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Romantic Venice

Venice is the no.1 holiday destination for lovers; beautiful, mysterious - and very romantic.

However, unless you know where to go and what to do, you may end up getting ripped off in tourist-trap restaurants and wasting time in queues that make Disneyworld look empty.

So, to help you be a Latin Lover, and not a Latin Loser, here are my top 10 Venice tips:

1. Don't waste your money on a gondola! It may have been romantic when Henry James wrote The Wings of a Dove, but nowadays it's a real rip-off. You'll be charged £55 for 40 minutes in a gondola pile-up while Japanese tourists film you and school children on class trips point and laugh as your gondolier serenades you (badly).

2. Do opt for a vaporetto trip! This is the waterborne equivalent of a bus; it may look grottier than its glamorous gondola cousins, but it is considerably more enjoyable. Board at the first stop on your chosen bus route to make sure you get a good seat on deck.

3. Better still, hire your own boat and see the canals your way. Head down to Brussa and hire a boat for £17 an hour. They aren't hard to steer and you'll be given a brief lesson before you know it you'll be heading off down tranquil backwaters, stopping off for a glass of wine in a secluded bar. Now that's what I call romance!

4. A delicious lunch can be found at Trattoria alla Madonna, situated along the Grand Canal. The uniformed waiters offer superb service at a good price. The food is both plentiful and delicious.

5. Venice is at its best in the evening. Following an afternoon nap (or other activity) back at your hotel, set out for a stroll over centuries-old bridges, past ancient palazzo, accompanied by the melody of the ever-present waves.

6. Head north to the Rialto for a splendid dinner at Naranzaria. Nibble on cicchetti (Venetian tapas) for a pound or two, or have a more substantial meal for about £15 per head. Ask for a table outside overlooking the Grand Canal.

7. If you want to sleep like royalty, book room 115 at the Gritti Palace. This is a genuine doges palace, built in 1525. Room 115 features antique furnishings and a stone balcony overlooking the Grand Canal. It will set you back around £480 a night, but if you have the money it certainly provides high-scale romance!

8. If you prefer something more intimate, the Locanda Orseolo is a charming place to stay. Prices start from £105 a night and you can be sure of a warm welcome at this family-owned hotel which features its own water entrance from the canal.

9. When it comes to flights, package deals can sometimes be the most convenient. Thomson offer flights, two nights at the Gritti Palace with B&B for a very reasonable £435 per person.

10. The most important thing to remember is to have a relaxed attitude don't worry if some of your plans fall through and you have to change them. Spontaneity coupled with a good sense of humour is the most romantic thing of all!

There are many great travel agent companies that can arrange your trip such as Destination 360 so get booking!

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