Imagine taking a stroll hand in hand along the winding streets of Florence, admiring the works of the great masters and soaking in the culture and history. Or how about indulging in a sumptuous meal of traditional local cuisine, accompanied by a glass of rich Italian wine, in the idyllic countryside of Tuscany? This land is truly brimming with romance at every turn. Italy's romantic offerings are not limited to well-known destinations. This country holds such an enriching amount of corners and regions just waiting to be discovered, such as the charming town of Ostuni in Puglia, the rolling hills of Le Marche, or the stunning villages of Cinque Terre.
Join us on a journey fitting for Valentine’s Day, romantic dates or a simple holiday for you with your significant other, as we explore some of Italy's most romantic destinations. From insider tips on where to stay and what to do, to recommendations for the best places to eat and drink, our on-the-ground Italian editors have rounded up their favourite spots and tips to help you make Italy the perfect backdrop to your romance.
I’m gonna start this off with a bang - Cinque Terre, which is hands down one of my absolute heart-fluttering places in this whole country. Located on a sliver of the northwest coast of Italy, Cinque Terre is a cluster of five colourful fishing villages that offer visitors stunning views out onto the Ligurian sea, as well as a laid-back way of life.
One of the main reasons why me and many travellers love Cinque Terre, is, first and foremost for its breathtaking scenery. The five towns, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, are perched on steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. You and your amore can take a hike along the coastal path, known as Sentiero Azzurro, and take in the panoramic views of the colourful houses, crystal-clear waters, and little wooden boats bobbing in the sea.
Coming from Florence? You can book here an easy day trip to Cinque Terre that includes an optional hike. After your hike, you can plop into one of the many restaurants and taste local wines - such as Sciacchetrà, a sweet dessert wine made from grapes grown in the terraced vineyards of Cinque Terre.
If you’re the type of couple who’s just looking to experience the laid-back La Dolce Vita, then any of the villages that make Cinque Terre will give you that relaxed slice of the Italian Riviera. You can spend your days lounging on the pebble beaches, swimming in the Mediterranean with the locals, or just taking in the charming atmosphere of the towns from one of the many cliffsides. Trust me, it’ll be love at first sight when you set your eyes upon these five fishing villages. And what’s more romantic than to top it all off with the region’s speciality of a limonicno with a tasting? You can reserve a Cinque Terre tour with limoncino tasting here.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - Bella Napoli Guesthouse Trattoria Pizzeria
A pizzeria and a guesthouse both in one? Staying here means you don’t even have to leave the building for a good cheesy dinner!
The bathtub itself is a dreamy spot to sink oneself in to luxuriate and relax.
An affordable luxury stay - this modern suite proves you don’t have to spend much to get your money’s worth!
Have you heard of this Southern Italian gem? Ostuni, also known as the "White City," is a town that you won’t forget any time soon. Located in the region of Puglia, Ostuni is known for its stunning white-washed houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and beautiful views looking out to the Adriatic Sea. One of the most striking features of Ostuni is its old town, which is made up of white-washed houses, each with its own unique quirk. You can take a walking tour through Ostuni to learn more about its heritage the history behind the houses here which stacked on top of each other, creating a maze of narrow streets and alleys that is perfect for exploring and feeling swept away. You can wander through the streets and admire the traditional architecture, spotting all of the arched doorways and terracotta roofs that dot Ostuni.
The town is also home to several beautiful churches and chapels, such as the Cathedral of Ostuni, which is a must-see for anyone visiting. The cathedral is a beautiful example of the town's traditional architecture, with its white-washed walls and blue-domed roof. Inside, you can admire the beautiful frescoes and artworks that adorn the walls and ceilings.
Another great feature of Ostuni is its location, as it is located on a hilltop, you’ll see superbly stunning panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding Southern countryside. It’s truly a unique vibe here that’s distinctive from the rest of Italy. Bonus: with the cliffside lookout points, it’s a perfect place to take a romantic walk or enjoy a sunset with a loved one.
Also, for those who love food just as much as we do at Live the World - Ostuni will be a memorable visit for you since the town features a variety of fresh seafood and traditional dishes like the panzerotti (a sandwich stuffed to the brim with oozing mozzarella and tomato sauce). Definitely sink your teeth into Ostuni’s friselle - its speciality bread, which is like a comforting warm hug filled with notes of olive oil, oregano and salt. In addition, why not go on an olive oil tasting tour with your date? It’s definitely a unique way to get a sense of what the locals cherish in Puglia.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - Piccolo Hotel Villa Rosa
This cute villa includes breakfast for free with your stay!
