Yet do I sometimes feel a languishmentJohn Keats
For skies Italian
Italy is romantic in every sense of the word. If you are looking for a lovers’ holiday, it is a perfect destination. On this page we offer ideas for honeymoons and romantic breaks – the best destinations for sharing Italy’s charms with your soulmate, from islands to art cities. And Italy is also ideal if you are looking for another kind of romantic – for atmospheric abandoned towns, the lonely grandeur of mountain views, gothic mansions crumbling into canals or out-of-season waves splashing on long beaches. For more ideas try visiting our off the beaten track page.
Planning an Italy honeymoon or romantic break
Italy has always attracted and inspired romantics. The country most nearly synonymous with romance boasts a rich tradition of lovers, from the erotic counsel of Ovid to the excesses of legendary Latin lover Casanova. It could be the beautiful landscapes, the rich rosy sunsets, the evocative stones, or maybe the fine wine, but Italy boasts a romantic reputation that is second to none. There can be few experiences as romantic as wandering the little streets at the heart of Rome at night, or draining another glass of limoncello on a restaurant terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. From a lavish luxury hotel to a tranquil hideaway, Italy offers destinations that are perfect for a dream honeymoon or a romantic break.
The best Italy honeymoon
For a perfect mixture of culture and relaxation, our top suggestion would be begin by spending up to a week in one of Italy’s art cities: Florence, Venice or Rome. If you want to see as much as possible, you could try dividing the week between two towns. Then, once you’ve had your fill of art and architecture, re-pack your suitcases and head south to one of Italy’s best seaside resorts or countryside retreats for an indulgent week of togetherness, views, rambles and sunbathing. Our absolute top choice would be Venice, followed by a train or internal flight to Naples where you can catch a ferry to the dream island of Capri. But there are other great options, and our favourites are listed below.
Venice, la Serenissima, is Italy’s floating jewel, the destination that comes closest to an incarnation of Romance. It may be a cliche, but few could resist the romantic appeal of a midnight gondola ride or a wander hand-in-hand across the Accademia Bridge over the Grand Canal. This is the perfect place for that romantic proposal you’ll hope to tell the grandchildren all about. There are budget flights from the UK to both Venice and nearby Treviso, so even if you’re looking for an economic elopement rather than a leisurely luxury honeymoon, Venice is still an ideal option.
Rome is known as the Eternal City, and wandering among the ruins of Ancient Rome, the winding lanes of Medieval Rome, and admiring the palazzi and fountains of Renaissance Rome, your romantic holiday will place you among the great traditions of western civilisation. There are countless excellent restaurants with seating on the street, where you can watch the world go by, enticing corners to explore and rose-sellers to supply the finishing touch as you stroll over the Tiber, with the strains of gypsy music in the air.
Capri and the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in Italy. The views are spectacular, and the hotels are first-rate. The pace of life is slower than in the cities; you can breakfast on a hotel balcony overlooking the sea, or take a leisurely boat trip along the dramatic coastline. There are several charming resorts along the shore. Ravello, high above Amalfi, is a quiet and romantic location, with beautiful gardens where you can enjoy evening concerts in the summer. The Isle of Capri is a stylish destination that was in vogue even in ancient times; the Emperor Tiberius retired to a luxury villa here.
Puglia is an increasingly-popular destination for travellers, and has direct budget flights from the UK. Honeymooners can relax at a countryside masseria hotel and spa among the olive groves, or stay in a quaint cone-roofed trullo. Down in the south of Italy, Puglia is a longer distance from Italy’s principal art cities, but the baroque city of Lecce makes a pleasant cultural addition to a holiday, while little white-washed towns such as Martina Franca are lovely for wandering around.
On this site
Top honeymoon destinations
Hotel Rivalago, Lake Iseo -lovely lakeshore hotel – our review
Locanda di San Martino, Matera – honeymoon in a cave hotel in southern Italy (our review)