Meals Buffet Breakfast / Celebration Dinner

Day 8 – Dpart Rome

Bid farewell to the glories of Italy. Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 & 09:30

Meals Buffet Breakfast

We found this and thanks to them at www.bestvaluetours.co.uk

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About 1st Choice Concierge

Travel you can trust
This entry was posted in Concierge Questions, Florence, Rome, The Concierge Tips, Valentines Day, Venice. Bookmark the permalink.

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