Mid-range - LA NICCHIA DI PAOLA
Stay right in the heart of the city, and in its iconic dome top home no less.
As a travel sustainable hotel with breakfast included, you’ll feel like everything is taken care of here.
When people think of Northern Italy - places like Milan, the Dolomites come to mind. But Turin, located in the northwest of Italy, is a city that will blow your mind with its blend of unique French and Italian history, culture and modern way of local living. It's a city that will make your taste buds dance with its delicious local cuisine heavily influenced by Piedmontese and French heritage. Fondue, bagna cauda and traditional chocolate and hazelnut desserts, such as gianduja and the globally renowned Nutella, will make you want to come back for more.
Turin is a feast for the eyes as well, from the Palazzo Reale Di Torino to the baroque Basilica di Superga, this noble city is home to some of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Italy. You can take a stroll through the city's historic centre and admire the impressive architecture and world-class artwork. You can book here a 2 Day city card for Turin, where you’ll be able to pop in and out museums without having to worry about tickets!
Not only that, but Turin is home to some of the most important museums in Italy, such as the Museo Egizio (The Egyptian Museum) and the Museo Nazionale del Cinema. For the Egyptian Museum, due to its popularity - it’s worth it to reserve your ticket here in advance so you can skip the line.
If you and your significant other are looking for a night out - Turin also has a lively nightlife, from trendy bars and clubs to traditional jazz that will absorb you into its soothing, tunes from the saxophone.
Suppose your idea of romance is more thrilling and adventure-filled... In that case, Turin is also a great base for exploring the surrounding area, from the beautiful lakes of the Piedmont region to the stunning Alpine mountains. You can take day trips to nearby towns and villages, such as the Sacra di San Michele, the Scrigno del Duomo, and the Castello di Rivoli, to see more of the region's Piedmontese culture and history and how that ties in with modern-day Italy.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - B&B IL SOGNO
You wouldn’t even believe that this is a cheap accommodation with its high class hospitality.
Mid-range - Torino 1854 Affittacamere
Right in the historical centre of Turin, a stay here means walking distance to all of the main sights.
Luxury - Hotel Roma e Rocca Cavour
This affordable luxury hotel has been run by the same local family since 1854.
The Amalfi Coast is one of the dreamiest stretches of coastline that will sweep you off your feet with its ancient towns by craggy cliffsides, glistening off of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It's a place that will make you fall in love with its stunning views, delicious local cuisine, and rich history and culture - and to be able to share that with someone, makes it even more so romantic.
Now picture you and your love, taking a Vespa trip along the coastline and admiring the breathtaking views of the sea on one side, the cliffs and the colourful houses on the other with your loved one. The towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, each with their unique charm and character, will make you feel like you've stepped into a fairytale. TravelBase’s Vespa Trip is just that - where you’ll be equipped with your own Vespa, GPS, hotels all taken care of, and a road book that gives you local insights on this magnificent region. With that, you’ll be ready for your own Italian adventure.
Since Amalfi Coast is a food lover's paradise, you can do mini pit-stops with your Vespa, so you and your beau can indulge in delicious seafood dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole, a spaghetti dish with clams, and fresh fish dishes. Sipping on a glass of local wine such as Furore DOC (one of our go-to's) or Costa d'Amalfi DOC, while enjoying a romantic dinner with a view of the sea, is an experience that will bond you two together even more.
With a Vespa trip through the Amalfi Coast, you can zip up and down the coast at your own pace - allowing you plenty of time to explore the charming streets and squares, visit the local churches and chapels, such as the Duomo di Amalfi or the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, and admire the beautiful art and architecture with your partner. The Amalfi Coast is also a place to sojourn into nature, where you can take a hike along the scenic coastal path, known as the "Sentiero degli Dei" or take a boat trip to explore the beautiful caves and grottoes along the coastline. This area is legendary amongst Italians and the world for a reason, so why not hop on a pastel two-wheel drive, and explore it with utmost freedom and love!
Your heart will easily beat for Capri - as it’s already a true paradise for lovers, an island of natural beauty and romance in the Gulf of Naples, Italy.
As you and your significant other explore the island, you will be mesmerised by the stunning natural wonders that surround you. The Blue Grotto, a sea cave with a natural skylight that filters sunlight through the water, creates a mesmerising blue glow that is actually a must-see for anyone. Here, you can take a boat ride together, holding hands as you glide through the cave and into the enchanting blue light. Then there’s the Faraglioni, three dramatic sea stacks that rise out of the water, and the Punta Carena Lighthouse, which offers breathtaking views of the coast. One of the best ways to take in the whole island is to go on a sightseeing tour, which includes a visit to the mythical Blue Grotto too.
