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:
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.
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Featured image by Luca Zanon/Awakening/GC Images
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Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images