Say the word “Italy” and it immediately conjures up images of lazy hot summers, chic villas, and succulent food. We’ve long lamented at the tragedy of Verona’s star-crossed lovers and our own love affair with the country has thus been sealed. So how do you choose just one place to explore with your significant other? Never fear. Here are six of the most romantic places in Italy to celebrate love.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Orcia valley is home to some of the finest Renaissance buildings in Italy. However, what makes this village perfect for romantics is that it was one of the locations of the ultimate love story — Romeo and Juliet. Franco Zeffirelli’s 1960s movie was shot on location at the Piccolomini palace and many of the surrounding lanes also feature in it. The palace boasts three stories, an internal court, and the most spectacular Renaissance garden. Other noteworthy buildings in the village include The Duomo, Palazzo Vescovile, Palazzo Comunale, and the monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena. You’ll definitely get blissfully lost in the labyrinth of narrow lanes as you stroll in adoration of Pienza’s beautiful architecture.
Chianti is THE picture-perfect location of Tuscany. Endless vineyards and cozy farmhouses make it ideal for romantic getaways. Enjoy the absolute hospitality of Tuscany with the best beef ragu in the entire universe served with homemade penne and lashings of Parmesan from the farms. Taste the wines from Chianti’s vineyards as you explore the lush hillsides. If you still have time, take a local cookery class for two in a farmhouse — it’s the ultimate foodie couple’s dream!
Lake Iseo, Lombardy
Lake Iseo in Lombardy, northern Italy, is lesser known than it’s more popular neighbors Lakes Garda and Como. This small lake is sheltered by mountains while an inhabited island, Monte Isola, sits in the middle. Travel here in autumn when the wooded hillsides are shades of gold, red, and brown, and join the locals gathering chestnuts and mushrooms. Stroll the small vineyards and olive groves on the island’s slopes. Take a ferry to Monte Isola, which is spread over eleven villages and hamlets. Visit churches built between the 15th and 17th centuries with well-preserved frescoes. Looking for heaven on earth? This could just be it.
This town on the Ligurian coast, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, has steep mountains and beautiful beaches, and is an unspoiled seaside getaway for wild romantic travelers. Alassio is also known as the town of sunshine because of its Mediterranean-style houses and its location at the foot of two capes: Capo Mele and S.Croce. Seal your romance with the local specialty Baci di Alassio (Alassio Kisses) — two dark hazelnut macarons held together inseparably by a chocolate ganache.
This coastal stretch in southern Italy with its quaint houses, winding staircases, and narrow alleys has captured the awe of popular culture and eternal romantics for decades. It’s famous for limoncello liqueur and quintessential Italian lemon groves with their fruit-laden trees that grow along the entire 50 km coast during February and October. Enjoy sheer cliffs and Amalfi’s rugged shoreline dotted with sandy beaches against pastel-colored villages. Take an open-top drive down the coastal road between the port city of Salerno and clifftop Sorrento as you wind your way past breath-taking villas, vineyards, and cliffside lemon groves.
Five coastal villages linked only by paths and railways make Cinque Terre a perfect hideaway for two. The natural trails are made for relaxed walks and the scenery is astounding. This stretch of coast has allegedly remained unchanged since 1722. Walk through medieval villages, cobblestone lanes, and train tunnels that are no longer in use. Thanks to its limited accessibility, you and your sweetheart can experience a romantic authenticity that can’t be felt elsewhere.