From exquisite art and architecture to dining experiences that verge on transcendent, Italians value the things that make life worth living. With all this in mind, it makes sense why an Italy honeymoon remains a dream for so many couples around the world.
An important factor to bear in mind when planning your own Italian honeymoon is the sheer diversity of attractions this country offers. Human civilizations have thrived on this land for millennia, but only relatively recently did Italy become a single, unified country.
Italy’s regions retain their distinctive cultures, cuisines, and in many cases, dialects—not to mention gorgeously varied natural scenery. As a result, every destination has something new and exciting to discover. Here are eight of the most romantic destinations to consider for your honeymoon to Italy.
Iconic stars of the silver screen from Audrey Hepburn to Anita Ekberg have been seduced by the copious charms of the Eternal City. It’s not hard to see why.
Locals in Rome know how to enjoy life, and there are times when the whole Italian capital seems to revolve around the singular pursuit of pleasure.
No Roman honeymoon would be complete without a stop by at the Fontana di Trevi, or the Trevi Fountain, one of the most popular landmarks in Rome.
Built in the 18th century by Nicola Salvi, the wonderfully preserved example of Baroque architecture marks the spot where three ancient Roman aqueducts converged.
Though the current fountain was constructed centuries after the death of the legendary sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it still bears a number of hallmarks of his signature style. Generations of lovers have tossed coins into the fountain to wish for a beautiful, lasting relationship.
After admiring the fountain, explore Rome off the beaten path or stop to admire a few of the city’s more ancient sites. Pay a visit to the Castel Sant’Angelo, also known as the Hadrianeum, a mausoleum first constructed for the Roman emperor Hadrian.
As with many sites in Rome, this place has evolved over the centuries as emperors and popes have added their own signature touches to it.
A visit to the crumbling ruins of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, where ancient gladiatorial battles involving everything from real lions to fully functional miniature ships, once fought, is a must.
If you have at least three days in Rome, book a guided walking tour of both to make sure you get the most out of your visit.
Make time, too, for the artistic treasures of Vatican City. While the home of the Pope is an independent city-state, the spectacular St. Peter’s Basilica very much feels like the spiritual heart of Rome. It’s also an absolute treasure trove of some of the finest art in the world.
Go early in the day, when you’ll have more space to gaze at Michelangelo’s spectacular frescos in the Sistine Chapel, then save plenty of time to admire the other marvels contained within the halls of this sprawling UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s a reason they say that Venice is for lovers. From the Rialto Bridge to the grand basilica decorated in glittering Byzantine mosaics on St. Mark’s Square, it’s hard to imagine a more romantic place than this atmospheric, gorgeous Italian city on the sea.
As you admire the ornate facades of the palaces along the Grand Canal, it seems hard to believe that this place even exists. And indeed, part of Venice’s strange allure may be that this is a city acutely aware that it is living on borrowed time.
Although the wooden piles extending into the ocean floor have held strong for centuries, rising sea levels and shifting weather patterns have made life here, to the locals, at least, feel precarious for quite some time.
Nevertheless, the fragile grandeur of Venice is undeniable and irresistible. Whether you and your partner choose to be serenaded by a gondolier or simply spend a few hours getting blissfully lost among the network of canals, it’s easy to fall under the city’s spell.
Admire the Titians and other masterpieces in the Doge’s Palace, then stop and sip an Aperol Spritz on a piazza and watch the world go by.
Sardinia may be part of Italy, but the nation’s second-largest island very much has a culture and identity all of its own.
Visit Sardinia and discover its distinctive cuisine. In Cagliari, plan to indulge in a long lunch with your beloved over platters of porchetta, the local specialty of stuffed, spit-roasted suckling pig, and malloreddus, toothsome, saffron-scented pasta often served with a hearty sausage ragú.
The ocean’s bounty makes regular appearances as well, often in the form of fregola, pearl-shaped pasta, with clams or bottarga, dried, aged tuna heart that adds an intense hit of umami to dishes.
Sardinia also happens to have some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. For a truly romantic afternoon, head to Poetto Beach—one of the best beaches in Sardinia—a dazzling five-mile stretch of alabaster-hued sand flanked by natural dunes.
For a historical deep-dive, visit the Bronze Age ruins of Su Nuraxi di Barumini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and then head to the ancient city of Nora. The latter site dates back more than 3,000 years and served as a strategic port for the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and the Romans.
