Venice

Venice is located in beautiful Italy. It is known for its romantic boat rides along the river that allows you to discover Venice from the comfort of your own little boat. You can also do on a romantic date and eat some delicious Italian food with seafood fresh from the Mediterranean Sea.

Everyone knows how it goes: hop in a gondola, devour a Cornetto, propose to your travel partner. Cheesy, huh? Well tough, because it’s one of the most important things to do in Italy. Alternatively, you could get that gondolier to weave through the old waterways and up the Grand Canal, taking in the Doge’s Palace and the handsome arches of the Rialto Bridge as you go. For a break, head over to the district of Murano, where glass blowers have been making artisan goodies for centuries. 

When: Jan 30th-Feb 17th, 2021 Where: Venice, Italy 
Venice is special at the best of times, but during Carnival 2020, it’s like stepping into another world of elegance, color, and fun. The festival lasts two weeks and signals the end of winter. While it’s a fun-packed fortnight, there are a few events within the two weeks that you don’t want to miss. First, the Water Parade, where brightly decorated boats sail down Rio di Cannaregio in a stunning display, and then the party really starts when the food stalls and music get going. Next, you’ll want to catch the Festa delle Marie, which is on the second Sunday and features the costumed procession that the carnival is most famous for. This is where you’ll see those incredible outfits and masks as they travel from Garibaldi to Piazza San Marco. Finally, the Flight of the Angel, also on the second Sunday, sees a rope angel fly up to the doge, an impressive acrobatic display that rounds off the fun. When: February 2021
Where: Portland, Oregon, US
Once a year, Portland lights up in a gorgeous Winter Light Festival inspired by light festivals all over Europe, such as the famous Festival of Lights in Lyon, France. Designed to banish away the wintery darkness, installations appear all over the city and the levels of creativity are seriously impressive. Portland takes the ‘turning on the Christmas lights’ tradition to a whole new level with tunnels of light to walk through, acrobatic light displays, and fire performers. This is one of the most instagrammable festivals and full of surprises. You’ll find hot chocolate and street food to keep the chills at bay and there are more than a few choir performances to catch that make for a wholesome, family-friendly outing.
When: Nov 26th, 2020-Jan 17, 2021 Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This is easily one of the most exciting events in Amsterdam over the winter, and one of the easiest to catch because it lasts a couple of months in an attempt to banish those winter blues. Comprised of hundreds of art installations made of light, the Amsterdam Light Festival is home to exhibits both on land and on water. The water exhibits are drawn out over the picturesque Herengracht canal and make for a stunning winter stroll with mulled wine– you can even see them on the water by taking a canal tour!  The land exhibits get particularly innovative with interactive light installations that respond to touch and sound. Winter has never been this fun. When: Jan 27th-February 17th, 2021 Where: 137, Sancheoneo-gil, Hwacheon-eup, Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do Like most Korean festivals, there isn’t a dull moment to be had at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival. Hwacheon is a village in the northernmost part of South Korea. Ready to try fishing with your bare hands in the freezing cold water? If not, you can watch the more experienced brave the cold. It’s seriously impressive. You’ll even start seeing people jumping into the ice pool, possibly a soju induced decision. Any fish you catch, with your hands or otherwise, can be taken and freshly cooked for you on-site, which is a big part of the festival. If fishing isn’t your thing, there’s also huge ice-skating rinks, zip-lining, sledding and delicious Korean street food to enjoy, or you can just sit back and watch the ice hockey and ice soccer games. The town of Hwacheon is also beautifully decorated with winter lanterns and lights and is perfect for a walk after all the fun.

Head to Venice to celebrate NYE in style on St. Mark’s Square, and you may not see the most extravagant fireworks in the world, but you will get the most romantic setting in the world. In our books, that’s just as unforgettable. Venice is a magical place to visit at any time of year, but it is absolutely enchanting on NYE as tourists and locals alike descend on the most famous and atmospheric piazza of all to bring in the New Year with fireworks, champagne, and live performances. The city really plays up its reputation, holding a ‘love party’ on St. Mark’s from 9pm onwards and live gigs to keep the crowds entertained until just before midnight. As is customary, you’ll have to hug and kiss those nearest to you at the strike of the midnight clock before settling in for an atmospheric show that lights up the whole harbor. Want an epic Venice New Year’s Eve fireworks show without the crowds? Book a dinner cruise for Capodanno and you’ll (almost) feel like you have that magnificent lagoon all to yourself. Bars and restaurants stay open until the wee hours of the morning so if your stamina holds up to the challenge, you could watch the sunrise over St. Mark’s Square as well. Magical much?

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