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Jan 5, 2009 06:35 AM

Visiting Venice - Suitable Restauarnt to Propose????


I'm planning on taking my girlfriend to Venice in early October 2009, with the plan to propose to her. I've been looking around at suitable restaurants and different websites give differing views quite naturally.

I'm looking for an intimate restaurant where the attention is on service and not turning covers, great views which shouldn't be too hard I hope, and maybe even live music where I could make a request. In terms of budget I'm looking at 80-100 euro's per person, and it is likely to be a Saturday night

Any ideas would be much appreciated, also any hotel recommednations wouldn't go a miss.


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  1. I don't know that I can recommend a restaurant per se, but I would steer clear of the restaurants in Campo Santa Margarita and around Piazza San Marco only because they are usually packed with either students or tourists and not terribly romantic. Anima Bella is likely the most romantic place we ate on out last trip (last October). I've attached a photo. Dorsoduro is the section of Venice we enjoy most for night-time meals.

    We usually just ask people working the stalls in the market where the best places are and have had great luck doing this.

    Have you considered something more non-traditional? I can say the most romantic time for us in Venice is always breakfast in San Marco. There are few people there in the morning, the service is top notch @ Florian, and it would be a great surprise. Additionally, there is live music there, usually a pianist and a violist or violinist. A photo is attached to give an idea of how busy it is.

    Good luck and congratulations.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Foureyes137

      I think Florian's is a wonderful idea, either mid-morning or mid-late afternoon, arranged in advance. Then go to dinner for the food, having already done the view. The list of restaurant criteria is unrealistic, but Florian hits them all, minus the dinner.

    2. I've spent a lot of time in Venice and I don't think there is one restaurant that meets all your criteria of excellent food, discrete service, great view and live music which is almost non-existent in good restaurants. Some will have excellent food and discrete service but not much of a view. Others will have great views but less than excellent food and service. Check the following link for an earlier post on this subject.
      The second floor of Caffe Quadri has proper service, old world romantic setting, some tables with view of Piazza San Marco (am not sure the view is that great), good food and very expensive.
      Al Gondoliere has good food and service with nice canal view.
      The Restaurant at the Hotel Metropole has some of the best modern Venetian food, great service in a beautiful intimate dining room (only about 8 tables). No view except for a couple window tables with a peek of the Grand Canal.

      4 Replies
      1. re: PBSF

        What PBSF says about the Met is quite true.

        1. re: Sid Cundiff

          Sid, a year and a half ago a good friend of mine who lives in Vicenza said the Met, then, was the best restaurant in Venice. Since then it has lost its Michelin star. Any idea if, in fact, anything has really changed?

          1. re: Joe H

            The Met Restaurant still has one star in the 2008 Michelin guide. The Italia 2009 guide has not been released. My only meal there last March was excellent.

            1. re: PBSF

              We had the best meal over six hours at the MET Restaurant; the chef's surprise tasting menu. I would go there, hands down - tables are spaced sufficiently apart, service is impeccable, food exquisite. Oops, you'd have to spend significantly more than 100 euros per person though. Al Gondolieri or Al Covo also sound like good suggestions. I couldn't help but partly agree with Joe H.; that proposing anywhere in Venice while breathing in its beauty might also appeal; of course, only you know what suits you both best! Attached is a shot of one of the mesmerizing glass globe modern chandeliers inside the Met Restaurant.

      2. I would recommend Al Covo. This place is al-about service. and the food is incredible. The owners are Chesare ( a Venetian ) and Diane ( a texan) He gets the fish fresh everyday from the fish market and Diane backs all the deserts daily. she has lived there for more than 20 year, but still has a little texas twang. The web site is kind of weak, but it has directions to the place. Near St marks.

        4 Replies
        1. re: scaryjoe

          Well, I have this kind of imagination: I proposed to my wife in the middle of a narrow suspension bridge spanning a small river just north of Vancouver It wasn't easy getting down on one knee to do it but I did it. We still talk about it.

          I'm going to suggest something equally preposterous: so much so that I gave serious consideration to it. Standing in San Marco square with her arms out, almost every inch of skin and clothing covered with hungry, friendly pigeons I would hand my camera to a stranger and ask them to take a picture of me as I get down on one knee to propose to her. When you reach out for her hand to hold as you ask the question you may have to brush a pigeon aside. Little matter-it is an important question at one of the most beautiful and unqiue places on earth. A proposal like this incorporates imagination, romance, creativity, resourcefulness and self confidence. If you both have a sense of humor and spirit I would suggest this could be the greatest proposal of all.

          Really, anywhere in San Marco, any cafe, just inside the Cathedral, just holding hands on a foggy night waiting for a vaparetto. OR RIDE IN THE FRONT OF THE VAPORETTO OUTSIDE OF THE CABIN. Many of them have 8 or ten plastic seats immediately in front and outside of the cabins that are first come, first served. If it is a reasonably warm day this amounts to a private cruise with the water bus "behind" you and seemingly the whole boat to yourself. This could be a real setting depending on the Rialto Bridge as you pass under it, or other buildings that you slowly float by.

          Good luck!

          1. re: Joe H

            If you end up going this route, might I suggest the top of the campanile...

            1. re: Foureyes137

              Why would you propose in a restaurant when you are in the most romantic city in the world?

              Do it anywhere other than in a restaurant, which could, in reality, be anywhere.

            2. re: Joe H


              You're a big softy but I love it.

          2. The best thing about Italy is that the best restaurants never change. We spent our honeymoon in Italy 25 years ago, lived there for a year, and have gone back a couple of times since. If you are looking for the most romantic views, nothing beats the restaurant at the Gritti Palace Hotel, with tables outside on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. Expensive, but soooo romantic, particularly at night. Even for just a drink, it is great. Father afield, take a trip to Torcello, one of the islands in the Lagoon, for lunch at Locanda Cipriani. Again, nothing beats the view or the ambiance of being out on a tiny island with the most fantastic, simple Italian food. If you really want a kick, go for Sunday lunch, when the place is mobbed with large, rich Italian families, but that's not as romantic as during the week.