The largest island in the Mediterranean has an absolutely otherworldly beauty that has captivated generations of romantics. Sicily has always had an appeal of its own, from the midnight-black slopes of Mount Etna to picturesque villages like Castelmola and Savoca.
To this day, locals regard themselves as more Sicilian than Italian. The local dialect and cuisine—both of which reflect Arabic influences—still give the island’s culture a unique flair. This is a place of both extraordinarily romantic Sicilian towns and beaches.
This isle has always had an enigmatic air about it. Hike the lunar landscape of Etna’s upper slopes and then taste some of the island’s fine wines, grown in the fertile volcanic soil.
Roam the streets of Corso Umberto, near Catania, for a true glimpse of Sicilian culture (and a gelato made with fresh, local fruits), or head to Isola Bella, near Taormina.
Situated at the end of a sandbar exposed by low tide, this most unusual Sicilian beach feels like nothing of this earth. It only came into the possession of the state within the last century and is lush with exotic plants, the legacy of the former owner, English noblewoman Lady Florence Trevelyan.
The city that gave rise to the Italian Renaissance remains one of the most culturally significant and aesthetically striking places on the planet, and also one of the most dreamily romantic.
The Medici family, who once ruled the Tuscan capital with an iron fist, were also some of the greatest patrons of the arts that history has ever known.
Their legacy endures to this day, with jaw-dropping art in Florence that awaits at every turn. Start your day at the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore and admire the cathedral’s intricately decorated dome, then take in the view of the Florentine skyline from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Snap a selfie with your beau on the Ponte Vecchio, then peruse the wares in the Mercato Centrale. Finally, swing by the Trattoria 4 Leoni, a local favorite in the historic Oltrarno area that serves a superlative bistecca alla fiorentina made with dry-aged Chianina beef.
Read: Two Days in Florence
The Cinque Terre is one of those places that feels almost too beautiful to be real, a string of five colorful medieval fishing villages clinging to plunging cliffs, car-free, but linked by a scenic railway and walking trails that wind along the contours of the hills.
This is the ideal spot for a stroll amid the swooningly beautiful scenery that Italy is known for. Although you could hike the entire Cinque Terre in both directions in a day, most couples opt to take the train back at the end in order to leave plenty of time to stop and enjoy the scenery.
After all, one reason to embark on this journey is to work up an appetite to sample superb food and wine in each of the towns along the way.
One of the best things to do in Cinque Terre is to sample local Liguirian specialities, which include pillowy focaccia topped with emerald-hued pesto and farinata, a type of flatbread that derives its earthy flavor from chickpea flour.
Start your trek in the candy-colored seaside village of Monterosso, then hike along the path lined with heather and wild juniper bushes towards Vernazza. Don’t miss the exceedingly pretty towns of Riomaggiore and Manorola, which are located quite close to one another.
When in Tuscany, it would be wrong to miss the chance of a photo together on the Piazza dei Miracoli in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The white marble edifice in Pisa has been crooked ever since it was erected in 1372 and, thankfully, isn’t actually as precarious as it appears.
You can even climb to the top if you book in advance, for sweeping views over the emerald lawns and dazzling buildings of the Piazza, the terracotta roofs of the Centro Storico (historic center) beyond.
Save some time to wander the gorgeous old streets here and stop for authentic Tuscan food and a glass of Italian wine in a local trattoria, or a cooling gelato.
Southern Italy doesn’t get much more magical than the Amalfi Coast, the site of countless proposals, weddings, and honeymoons each year.
Nestled among the waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno towards the southern end of Italy, this 34-mile stretch of Campania is a photographer’s dream. Here, you’ll encounter everything from beaches to towering cliffs.
The Amalfi Coast is especially renowned for its lemon groves, some of which have been growing here for hundreds of years. Lemons in Amalfi often grow to the size of softballs and sport a milder, sweeter flesh with an intoxicating fragrance.
Do as the locals do and dip fat slices in sugar or sip them in the form of the aromatic, house-made limoncello proffered at many restaurants.
Amalfi Town, which was once a mighty political power under the Byzantine Empire and has the impressive architecture to prove it, remains one of the most popular places to visit, along with its gloriously romantic neighbor, Positano.
Maiori sports the longest and most glamorous sandy beach on the entire Amalfi Coast, while Minori, a former fishing village, still flies comparatively under the radar and has a smaller, but still pleasant, stretch of sand.
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