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Looking for the most romantic places in Italy? Whether you’re exploring ancient sites, discovering some of the world’s finest artworks, devouring pasta and gelato or simply living La Dolce Vita in a coastal resort, romantic Italy is a favorite among lovers, honeymooners and poetic types from all over the globe.
Why is Italy seen as one of the most romantic countries in the world? Italy offers the complete package, from glorious landscapes to intriguing cities and gorgeous, picture postcard towns. Then there’s the passionate people and mouth-watering cuisine – is it any wonder why so many people love to travel and take a honeymoon in Italy?
Our guide to Italy’s most romantic places takes you to swoon worthy cities in Italy, to the country’s most beautiful towns, islands and villages. If you want to plan a romantic trip to Italy, look no further for all the inspiration you need.
Read on to help decide where you should go in Italy, where the most romantic places on earth can be found – from cities like Rome, Florence and Verona to smaller, lesser-known destinations dotted all over the land.
Romantic cities in Italy
Cities make some of the most popular destinations for lovers in Italy. Whether you’d prefer to glide along the canals of Venice or discover all the charms of Rome, the Italian capital, here are the six most romantic cities in Italy.
Venice is not only one of the most sought-after places to propose in Italy, the city is also a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site recognized for its outstanding beauty. It’s perfect if you love to wander aimlessly and enjoy a historic atmosphere with stories seeping from every wall, walk arm in arm across countless bridges and down tiny laneways and marvel at the grandeur of Piazza San Marco.
For the most intimate vacation of all, Hotel Danieli is often cited as one of the most romantic hotels in Italy. The best way to arrive there is, of course, by gondola, undoubtedly the world’s most romantic boat.
Verona is most famous for being the fictional home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But, look beyond the star-crossed lovers and you’ll find a truly picturesque and romantic city.
Juliet’s house and balcony are understandably packed with tourists, so to see Verona in all its glory go off the beaten path. Climb the hill to Castel San Pietro for panoramic views from the old castle across the river or simply relax in one of the city’s many beautiful piazzas. If you love opera, book tickets to see a show in the Roman amphitheater – a truly unique and special experience.
The romance of Matera is undeniable. One of the world’s oldest cities, the old town of Matera is a series of caves and dwellings, collectively known as Sassi, built into a ravine. Some of the Sassi have been transformed into luxurious cave hotels where you can spend the night after exploring the town’s unique history and culture.
Light bounces off Matera’s light-colored stone buildings during the day and at night the city glows in the moonlight. It’s the perfect atmosphere to stroll hand in hand, marveling at the longevity and beauty of the city.
The Renaissance city has bewitched visitors for centuries, not least for the breathtaking views of the Arno, best savored as the sun sinks behind the nearby Tuscan hills. Stroll over the Ponte Vecchio and enjoy the scene as the sky changes color and locals soak up the scene at restaurants and wine bars.
Should you wish to immerse yourself in priceless art, you can wander for days among the world famous churches, galleries and architecture – many bought, built and painted as grand representations of love.
You should also include the surrounding countryside in your most romantic trip to Italy. Here you’ll find rolling hills covered in vines, and charming hilltop towns that have stood in place for centuries.
Also referred to as the Eternal city, you only need to consider this name to know that Rome is one of the world’s dreamiest cities. Seeing the sunset over the Castel Sant’Angelo at sunset is one of life’s simply magical experiences and of course, who could resist tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain?
The Italian capital has a retro-style romantic feel. Who could forget Audrey Hepburn zipping around on a Vespa in Roman Holiday? You can even rent a vintage scooter or go on a Vespa tour in Rome, should you wish to recreate those famous moments.
The southern Italian city of Lecce has a quiet elegance and beauty. Known for its stunning examples of Baroque architecture, which boast features such as bell towers, rose windows and ornate sculptures, you can spend days wandering from cafe to cafe, discovering unique boutiques and curiosities along the way.
