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Ciara And Russell Wilson's Anniversary Trip Has Us Adding Venice To Our Baecation List

Celebrities have been flocking to the popular spot, and these two make it look damn good.

Ciara

I'm not sure how many times we can brag on Ciara and Russell Wilson, but here's one more for you. The two traveled to Venice, Italy to celebrate their five-year anniversary and we can't help but to swoon over the pics.


It all started last week when a video of the two broke the internet while posing for photos in a hotel suite. Captioned:

"He said pack your bags, we're going to Italy."

The lovebirds rocked shades and matching Versace for the gawds and showed off their usual enviable love.

Russ followed Ciara with:

"5 years of Love as husband & wife, mom & dad, best friends, business partners and more. You leave me speechless. There are no words that could ever describe my love for you. Only Heaven knows. 5 years & Forever to go! Andiamo!"

The rest is in "OK, it's time for a baecation" history as they visited landmarks, ate in the best restaurants, and more.

And as they should, because Venice has become a popular celeb/tourism hotspot.

Luca Zanon/Awakening/GC Images

Actually, Italy has always been a popular celebrity romance destination, with couples such as Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom and John Legend and Chrissy Teigen recently trading in the fast life and heading to the land of pasta, architecture, and love with bae. And in 2018, Serena Williams famously told her husband she wanted pasta for dinner and he swooped her off to Venice for a few days as well. But now, with outside opening back up, Venice is becoming a hotspot for them hot spots, m'kay?!

So, if you and the boo are looking to Venice for your next baecation, here's what you should check out while there:

The Food

Luca Zanon/Awakening/GC Images

Italy is known for its endless food contribution to the world. But actually being in Italy, gives Olive Garden a run for its money. With freshly made pastas, and ingredients that will even make granny mad, visiting the various amounts of restaurants, or taking the time to take a cooking class is what baecation dreams are made of. And although pasta and pizza are staples, the reality, however, is that Italy is home to variety of cuisines and people often make the mistake of flocking to touristy eateries serving food that reflects their expectations (such as pasta and pizza) and not what the locals or veneziani really eat.

But Venice's unique lagoon location and proximity to the island gardens of Sant'Erasmo, means that their genuine cuisine consists of some truly flavorful and refined dishes relying heavily on fish and vegetables.

Spend a night out on the town and try local dishes such as the sarde in saor, risotto al nero di seppia, fritole, or the various, various amounts of wine. Bon appetit!

The Canals + Gondola Rides

The gondola is a traditional Venetian rowing boat, similar to a canoe, that's flat-bottomed and narrow in order to fit along with other gondolas into small canals in Venice. The gondola is operated by a gondolier with a rowing oar. In the past, it was used as a major mode of transportation in Venice. These days, however, the gondola ride is primarily a tourist attraction.There is no better way to see many amazing parts of Venice without this gondola ride. Venice historically has been connected by canals, so the only way to see many historical sights or just beautiful architecture is from the water.

Also, riding the gondola gives you a different angle from the water and you get a much better view of many structures. Plan to be serenaded by the gondoliers and see the best of what Venice has to offer.

(Rides are generally 40 minutes and during the day, costs 80 euros. If you want a longer ride, every 20 minutes will cost you $40 extra. After 7 p.m., the gondola rides are slightly more expensive, costing 100 euros for a 40-minute ride).

The Architecture Tours

If you don't appreciate architecture, then Venice may not be the place for you. Venice's architecture is unlike that of anywhere else in the world—owing, of course, to its natural context. Everything is built on stilts in the middle of a lagoon and it's so amazingly popular, that the Venice Biennale of Architecture exhibition, also known as Mostra di Architettura di Venezia (in Italian), is held every other year. Grab bae and explore the history of Venice through its buildings, squares and canals to see the works by Carlo Scarpa and Mario Botta (who shaped much of Venice).

Also, add the Rialto Neighborhood, St. Mark's Square, Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, and Campo Santa Maria Formosa to your to-do list as well.

Enjoy, guys!

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Featured image by Luca Zanon/Awakening/GC Images

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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