One could argue (successfully) that you could point your finger randomly at a map of Italy and end up in a suitable place for a romantic holiday. Still, there are some destinations in this beautiful country that lend themselves especially well to honeymoons or other romance-laced vacations, and no matter what your definition of “romantic” is, Italy has something for everyone. Here are some of the most romantic destinations in Italy.
Venice is quintessentially romantic, with the only “must-do” on anyone’s list being “meander aimlessly and get thoroughly lost.” What better time to do that than when you’re linked arm-in-arm with your sweetheart? Venice encourages us to slow down and savor what’s around us, and that includes a loved one. Not to mention the fact that a gondola ride at dusk through the city’s narrow canals might just be one of those romantic hours you talk about for the rest of your life.
The towns that ring Lake Como are, like Venice, tailor-made for slowing down. There’s nothing much to do except wander, shop, and eat, unless you’re feeling really active, in which case you can go on one of the great hikes that wind through the mountains around the lake. Even if you do that, however, you still return to a postcard-perfect lake, a picturesque town, and countless cozy cafes for that post-hike dinner reward.
The colorful Amalfi Coast has been a popular destination for the rich, famous, and honeymooners for ages and with good reason. The summer months lend themselves beautifully to the lifestyle that’s all but required along the coast—namely, lying on the beach until you can’t stand it anymore, cooling off in the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and filling your belly with the day’s fresh fish. Take a day trip to a nearby island to explore, or better yet, plan to spend a night for even more romance.
There are plenty of towns in Tuscany that deliver historic charm for romantic vacationers, but Lucca is a bit less popular with visitors than cities like Siena or Cortona. Lucca boasts a pretty historic center, complete with all those cobblestone alleys that always seem more perfect when you’re holding someone’s hand, as well as an intact city wall that’s wide enough to now be a grand boulevard for walking and cycling.
For the intrepid honeymooners, Sicily is an excellent romantic destination. Sure, you’ll need to be more comfortable speaking Italian than you would in more touristy Rome, but you’ll be rewarded with lower prices, smaller tourist crowds, and spectacular beaches. Summers do get crowded with other Italians, especially in July and August when they all take to the seaside, but the shoulder seasons are often warm enough to spend the day on the beach and still enjoy the beauty of the cities in the evenings.
Tuscany gets all the press, but its neighbor region of Umbria has all the things that make Tuscany romantic—historic hill towns, cobbled streets, sweeping views—without the crushing tourist crowds. Umbria’s hilltop capital city of Perugia is big enough to have everything you’d need for a trip, and it’s still small enough to be ideal for romantic strolls in the evenings. A bonus for October visitors is the annual EuroChocolate festival that takes over the entire city.