The villages of Capri Town and Anacapri are pedestrian-walking friendly, both with their own characteristics: Capri Town is a bit more glitzy, living up to the star-studded reputation of Capri. The narrow streets, elegant piazzas, and chic boutiques and cafes create a romantic ambience that will make you feel like you're the main character.
Capri, after all, is also known for its luxurious lifestyle, a perfect opportunity for couples to indulge in a little bit of luxury. The island is home to a number of high-end resorts, spas, and restaurants that offer the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. You can sip on cocktails and enjoy each other's company, or indulge in a couples massage and pamper yourselves.
Then there’s Anacapri, that’s a bit more rustic, down to earth and has this calm, come-as-you-are vibe. If you want to explore more, check out our premade Capri itinerary here.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - Hotel Bussola
This hotel offers free cancellation and free breakfast - so you’ll be all set.
With panoramic views across the Bay of Naples, there's also a swimming pool set in the gardens
This hotel is in a Neoclassic style which features local crafting and ceramics - taking you into the luxuriousness of Capri.
Taormina is a romantic oasis nestled on the picturesque east coast of Sicily, Italy. As you explore this corner of Sicily with your loved one, the Mediterranean Sea will be your constant companion, providing a stunning backdrop for your romantic getaway.
The ancient Greek Theater is a must-see for any couple in Taormina, with its well-preserved and breathtakingly beautiful structure. Here, you can sit next to each other on the ancient stone seats, taking in a performance under the stars or just look out into Mount Etna in the distance.
The elegant streets of Taormina are lined with quaint cafes and shops, perfect for wandering together. The Palazzo Corvaja, a medieval palace turned museum, offers a glimpse into the rich history of the town, and the Piazza IX Aprile is a picturesque square that is perfect for people-watching while sipping on a cappuccino (the locals always are fascinating to observe for a true day in the life of a Sicilian). Another date idea in Taormina is going on a pizza-making class for you and your beau, making Italy’s most loved dish from scratch!
Also, Taormina has made quite an imprint on Hollywood itself - with the shooting location for the Godfather nearby, and now you can do a whole mafia and Godfather movie tour by reserving your spot here.
The town's hillside location provides an abundance of terraces, gardens, and walkways with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, making it the perfect spot for a romantic picnic or a sunset stroll. Taormina's Mediterranean climate is perfect for a romantic getaway, with mild winters and sunny summers, making it a year-round destination - so not just only on Valentine’s Day.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - B&B Villa Maria Ausilia
Cosy and welcoming, you’ll also be right in the centre of Taormina.
The swimming pool here is breathtaking, and a superb spot to soak up the Sicilian sun.
Luxury - UNAHOTELS Capotaormina
Built off of a craggy cliffside, this hotel is the ultimate Sicilian beauty.
Nestled in the Aosta Valley region within Northern of Italy, Courmayeur is a romantic mountain paradise surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Mont Blanc massif. This alpine setting creates an idyllic setting for a romantic getaway in Italy.
Perhaps it’s your first time here, or you’re returning to these mountains - as a skier or a hiker, this region seems almost limitless with the variety of outdoor activities for all skill levels. You and your partner can take a ski trip together, holding hands as you glide down the slopes or taking a romantic hike through the mountains, with breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc massif.
Courmayeur is also known for its absolutely delicious alpine cuisine, which is perfect for a romantic dinner. The region is famous for its hearty, comforting food, such as polenta, fondue, and local cheeses, perfect to share over candlelight (and trust us, most restaurants have this ambience within the first few steps through the door already).
After a long day of outdoor activities, Courmayeur's vibrant après-ski scene in the winter is perfect for a romantic evening out - adding to the jovial scene of the mountains.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - Locanda Bellevue
This too cute cabin stay is an authentic alpine dream come true!
Here, you can get a whole apartment for you and your loved ones.
With panoramic views of Mont Blanc and a 1000m² spa, this is one hotel to really feel like you’re on a holiday.
Another underrated and off-the-beaten path romantic place in Italy is the region of Le Marche, located on the east coast of the country. Le Marche is known for its medieval hilltop towns and the stretch of glistening Adriatic sea that runs by it.
