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Nov 25, 2006 03:27 PM

Most romantic dinner in Venice Italy for 25th Wedding Anniversary

Hi: I've been to Venice frequently, but never dined romantically, due to my kids. But this trip my wife and I are alone, celebrating 25 years. So, I need to arrange a spectacular dinner the night of our anniversary. It needs to top the last big dinner on the beach at Hualalai. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Hi,
    Congratulations! My husband and I spend our 25th anniversary in Venice too. I will make 2 recommendations.

    For us foodies the place to dine in Venice is Al Gondolieri in the Dorsoduro district of Venice near the Academia bridge. Wonderful place. Service superb. Food spectacular. Nice decor. no view of course.

    The most romantic IMO - food good but not memorable but the setting is splendid. That would be the Cippriano Hotel restaurant. They have their own boat that ferries you across the grand canal. You catch it at the pier at Piazza San Marco. their website is

    1 Reply
    1. I'm still hoping everyone can come up with ideas. Price is no limit. Need the romance factor!

      5 Replies
      1. re: mhhaim

        Just go to Venice and get lost. Serious. Despite what many others will say I wouldn't plan this at all. For me the emphasis would be Venice-if you are going in the Winter. Venice IS the romance, the restaurants are incidental to this. If you are fortunate you will have fog and a mist and, hopefully, when you wait for the Vaporetto you won't be able to see the stop even though it's only ten feet in front of you. If you're truly fortunate it will be snowing. In San Marco Square. This is the most romantic, the most special, the most incredible city on earth and an adventure all the while you are there. Even a mediocre, nondecsript restaurant is special if you are there on a winter's evening. Anything more than this is a plus. After fifteen years and 20+ visits to Venice our most romantic moments have come without planning, without anywhere to go. Just wandering out around dinner time and getting lost and discovering "something." Even if it's mediocre, even if it's, well, "bad" it's still Venice. I would argue the most romantic restaurants are not the best restaurants. I would also argue the romance is the adventure of discovering Venice for yourself without anyone trying to point the way. Find a neighborhood-any neighborhood. Walk around hand in hand and, together, have a "feeling" about a place. Walk in. If you feel comfortable, if they look at you and smile-you're in the right place. If it has an "edge," keep walking and try another. But search. Discover. In Venice you pursue the unknown and discover together, trusting each others' instincts, all the while pursuing its' ages old mystery. And, when you find something special, it will be your's. No one else's. Not a recommendation from a message board but your's. For your later anniversaries it will probably still be in business through the children of the owners on your first visit. And there for you to go back to.

        Good luck!

        1. re: Joe H

          I really think you have to gauge yourself on this - we have found pricy restos in venice to be incredibly disappointing - but every person is different and what seems like a pointless infuriating expenditure to one person can feel different to another if luxury=romance. For us, our most romantic moments have come in places that are convivial and the other guests are relaxed and enjoying themselves - of the places we have been in venice the one that most had that feeling for us was corte sconta - charming host, good food and a happy and relaxed (in a quiet way) clientele the time we were there. Joe is right, you can find this experience in many, many places in Venice - serendipity is important and Im not sure the big bucks or a recc here will necessarily guarantee it for you. Enjoy!

          1. re: Joe H

            Just read your post, Joe and you're right on point. For four straight days, I lost myself in Venice and discovered a love that I never thought could exist. Someone once said "Life is too short to stay in one place too long. . .except if it's Venice.

            1. re: DollarBill

              Very well said.

              We just came back from Venice and I wholeheartedly agree.

              By the way, imo, skip Hotel Cipriani. Food was very expensive, mostly mediocre, and the regular hotel guests get all the tables with the great views.

            2. re: Joe H

              How Beautiful :) I will keep your suggestion in mind when we reach our 25th! we are on 22nd..can't wait for Italy, Chow!

          2. San Clemente Palace Hotel on San Clemente Island - the hotel occupies the entire island and both restaurants at the hotel are marvelous.

            1 Reply
            1. re: shayne

              Not sure what the food is like but we stayed at the Westin in Lido for our honemoon and it was one of the most romantic spots on earth. The beaches went for miles and the patio was gorgeous. Not sure how the dining was there, but if you start there, she won't be disappointed. The shuttles to Venice are frequent and you can arrange for private ones. Happy Anniversary.

            2. I totally agree with getting lost and stumbling onto something wonderful - try Dorsoduro for meandering or walk along the Zattere OR San Marco near the Fenice! Small, candle lit, romantic places you will find!

              3 Replies
              1. re: redredred

                Even though I wrote this almost four years ago it's still one of the best and most heartfelt posts I've had in over ten years on Chowhound.

                1. re: Joe H

                  Defintely a great post. We took your advice and wandered in the rainy darkness thoughout the city a few weeks ago. Incredible. Like a maze with something new at every turn. My only cavet is that we did have reservations at the places we went - Al 4 Feri and Il Refolo. Lots of folks were turned away without them so it was the right move. Next time we'll go without.

                  1. re: specktaker

                    glad it worked out! what did you eat at Ai 4 Feri and Il refolo, and how was it?