Travel by numbers: Romantic breaks
Let Valentine's Day be your inspiration for a holiday made just for two, whether in Lancashire or Las Vegas. Ben Ross puts one and one together
Saturday 14 February 2009
The most romantic number in travel. Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's celebrated "pair of star-cross'd lovers", hailed from Verona in Italy. Lovebirds should visit the balcony of Casa di Giulietta at 23 Via Cappello, where a link is claimed with the fictional characters, even though it's less than 100 years old. British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com) offers return flights from Gatwick for £98.
The number of different types of wood (cherry, elm, fir, larch, lime, mahogany, oak and walnut) required to construct a traditional gondola, the most romantic way of getting about Venice. The annual Venice Carnival runs until 24 February, so accommodation within the city is currently hard to find. Black Tomato (020-7426 9888; blacktomato.co.uk) is offering a three-night stay at Villa Franceschi, a 16th-century guesthouse outside the city. The price of £740 per person includes breakfast and dinner, a tour of Venice, roses in your room, and all flights and transfers.
When John Lennon and Yoko Ono got hitched in 1969, they held their celebrated "bed-in" in room 702 – the honeymoon suite – of the Amsterdam Hilton. According to Lennon's "The Ballad of John and Yoko","The newspapers said, 'Say what you doing in bed?' I said, 'We're only trying to get us some peace." Peace is still available: a night in Room 702 costs from €1,837.50, with breakfast. The hotel is marking the 40th anniversary of the "bed-in" from 19-21 March with a photo exhibition (00 31 20 710 6000; hilton.com).
The number of trains on the West Coast Main Line that stop at Carnforth station in Lancashire, the setting for Brief Encounter. First TransPennine Express trains from Manchester to Barrow still call at the station, however, giving access to the excellent visitor centre (01524 735165; carnforthstation. co.uk; 10am-4pm daily except Monday; free) and refreshment room.
The height, in metres, of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Tom Cruise wasn't quite that high up when he got down on bended knee here to Katie Holmes, but the tallest building in Paris has long been a favourite for marriage proposals. Book in advance for lunch at Le Jules Verne restaurant (00 33 14 555 6144; lejulesverne-paris.com) on the second level. The set menu costs €80 per person during the week, but ascends to €200 at weekends.
The cost, in dollars, of a wedding licence in Nevada. Las Vegas has long been a favourite for couples keen to tie the knot in a hurry, but if you fancy a touch more class, go for a Bellagio Bellissimo wedding package, available from Virgin Holidays (0844 557 3860; virginholidays.co.uk). The price of £2,029 per person includes – among other wedding-related ephemera – a minister to perform the ceremony, a stretch limo, hairstyling, champagne, chocolates, 45 photos, a wedding co-ordinator, plus return flights from Gatwick to Las Vegas and two nights in the MGM Grand.
The number of major atolls that make up the island state of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. The long-haul specialist Kuoni (01306 747008; kuoni.co.uk) says the Maldives is its most popular honeymoon destination. It offers a week on Velassaru Maldives in a deluxe bungalow from £999 per person based, romantically enough, on two sharing, including breakfast, flights and transfers.
The average amount of water that flows over the Niagara Falls every minute, measured in cubic feet. North America's largest waterfall, which straddles the US-Canadian border, is the self-styled "honeymoon capital of the world", welcoming 50,000 newly hitched couples each year. The twin cities of Niagara Falls aren't prepossessing, but it's the views you've come for. The Oakes Hotel (www.oakeshotel.com; 001 877 843 6253) on the Canadian side offers a "romance package" in a Fallsview Room, with chocolates and champagne from C$130 (£75), not including breakfast.
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