Whether traveling solo or with your partner, Italy has so many over-the-top romantic places that you're bound to fall in love.
It’s easy to fall in love with Italy. Where else can you stroll a wisteria-laden garden dedicated to the goddesses of spring water, explore a glowing sapphire cavern from a private rowboat, or soak in steamy, ancient hot springs? Whether traveling solo or with your partner, Italy has so many over-the-top romantic places that you’re bound to fall in love. Here are the places where your heart will surely skip a beat.
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Stroll Through a Renaissance Garden
The Garden of Ninfa, a legendary garden built by a princess, recently reopened its gates after a lengthy restoration. At the garden’s center lies an ancient temple dedicated to the Naiad Nymphs, goddesses of spring water. One thousand three hundred precious flowers adorn the garden’s eight acres, where rare varieties of roses run along the ancient ruins, and brilliant purple wisteria adorns a medieval stone bridge that crosses a meandering creek.
Sip Champagne With a View of the Coast
With sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast from its rooftop perch on a rocky cliff overlooking the sea, Il Tridente is perhaps Italy’s most romantic cocktail bar. Lit only by tabletop candles and the stars in the sky above, it’s easy to fall in love here, especially when the house band plays live jazz on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the summer months. On colder evenings, two indoor fireplaces create a cozy yet elegant ambiance.
Settle in for the Night in a Renaissance Castle
WHERE: Polesine Parmense
Surrounded by rose gardens and situated on the rolling banks of the Po River, the Relais Antica Corte Pallavicina immerses guests in the romance of the 14th century. Settle into the candlelit, onsite Michelin-star restaurant, descend into the precious wine cellar, or grab a bicycle and explore the herb-fragranced grounds and nearby village with its cobblestoned streets. En suite fireplaces ensure a cozy night followed by sweet dreams.
Spy the Sunset Through a Secret Key Hole
The Giardino Degli Aranci, named after the fragrant blossoms of the many orange trees that line its edges, is the best place in the Eternal City to witness the golden rose and orange-hued Roman sunset. The entire city panorama can be captured from this Aventine Hill perch. The elegant villa adjacent to the park features a large green door: Look through the door’s tiny keyhole to discover the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, perfectly captured in the distance.
Explore a Glowing Sapphire Cavern by Rowboat
The Grotta Azzurra, or Blue Grotto, is a sea cave situated on the coast of southern Italy’s gem of an island, Capri. Rays of sunlight pass through an underwater cavity, illuminating the cavern and transforming it into an otherworldly, crystalline sapphire. The only way to enter the grotta is via a traditional rowboat (gozzo). You can hire a private gozzo with a skipper from Marina Grande, Capri’s main port.
Visit Casanova's Venetian Palace
Overlooking the Grand Canal, in the sestiere of San Marco, the splendid Palazzo Malipiero dates back to Byzantine times. It’s no surprise that Casanova, the legendary Italian lover, once called this magnificent Venetian palace home. The palace’s intimate garden is one of the most beautiful in Venice and brims with countless rose varieties and classic statuary.
Soak in Ancient Hot Springs
WHERE: Val D'Orcia
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Val D’Orcia, surrounded by elegant cypress trees and vineyards, the ADLER is more than a luxe spa resort. This corner of Italy has been known for its curative, steaming hot springs since ancient Roman times. Luxuriate with your lover in the resort’s many thermal baths, which reach around 37C (100F) and are thus suited to every season.
Catch an Open-Air Opera Lirica at the Arena di Verona
The Romans built The Arena di Verona as an amphitheater in 30 AD and is still in use today. Best known for hosting large-scale opera performances, it’s one of the best-preserved ancient structures of its kind. The incredible venue hosts the Arena Festival every summer, bringing the most romantic operas to its stage under the star-filled Italian sky.
Soar Above Umbria in a Hot Air Balloon
A sunrise balloon ride is perhaps the most romantic way to experience Umbria, the green heart of Italy. As dawn breaks, your captain from Balloon Adventures Italy will steer you over the vineyards and olive groves dotted with medieval era hamlets for a dreamy morning to remember. Upon landing, you’ll enjoy an Umbrian breakfast paired with the region’s prized Sagrantino wines.
Hike the Via dell'Amore
WHERE: Cinque Terre
The Via dell’ Amore (Lovers’ Lane) is a picture-perfect stretch of northwestern Italy’s Cinque Terre coastline, connecting the small seaside villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola. Local legend states that lovers from the two towns met secretly along the half-mile paved trail, which winds along the stony cliffs and through vineyards overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Float at the Edge of Lake Como
WHERE: Lake Como
For over a century, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo has been welcoming guests to the romance of the Belle Époque still alive here on the shores of Lago di Como, a pristine lake set against the foothills of the Alps. The hotel’s infinity swimming pool, an azure oasis surrounded by the lake waters, age-old trees and Riviera palms, and the snow-capped mountains in the distance, floats at the edge of Lake Como.
Take a Sunset Sal to Sardegna's La Maddalena Archipelago
Italy’s second-largest island, Sardegna, is home to the dreamy La Maddalena archipelago. This is as close as you’ll get to heaven on Earth: The protected paradise consists of 60 tiny islands with pristine, white-sand beaches bordered by the turquoise Mediterranean Sea. The best way to visit the archipelago is via a sunset cruise: bring your swimsuit and take a dip in the crystal clear waters, or better, a snorkel, so you can meet the marine life that calls this slice of heaven in the Mediterranean home.