One must-see town in Le Marche that would be perfect for a romantic getaway is Urbino. Urbino is a walled town which is actually a whole a World Heritage Site, known for its beautiful Renaissance architecture. You can take romantic walks through the town's ever-winding historical streets, admire architecture that goes back to Roman times, and enjoy the beautiful views from the historic town centre, which dates back to the 15th century.
Le Marche is also known for its delicious local Eastern Italian cuisine, which features a variety of traditional dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients such as truffles, cheese, and meat like the ciauscolo (which is this spreadable sausage paste). I was obsessed with ascoli, also known as olive all'ascolana - which are fried breaded olives stuffed with a mixture of meat. Those are so delicious to pop in your mouth as a one-bite treat. Also, the brodetto, which is a fish stew consisting of scampi and crayfish, is mouthwatering with each slurp.
Le Marche is also home to many art and historical sites, which makes for a great date idea - you and your amore can visit famous landmarks such as the Ducal Palace, a beautiful Renaissance palace, and the National Gallery of Le Marche, where masterpieces by famous artists such as Raphael are ready to be admired.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - B&B Canavaccio
A sustainable stay that is super spacious for any traveller.
Mid-range - Hotel Mamiani & Kì-Spa Urbino
This spa hotel is like a double bonus when it comes to making your stay even more soothing.
Luxury - Residenza Ambrogi Luxury Suites
Simply marvellous for a plush stay, especially with their great hospitality.
Portofino, nestled on the ever-opulent and a wildly seductive slice of the Italian Riviera, is a paradise that is sure to ignite the flames of romance. This coastal fishing village is surrounded by some of Italy’s best greenery, marked by colourful pastel villas overlooking the yacht-adorn harbour. A holiday in Portofino is a holiday amongst European aristocrats, A-Listers, and noblemen who hop around their summer homes like a balmy day hopping around cafe terraces.
Take a stroll hand in hand along the waterfront promenade and admire all of the shiny boats moored in the harbour, or take a romantic hike up to the Castello Brown for breathtaking views of the town and the sea. If you go during sunset time, you’ll catch that ethereal pinkish light streaking across the sea’s surface, and as the sun descends, the twinkling lights of Portofino are like stars on land. The town's beaches are also a big draw for those setting foot in Portofino, you’ll find a lot of locals and bright young things sunbathing on the pebbles as well as taking dips in the clear waters of the Mediterranean sea. For more adventurous visitors, the town also offers boat trips and water sports such as swimming, snorkelling, and diving.
While you’re in Portofino, it’s super easy to take a boat trip to nearby towns such as Camogli, Sestri Levante, o Cinque Terre, or take a drive along the scenic road known as the "Aurelia" and admire the coastline and the sea from there.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - Sunrise Apartment
You’ll be getting a whole apartment which includes your own kitchen and living room - now that’s spacious.
Since this is only 50 metres from the beach - it’s like the beach is your own backyard!
Every morning you can enjoy a buffet breakfast and then walk to the beach, which is only a 5 minute walk away.
Have you heard of Romeo and Juliet? In fair Verona, where we lay our scene… Yep, the world-famous Shakespeare play was set in a real-life location in the north of Italy - one that you can explore for yourself! Verona is a city of romance, history, and beauty, and it’s no wonder why the two fictional households of Montague and Capulets were set here. You and your amore can even visit the Casa di Giulietta, the supposed house of Juliet from Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet itself. The legendary balcony exists in real life and greets thousands of enchanted travellers every year.
This ancient city is steeped in well-preserved Roman ruins to Gothic and Renaissance architecture like its iconic Verona arena (which you can do a cool tour by booking a skip-the-line ticket here). But Verona is not only about history, it's also a food lover's paradise, with its delicious local cuisine featuring a variety of traditional Veronese dishes to try, like the scrumptious risotto with tastasa and the Sfogliatelle di Villafranca. Imagine having a romantic dinner with your loved one, sipping on a glass of Amarone wine on the terrace.
For a date idea in Verona, you can make it a dinner and a show. At the Teatro Romano, an ancient Roman theatre, Romeo and Juliet's love story often comes alive with local productions - possibly the best way to experience the tragic love story, without living its own infamous ending.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - StraVagante Hostel & Rooms
This hostel puts comfort and quality first, so you’ll for sure get a good night’s rest.
Be swept away in a part of Verona that’s perfect for hiking, biking and taking in nature.
This picturesque farm hotel is on its own plot of land with a swimming pool overlooking the hills.
