Those Italians know a thing or two about romance and many of Italy’s captivating cities have inspired poets, writers and dreamers for decades. We’ve rounded up our favourite Italian delights for your delectation, to ensure you enjoy a Valentine’s Day to remember this year....that’s amore after all!
The most idyllic backdrop for any romantic getaway, Venice possesses an other-worldly beauty that almost belongs in another era. First-time-visiting Venetians are obligated to enjoy a gondola ride, whilst the glittering gold mosaics of St Marks would make you grateful love isn’t blind! Our number one tip for a romantic stay in Venice is to wake before sunrise one morning and stroll to St Mark’s Square, before Venice comes to life and witness this charming city’s best-kept secret; the serene, sleepy sunrise. Almost silent, safe for a few local merchants setting up shop for the day, and with a feint aroma of coffee in the air, the scene is truly breathtaking and for a few bright moments you will feel like the only two in town; an ode to amore.
Romance and Rome have long been bedfellows and the magic of this most magnificent city can make even the coldest of heart’s fall in love. You’ll already be aware of the alluring architecture of The Spanish Steps, St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and Colosseum, but there are some more reclusive corners of Rome in which to steal some private moments with your paramour. Once you’ve thrown your treasured talisman in the Trevi Fountain head to The Garden of the Oranges. Fragrant, sun-drenched in summer and picture-perfect, this beautiful setting is rich in old-romance. Elevated above the city, this sanctuary of serenity is the ideal spot to spend time taking in the scenery and imagining your own Roman Holiday...vespa optional!
“In Fair Verona, where we lay our scene”, is the opening line of what is arguably the most famous romance of all time, Romeo and Juliet. There is a reason Shakespeare chose this tiny city as the setting for his romantic drama; delicate, cultured and catnip for the curious, Verona rewards lovers with a much happier ending than that of young Juliet and her Romeo. The manicured gardens of Giardino Giusti feel torn from a renaissance painting whilst Juliet’s balcony is the definitive place to take a picture together. Verona’s famous open-air theatre, Arena di Verona, is one of the finest places on Earth to enjoy a ballet, opera, pop concert or symphony. A date here will feel like a return to real romance, with generous helpings of gelati of course! This summer will see Verona host its 95th season of opera at the Arena and even the most uncultured couple are sure to be dazzled by the beauty of the setting. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”.
The picturesque region of Puglia in Italy boasts some exceptional scenery, beaches and architecture, but as Italy’s biggest pasta producer, it is the food that’s most loved around here. Lecce is known as ‘The Florence of the South’ on account of its beguiling Baroque architecture and its many, many churches! A romantic escape to Lecce feeds every sense and the soul. Take your morning coffee together in a picturesque square, wander down whitewashed lanes hand-in-hand and marvel at the Roman architecture that proves that labours of love last a lifetime. Our number one tip for Lecce is to enjoy a romantic picnic, organised by our featured luxury hotel, La Fiermontina, and choose from a bounteous beach, pretty park or city setting, where the view is as fine as the wine.
Siena sizzles like a true Italian beauty. For breath taking scenery, this Tuscan town can’t be beaten. A sultry sun-trap, Siena is a five-star setting for romance and quality time together. A walled-city, you can walk from one side to the other in twenty minutes. The iconic stripes of the Duomo di Siena elegantly jar against the decadent mosaics. Siena is at her best twice a year for the Palio. As Italy’s most famous annual sports event, The Palio is synonymous with fast-paced action and passionate, patriotic fans. Since 1644, the epic bareback horse race has taken place in Siena’s iconic cultural heartland, Piazza del Campo. Originally organised in honour of the Virgin Mary, The Palio is a competitive and culturally significant sporting spectacle that sees ten of the city’s historic districts represented by a horse and jockey, wearing their region’s associated colours, who race through the piazza at speed. The race’s historical significance is such that husbands and wives are known to separate for the day if they are from rival districts and both have horses competing!
For more information about our best-loved Italian getaways, or to book an unforgettable Valentine’s Day luxury holiday for two, please call one of our expert Europe Travel Consultants on 01244 897 771.