Destination weddings are all the rage these days, and even destination proposals are adding pressure to the matrimonial mix. The idea is that if you swoop your paramour off to an exotic locale, you’ll sweep her off her feet and she can’t help but say “yes”. Pick your question-popping place well and you’ll have a great story to tell the grandkids. Pick poorly, and and your fairytale fantasy just might be a flop. Some popular proposal spots are a bit too cliché, while others have some little known back-story that may tarnish your intentions. Here are the top ten seemingly romantic places to propose that, on closer inspection, really aren’t.
1. Juliet Balcony, Verona
At first blush, the terrace where Juliet beseeched “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” seems like an ideal location to get down on one knee. After all, the bard’s masterpiece is one the greatest love stories ever told. Or is it? It’s about a couple of hormonal teenagers rebelling against their families by indulging in an obsessive attraction that ultimately leads them to off themselves. Not exactly a good omen for betrothal. Then there’s the fact that this Verona tourist trap has no real connection to Shakespeare or his play. The city of Verona bought this 14th century home from the Dal Capello family in 1905 just because they had a similar-sounding name to “Capulet”, and the corny balcony was built on as an added draw (cha-ching!). It’s still a fun place to visit, just be aware that it’s not as authentic as you might think.
2. Gondola Under the Bridge of Sighs, Venice
What could be more romantic than a proposal on a classic Venetian gondola ride, being serenaded as you drift under the famed Bridge of Sighs? Legend has it if you kiss under this bridge at sunset as the Bells of St. Mark chime, you will be granted everlasting amore. How could she say “no”? Well, you definitely get points for trying, but you’d better hope she doesn’t know her Italian Renaissance history. The beautiful Bridge of Sighs was actually built to connect the interrogation rooms in the Doge Palace to the new Prigioni prison and torture chambers across the canal. As the prisoners (including heartthrob Casanova) crossed over, their final glimpse through the small window on the bridge would be their last scenic view of the city and lagoon. It refers to a sigh of anguish and regret. Not so romantic now, is it?