Italy is synonymous with romance and is the perfect honeymoon destination.
Beautiful, historic architecture lines the streets of ancient cities and picture-perfect pastel buildings are scattered along rolling hillsides.
There are romantic experiences aplenty: take a hot air balloon flight over Tuscan hills, dine at the romantic Venissa Ristorante or go wine and chocolate tasting in the Langhe region.
Here is our experts’ pick of the most romantic honeymoon destinations in Italy.
City tours and cooking classes in Rome
Italy’s capital city is one of the most fascinating in the world – Rome is full of stories, and its winding cobbled streets make it one of the best spots for a romantic getaway. Embracing ‘la dolce far niente,’ or the joy of doing nothing, is the perfect way to ease in to any Italian honeymoon. Rome is brimming with historical wonders; the Forum, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Vatican City are all standouts.
One of the most romantic ways to get up close to Rome’s culture and heritage is on an exclusive Vatican City tour. Strolling through the landmark alongside just 100 other visitors an hour before the official opening is a magical way to explore the monument, without having to battle through throngs of thousands of tourists. After you’ve spent the morning discovering the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church, you can wander along the quaint Tiber River. Arrive at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, official residence of the Pope and arguably one of the most beautiful chapels in Italy.
For a typically Italian way to explore the city, ride alongside a guide on a vintage Vespa. In true Roman style, you’ll wind your way through large avenues and tiny alleyways. Led by a private multilingual guide, the tour will take you to all of Rome’s most important monuments and through some of its hidden neighbourhoods. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, satisfy your cravings by learning how to make Pizza Romano with a native expert. Get closer to Italian food and each other, as you learn how to knead the dough and create the topping. The best thing about this romantic Italian experience is that you’ll be able to share your delicious creations once they’re cooked.
Fly over Tuscany’s hills
Rural Tuscany embodies all things typically Italian. Rolling hills dotted with stone farmhouses, rows of cypress trees and sprawling vineyards all characterise Italy’s countryside. There are few settings more quintessentially Italian than Tuscany. You can spend your time here getting acquainted with the region’s exquisite culinary traditions, fine Chianti wines, picturesque towns and friendly locals.
To see the beautiful Tuscan hills in a truly romantic way, take an unforgettable hot air balloon flight over the scenic countryside. Although it’s an early start, it’s a fascinating experience – your pilot will recount tales about the region’s history, and you’ll be welcomed back to ground with a celebratory glass of champagne.
Private boat tour of the Amalfi coast
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most romantic regions in Italy. Draped along the cliffs of Southern Italy, it is punctuated with pockets of candy coloured buildings. This peninsula is distinctively fascinating, with super yachts and plush sports cars juxtaposed against the rural farming way of life. Food is a staple on the Amalfi coast, with fine dining European establishments and rustic Neapolitan food reflecting the region’s heritage, as well as its changing nature. Hidden beaches, pristine hiking trails and sleepy seaside towns make this a wonderful area in which to spend many a romantic day together.
To get away from it all, travellers can visit the beautiful island of Capri on a private boat tour. On the way, stop off in the Li Galli islands, the home of legendary sirens, who are said to have lured Ulysses to the island with their enchanting singing. The area surrounding the islands is perfect for snorkelling: it boasts clear waters and underwater treasures that would entice even the most seasoned of snorkelers. Then, enjoy a fairytale end to the excursion by sailing through the captivating Blue Grotto on a local boat.
In Capri, one of the most romantic places to stay is the Capri Palace. Perched among Anacapri’s secluded cliffs, the luxury suites here come with private pools and gardens, so couples can honeymoon in blissful privacy. Most of the rooms here boast sweeping sea views over the gulf of Naples, and the two-Michelin starred restaurant L’Olivo is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.
Fine dining in Venice
Venice is often touted as the most romantic city in Italy – the combination of winding canals and architectural masterpieces have earned this entire city UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Days here can be filled with discovering hidden galleries, museums and palazzos. During peak season, it can easily become overcrowded, so escape to the island of Mazzorbo for a romantic hideaway.
