Italy is the land of love, a romantic destination par excellence. So with Valentines Day fast approaching, it’s time to explore some of the peninsula’s most idyllic spots. Heavenly places where romance is never in short supply.
We start with Verona, where Giulietta’s picturesque balcony is still selling the Shakespearian tale of eternal love. Millions of lovers from all over the world head to this special spot to leave their love letters at Giulietta’s house. Nearby Piazza delle Erbe is another favourite romantic nook in a very charming town.
Next stop is Venice, with mesmerising Piazza San Marco and atmospheric canals that give the whole city a sense of wonder and fantasy. A trip on the lagoon is one of the most memorable experiences a couple can have. The mist on the water and the silhouette of Venice that appears as you approach the city will leave you speechless. It’s a place to fall in love with life.
Northern Italy’s lakes are also a favourite for an intimate weekend, and here you are really spoiled for choice. From the charming resorts on Lake Maggiore, to the small and picturesque Lago d’Orta in Piedmont. And of course the ever-fashionable Lake Como, it’s waters hugged by dramatic mountains.
In Liguria’s Cinque Terre, a series of pastel-hued seaside villages are dotted along the rugged Italian Riviera. This is where you’ll find the aptly named Via dell’Amore. A sinuous path along the cliff side that allows breathtaking views and plenty of occasions to steal a kiss. Nearby Portofino will seduce you, and if you’re lucky you might just find true love there, just as crooner Fred Buscaglione sang in his old song “Love in Portofino”.
Travelling down into central Italy, we find a land of idyllic countryside and countless hilltop towns. You could stop and admire Spello or Gubbio in Umbria, or explore the beauties of Tuscany. A view of Florence at sunset is enough to melt the hardest of hearts, and the delightful town of Pienza makes the perfect destination for a proposal. Especially when you consider its streets are called via dell’Amore and via del Bacio.
With its languorous days and stunning views, love is always in the air in Southern Italy. Nowhere more so than in Positano - one of the jewels of the Amalfi Coast, a constant favourite for weddings and honeymooners. In Puglia the white stones of Ostuni and Otranto make for a dreamlike atmosphere, while the trulli houses in Alberobello seem to come straight out of a fairy-tale. Meanwhile legendary Scilla is an enchanting spot on the Calabrian coast.
At last we arrive in Sicily. And the obvious favourite here is Taormina with its classic views of the amphitheatre and the sea. Though some might prefer Ortigia, the old part of Siracusa for a hand-in-hand stroll, or passeggiata, along the sea. Then again the timeless little fishing village of Aci Trezza might be more your speed.
Did we forget Rome? Not a chance. Think Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and Trastevere. If you’ve never been and you want a preview, catch films like La Dolce Vita, Roman Holiday and A Special Day to get a few tips on Italian Romance.
Italy has so many of these treasures to offer its lovers, you could say that romance was born here. After all, Saint Valentine himself is said to be from the peninsula.
To read more about the romance of Florence and Tuscany, check out lovefromtuscany.com
Ben Carson and Sabrina Nesi are both travel writers based in Florence, and co-founders of the website lovefromtuscany.com, an insider’s travel guide to Tuscany. Here they share their knowledge, and pour out all their passion for the art, culture, lifestyle and food of the region. They’re always looking for new stories to tell and hidden corners to explore. You can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and read their blog at lovefromtuscany.com/blog