Does Tuscany even really need an introduction? Only because the central Italian region is such a radiant star itself, being the epitome of romance, art, culture, history, and natural beauty.
Now here’s a romantic trip - one should explore Tuscany on a Vespa trip, which would take you through the rolling hills covered in vineyards and olive groves and give you a new perspective of the countryside dotted with charming towns and villages. On Travelbase’s Vespa trip, you can go at your own pace and truly take in Tuscany breathtaking scenery in the most iconic way.
On your Vespa Trip, you’ll start in Pisa, the city that’s home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, before exploring the historic city of Siena. The region is also home to many famous art and historical sites, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, which is the city that ignited the world with its beacon of the Renaissance. Of course, no Vespa trip in Tuscany itself is ever completed without being charmed by Florence.
On this trip, get your tastebuds ready for Tuscan’s savouring palette, with its delicious local cuisine featuring a variety of traditional dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients and its world-renowned wines such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. In between your Vespa ride, you can indulge in Tuscan staples like wild boar ragu with pappardelle and enjoy wine tastings with your partner - a perfect opportunity to bond and try delicious flavours together. Now that’s amore.
Now you wouldn’t think of romantic places in Italy, that Cupid’s favourite Venice, located in the northeast of Italy, would be forgotten, did you? Venice, is truly for lovers. You and your date won’t be able to help but feel moved - whether it’s Piazza San Marco in the moonlight with the piano man playing (this happens most nights) or catching sight of the Rialto Bridge.
This whole floating city is built for getting your heart swooning - and that’s including the must-do gondola ride that takes you through the city's ancient yet whimsical canals. What many may not know is how Venice is also home to some of the most famous art museums in the world, such as the Gallerie dell'Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, where you can admire masterpieces by artists such as Tintoretto, Veronese and Bellini with your loved one. Another part of Venice that not many people know about is its islands in the Venetian lagoon. You can easily book an affordable boat tour to the Venetian islands of Burano, Torcello and Murano here, with a glass-blowing workshop that makes the well-desired objects of Venice.
After exploring the city together, head off for a romantic dinner. Venice is the city for sipping on a glass of Prosecco while savouring a plate of Risotto alla Veneziana, a risotto made with onions and seafood, or Polenta e sepe, a traditional yummy Venetian dish made of cornmeal and cuttlefish.
If you want to switch it up from the gondola or from walking (no cars are allowed in Venice), then head to the city’s beautiful waterways, where you and your date can take a boat ride and admire the stunning views of Venice from the water. It's a perfect opportunity for couples to share a romantic moment in what makes Venice so utterly special - its waters.
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - Generator Venice
Hosted in a historical building by the waterways, be in the heart of Venice with this stay.
A private room and a private bathroom within walking distance to all of Venice’s must-see is a must-book stay.
Luxury - San Lio Tourist House
Set in an ancient house of the 14th century, you'll feel like you've travelled back in time - but with all of the modern amenities.
Walk with your date along the shores of Lake Como, a lake that knows how much of a heartstopper it is by reputation alone - surrounded by the Alpine mountains in Northern Italy. Here, you can take a romantic boat ride for two, zipping around the lake and admiring the villas of grandeur and gardens that line the shore. It’s easy to book a boat for two - without breaking the bank, so your boat tour also includes a walking tour of Como. The city of Como, which shares its name with its lake, is also where you can try out the regional speciality of risotto al lago, a risotto made with fish from the lake, or polenta taragna, a traditional cornmeal dish. Or, with your date, you can order one of each and swap your plates midway to try them both!
Como is also a city with a rich cultural heritage, visitors can visit famous landmarks such as the Cathedral of Como, a beautiful gothic cathedral, and the Volta Temple, a temple dedicated to the inventor of the battery, a perfect opportunity to learn and discover something new together.
The city is also known for its spas and wellness centres, and you can indulge in spa treatments such as massages, facials, and hot-spring baths and take some time to relax and rejuvenate with your loved one. It's a perfect opportunity to pamper yourselves and each other.
While you’re here, why not add a day trip cruise to Lugano and Bellagio - which are a bit of hidden gems as stunning towns not many travellers know of, on the other side of Lake Como. After all, you are on holiday in one of the most romantic places in the world!
Where to Stay
Budget-friendly - Ostello Bello Lake Como
This cute place has a barbecue and children's playground, where you can also enjoy the on-site bar.
Mid-range - B&B Convento S. Antonio
Set in a 17th-century Monastery, this B&B is as thematic as it is a cosy stay.
This is your chance to stay in a grand villa right in Como!