A 30-minute boat ride from Venice, the idyllic Venissa Ristorante is a restaurant hidden in the vineyards. There are two dining areas here – a Michelin-starred restaurant and an osteria. In both, the menus are inspired by the fishermen of Burano and the surrounding vegetable gardens. In the heart of the vineyard, experience the height of romance by dining at a private table surrounded by flowering vines.
Wine and chocolate tasting in Piedmont
Piedmont is one of Italy’s most naturally beautiful areas, nestled in the mountains between the French and Swiss Alps. Meaning at the ‘foot of the mountains,’ this region is a mixture of majestic peaks, expansive valleys and open plains. Famous for its food, this region is a must visit for wine tasting. The Langhe area in particular is also renowned for its chocolate. Filled with vineyards, wineries and chocolate shops, no visitor to this Italian gem will be left hungry or thirsty.
Piedmont produces some of Italy’s finest wines, so a wine tasting tour of this region is sure to please. Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera red wines come from the rolling hills of Monferrato, Le Langhe and Roero. These regions also produce the white varieties Asti and Moscato. Many indigenous wine varieties that are exclusive to Italy come from Piedmont, so wine lovers will get a chance to explore local wineries and taste lesser known varieties. Continue the foodie adventure in Cherasco – the perfect stop for an in-depth chocolate tasting in a well-known pastry shop. This distinctively Italian town is known for the production of Baci di Cherasco, or Cherasco kisses, that were invented as a way of using up leftover fragments of hazelnuts from the production of nougat.
Boat tour of Lake Como
Lake Como is a charming part of Italy, with its enviable position giving it a fairytale feel. Nestled between the Rhaetian Alps and bordering Switzerland, Lake Como is one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes. The cobbled streets lining picturesque towns flanking the lake are perfect for ambling and people watching. Visiting the enchanting village of Varenna is a must do; bring your loved one here and grab a gelato whilst strolling down the banks of the lake for a dreamy afternoon.
The best way to experience Lake Como’s beauty is by getting out onto the lake. Travellers can enjoy a boat tour, gaining a new perspective on the lake’s beautiful surroundings. Beautiful pastel buildings and small villages built around ancient stone bell towers transport visitors to another world. During your boat ride, you’ll be able to see the small wooden island of Comacina, as well as the impressive Santa Maria Maddalena bell tower. You can wind down after your excursion by stopping off in the ‘pearl of the lake’ Bellagio. Walk along its narrow streets, or simply relax with some authentic Italian fare in one of the town’s many cafes and restaurants.
Lakefront lodging Grand Hotel Tremezzo is a great choice for couples visiting Lake Como. This property oozes classical Italian romance – its beautiful gardens are blanketed with rare flowers blooming in pockets of red, purple, pink and blue. Picture-perfect views over the lake and gardens from the floor to ceiling windows only add to the romance. A man-made beach, outdoor floating pool and indoor infinity pool are all excellent places to spend some uninterrupted quality time with your other half.
Explore Palazzo Margherita in Puglia
For an off the beaten track Italian adventure, visit the lovely yet still relatively undiscovered Puglia. Known for its never-ending coastline and whitewashed towns, Puglia is the stylish heel of Italy’s boot. This region feels uniquely different to the rest of Italy, with diverse national parks existing alongside a tapestry of olive groves, vineyards and traditional white trulli houses. The pretty coastal towns in Puglia are all worth exploring, with each one offering something slightly different. The secluded hilltop town of Bernalda is the perfect place to gain an insight into the southern Italian way of life. Tourists are a rarity here, so any foreigners are welcomed as friends.
The authentic restored 19th-century Palazzo Margherita is a great base for exploring the ancient town. Francis Ford Coppola set about restoring this now hotel, so that visitors could be welcomed to the small town of Bernalda with open arms. It is an idyllic escape, with just nine suites, all offering terraces, balconies or doors opening into the garden. There is plenty to do here; guests can borrow bikes to explore the local area on two wheels, take culinary classes or enjoy the private beach club on the cobalt-blue shores of the Ionian sea. After a busy day exploring, there are few things more romantic than cosying up in the Palazzo Margherita’s screening room to watch Italian cinema classics.