Lecce makes the perfect destination for amorous couples who enjoy long walks, leisurely lunches, and people-watching in the piazzas. Our favorite time to visit is in late Spring and Summer when the city is adorned with blossoms and blooms.
Most Beautiful Towns in Italy
Romantic Italy isn’t only about the cities: some of the most photogenic and intimate spots can be found among the streets, piazzas and twisting alleys of Italian towns. These are our contenders for the title of most charming town in Italy.
Located in southern Tuscany, the love themed street names of Pienza tell you all you need to know about this town’s focus on romance. The main square, Piazza Pio II, is lined with fairy-tale buildings, including the Piccolomini Palace and the Pienza cathedral built to represent the ideal Renaissance town.
This corner of the gorgeous Val d’Orcia valley – between the wine towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano – is one of Italy’s hidden and most enchanting treasures.
The island of Sicily is home to Ortigia, a relatively unknown Italian town that’s bursting with fantastic sights and experiences.
Lapped by the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Ortigia’s charms include the narrow, winding alleys, a splendid Baroque cathedral, smart piazzas and a range of tempting gelateria, mercati and restaurants. Many of these have tables spilling out into Sicily’s sunny streets and squares, and are perfect for romantic, al fresco dinners à deux.
Spello can be found in the Perugia province of Umbria and is surely the quintessential Italian hill town. Here local residents take great pride in adorning their streets with pots and even carpets of flowers, making this ancient walled town looks even more appealing.
The town’s obsession with flowers is due to the Infiorata di Spello, a floral festival that takes place every summer on the ninth Sunday following Easter. Held to mark the feast of Corpus Domini, locals form teams to work through the night creating carpet-like displays made out of flowers – true works of art.
Postcard-worthy Positano is undoubtedly Italy’s number one honeymoon spot. This astonishingly picturesque seaside town boasts colorful buildings that look like they are tumbling into the sea, delightful beaches and dazzling azure waters.
There is so much to do in Positano too. Outdoor lovers enjoy hikes with some of the world’s most picturesque views and boat trips, bobbing along the coast and stopping to swim. If your idea of a romantic vacation on the Amalfi Coast involves mostly relaxing, then book a hotel with a pool and soak up the atmosphere in the evening when aperitivo hour is the most romantic of all.
With sweeping views over the vineyards of the Chianti wine region, San Gimignano enjoys one of the finest positions in the whole of Italy. San Gimignano is often called the Town of Fine Towers or Little Manhattan and is known for the series of medieval towers soaring across the landscape.
Listed as a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site, in central San Gimignano you’ll see marvelous examples of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. But, if you’re visiting with romance in mind, it’s the perfect place to wander at dusk and admire the sun casting a golden glow over the surrounding countryside.
Close to Rome, Tivoli is the perfect romantic day trip destination from the Italian capital. Lovers of ornate gardens and spectacular ruins will find them at their glorious best.
Lying at the point where the Sabine hills meet the Aniene river, the town boasts fabulous views over the countryside beyond. But the main attraction is the renowned Villa d’Este. A former Roman country retreat, it occupies a landscaped ten-acre site dotted with glorious fountains.
Romantic Italian Villages
From the most idyllic spot on the shores of Lakes Como or Garda to an alpine village in the Dolomites or the Cinque Terre’s most breathtaking towns, you should definitely consider the following when booking that romantic trip to Italy.
Sirmione (Lake Garda)
Visitors to Lake Garda should not miss Sirmione, a pretty resort town positioned on the southern shores. Straight out of a fairytale Scaligero Castle, complete with moat and drawbridge, is the entrance to the town. Watch out for swans swimming under the bridge out to the lake waters beyond.
In this historic town, climb the castle tower for panoramic views over the landscape, take a boat cruise on Lake Garda, admire the church frescoes or even take to the thermal waters the area is famed for.
Varenna (Lake Como)
If Sirmione is the most perfect place on Lake Garda’s shores, then Varenna is Lake Como’s jewel.
This gorgeous spot is worth visiting just to take the Walk of Lovers. This over-water boardwalk includes a red, foliage-adorned arch, and affords visitors stunning views over the lake, village and mountains.
