One of the cool things that I have seen... but not experienced in person...is the gondola rides that you get to do in Italy.  Or, at the Venetian Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas.  That is about as close as you can get to actually being in Italy, without the giant price tag and long flight.

Or, apparently there is one available even closer - Stillwater, Minnesota.

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There are romantic gondola rides available in Stillwater, where you would launch onto the St. Croix river.

Enjoy the romance of Venice blended with the beauty of the St. Croix River and the charm of Stillwater.

Plan an especially romantic proposal, celebrate a birthday, wedding or anniversary, or just get away to a relaxing cruise on the river. You can book a sunlit daytime cruise or a moonlit evening cruise.

I'm not sure how I have lived in Minnesota most of my life and had no idea this cruise option was available.  What a great idea! If you are wondering about the eating and drinking options, you do have the option to bring along your own picnic. Plus, you can bring some wine/champagne or whatever beverage you would like too.

These gondola cruises book from May through October, obviously with weather permitting.  And they are booking now.  Apparently they do fill up quickly, but there are options for weekdays and evenings too.  Morning cruises are available upon special request  Otherwise they normally start at noon.

Get a tast of Italy with a romantic gondola ride in Minnesota.  A LOT cheaper than actually going to Italy.

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