Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Aug 25, 2013 11:45 AM

special dinner in Venice

We are celebrating our 40th anniversary and our first trip to Italy, arriving in Venice on September 20. We are spending 3 nights at Hotel Al ponte Anticho. Any suggestions for a truly romantic and excellent meal on our nights there? We are considering Antiche Carampane for Saturday night.
We treasure excellent food and out of the way places not attracting lots of tourists (even though we will be tourists!). Any suggestions or ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What do you consider “truly romantic”? If it is a great view of the Grand Canal, below is a link to a recent post:
    The food at Antiche Carampane is excellent but I would not consider it romantic. It is a lively trattoria with tables somewhat close together. On warm days, there are tables outside on a quiet calle with not much of a view of anything particular. It is a favorite of ours.
    Might fit what you are looking for as “romantic” and slightly "out of the way places not attracting lots of tourists":
    Orto dei Mori in Cannairegio with mostly traditional food mix with a little creativity. The interior is simple modern with beautiful lighting and just the right balance of liveliness. There are outside tables facing a canal. A little more remote, in the same quiet part of Cannairegio is Anice Stellato. It is a simple trattoria with friendly service and outside tables on a canal. Similar to Antiche Caramapane in food but with modern interior and less cramped is Boccadoro. It has tables on a small campo that almost feels private in the evening. On the all seafood topic, both Al Fontego dei Pescatore and Conte Sconta have pleasant courtyards. I have not been to either in a number of years but have heard good recent reports. If it rains, outside seating is off for all the above.
    And if budget is not a consideration, I think Da Ivo is one of the most romantic restaurant in Venice; small, intimate, beautiful lighting, fine table setting, and wonderful professional service. It is fine dining without the flourish, therefore, some might think it is not worth the cost. No canal view or outside seating. The traditional Venetian cooking plus a couple of Tuscan dishes is excellent. Sadly, one won't hear much Italian spoken. More over the top is Da Pisis in the Hotel Bauer.
    If the above does not fit your idea of romantic, be more specific and hopefully you’ll get some good recommendations.
    Also check out the numerous post on 'special' places to eat in Venice on this board. Just type Venice on the top right hand 'search' box.

    1. Pay attention to PBSP's advice below. Venice is itself a very special place, and Italy as a whole as well. We have always found the cordial civilized italian restaurant culture and the fine foods and wines "romantic" in themselves. The good Venetian places tend to be (some examples to the contrary mentioned in the prior post) cosy and without views or candles. But the intimacy and the caring service of these restaurants will make a special expererience for you on your first visit to Italy. Enjoy!

      2 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        "Pay attention to PBSP's advice below. Venice is itself a very special place, and Italy as a whole as well. We have always found the cordial civilized italian restaurant culture and the fine foods and wines "romantic" in themselves."

        Absolutely agree.
        And I'll add, to the OP... do yourself a favor and get that "picture perfect" idealized notion of Venice you may have seen in the movies or on postcards out of your head and just let Venice itself sweep you off your feet and create your own romance. Then any place you choose (with some help from this board) will be romantic.

        Happy Anniversary!

        1. Da Ivo would be our choice. Wonderful food, great service and a smallish window onto a canal. It is the perfect place in Venice for an amazing evening!

          1. I totally agree with the above posters that Venice in itself is romantic. It doesn't have to come down to a big dinner in an expensive candlelit restaurant with great view. Personally I would rather have a light meal at a simple osteria such as ai Sposi or a bacaro such as La Cantina, then share a gelato while strolling the quiet calle enjoying the shimmery water. Gelaterie are scattered all over Venice and most open until 10pm and a bit later. Afterward, have a drink sitting outside at Bancogiro (or other sharing the loggia at Campo San Giacomo di Rialto) or Al Chioschetto (open until 2am in the summer including Sept) on the Zattere. Venice is most beautiful in early morning and late evening when much of the crowd is gone and a quiet calm sets in.

            8 Replies
            1. re: PBSF

              "Venice is most beautiful in early morning and late evening when much of the crowd is gone and a quiet calm sets in."

              How true. Makes me want to book a ticket and fly there tonight! We'll be in Italy this October but won't make it to Venice this time. We have been there 3 other times though, and it never loses its magic. Last time was in November 2009 and it actually snowed a little. Talk about romantic!

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Thank you so much for your great advice!

              2. re: PBSF

                Thank you so much. You may have made a very good point! Gelato, a long walk at night sounds amazing!

                1. re: vevmom8

                  You are going to have an amazing time. Enjoy it!!!

                  1. re: vevmom8

                    It is an amazing city but can be very oppressive and overwhelming during the day if one doesn't get out the main tourist routes: from Ferrovia to Strada Nuova to San Marco and the immediate area around the Piazza; and from the Rialto to the Frari to the Accademia where from late morning to late afternoon, it is bumper to bumper with people and strollers. Just walk five minutes away from them and one will feel a different Venice. Explore the outer Cannairegio, the whole area east of San Zaccaria and eastern Dorsoduro where one will find many small pleasures and less tacky souvenir shops. Visit Piazza San Marco at sunrise, then come back late late evening.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      Thank you. We are always happiest while roaming through neighborhoods or countryside. We are looking for a genuine experience of the city and will make sure to get off the beaten path. I am rethinking my idea of a special restaurant and c
                      considering the idea of good food, great gelato and lots of walks. We are very grateful to celebrate our many years together and enjoy the city and its authentic romance and history. We will definately see the sunrise and sunset on Piazza San Marco as well as at nighttime. Thank you.

                      1. re: vevmom8

                        Your choice of Antiche Carampane is excellent, some of the best seafood in Venice. Signora Librai and her son, Francesco, are wonderful hosts. And make sure to eat cicchetti at the many bacari and front bars of trattoria. Great for informal lunch and late afternoon spritz/snack. Most bacari are closed Sundays.