Vernazza and Manarola (Cinque Terre)
Of the five villages making up Italy’s famous Cinque Terre, Vernazza and Manarola are some of the most impressive romantic destinations in Italy.
Vernazza has a sweet little port surrounded by colorful buildings and is an amazing place to watch the sunset. Reserve a table at Ristorante Belforte and you can overlook the ocean while you dine.
Manarola is perched on a rock around 50 meters above sea level and is one of Cinque Terre’s most attractive villages. Its tiny piazza is lined with charming seafood restaurants, and it’s a short walk down to the shoreline should you wish to take a dip in the sea.
Feeling perhaps more Swiss than Italian, Ortisei is the place to experience Alpine life. You’ll find Ortisei in the beautiful Val Gardena in the Dolomites, and it’s the perfect base to explore Italy’s southern Alps. Whether you visit in winter to ski or summer to hike, the snowy or fertile green landscape framed by the peaks is awe-inspiring.
Book a chalet with a view and enjoy special moments with some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Located in Puglia, on the ‘heel’ of Italy’s boot, Locorontondo overlooks the Valle d’Itria countryside, dotted with fairytale whitewashed Trulli houses with conical roofs. Locorontondo is an especially beautiful Borgo, a term used to describe charming historic Italian towns and villages.
Locals take great pride in their village and you’ll find cascades of flower pots and curated nooks throughout the whitewashed buildings and cobbled streets. It is an especially magical place to visit during the Christmas season when the town is adorned with elegant sparkling lights and festive decorations
Italy’s Romantic Islands
Italy’s sun-kissed islands are well known as some of the world’s most romantic honeymoon destinations. While Capri has long been associated with romance, islands off the beaten track like Isola San Giulio at Lake Orta, Panarea in the Aeolian islands and Isola Bella at Lake Maggiore are well worth seeking out.
Panarea (Aeolian islands)
Far lesser known than other Italian islands, Panarea is the ideal destination for those seeking a more remote kind of luxury. In fact, the Sicilian island is increasingly popular with the international jet set who find the remote, romantic setting an idyllic escape.
Panarea has an understated beauty. Make your way to Cala Junco and you’ll find the perfect beach to settle in for the day – complete with azure blue seas. If your idea of island life is a relaxed yet romantic spot with stunning sea views, Panarea could be the one for you.
While Capri’s attractions are less of a well-kept secret, there is no doubting the charms of this destination. Capri is famous because it is, quite simply, stunning. Despite its popularity, there are so many romantic nooks on the island that it’s still possible to grab one all to yourselves – even if only for a short time.
In fact, Capri has a reputation as a top spot for popping the question. It’s said that couples whose lips meet beneath the ‘kissing” Faraglioni rocks are destined to stay together for eternity.
Isola San Giulio (Lake Orta)
In the center of Lake Orta, Isola San Giulio is an island shrouded in mystery. This gorgeous north Italian lake is home to the nuns who live at the Mater Ecclesiae Abbey, who have taken a vow of silence. You can visit the tiny island by ferry and wander around on foot. Afterwards, enjoy looking back over to the basilica from the pretty town of Orta San Giulia where wisteria drapes from walls lining its cobbled streets.
Isola Bella (Lake Maggiore)
Even the famous British writer Charles Dickens extolled the virtues of Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore, calling it ‘fanciful’, ‘fantastic’ and ‘beautiful’. Isola Bella was almost four centuries in the making, during which time it was transformed from a simple rock into a magnificent palazzo set among sublime Baroque gardens.
Today it’s a temple to both art and history, and the outdoor spaces are home to some rare plants and intricate monuments.
Where is your favorite romantic place in Italy?
If you want to take the most memorable and romantic trip to Italy, it’s plain to see that there are so many dreamy destinations throughout the country to choose from.
Whether you’re planning a long Italian honeymoon or want to take a short break in one of the most romantic cities in Italy, enchanting places can be found all over this most alluring of lands.