From castles to ancient ruins, seductive cuisine to lush countryside, glistening lakes to quiet vineyards, the following list offers our recommendations on the ten most romantic places in Italy for your next trip.
Italy is the personification of a romantic destination with elegant cities, secluded charms, scenic coastlines, and exquisite island getaways. Preserved tradition offers authentic beauty, and natural wonder provides the enchanting ambiance of a storybook.
From the elegant shores of Lake Como to the evergreen countryside of Pienza, explore the highlights and the off-the-beaten paths for intimate experiences all around.
Venice is the most obvious choice when considering Italy’s most romantic places. The city embodies passion, prestige, and charm as gondolas wind down twisting canals and secluded cobbled lanes lead to gorgeous footbridges. Lively cafes fill public piazzas and capture the quintessential taste of European life.
Venice is easily a city of lovers, once home to Giacomo Casanova and still home to the preserved Gothic design of the Doge’s palace. Art galleries display famous Venetian artists that inspire desire, while the Basilica of San Marco offers an immaculate gilded façade with a sparkling interior that reveals more than 1,200 years of religious devotion.
The High-Renaissance palaces create the romantic atmosphere alongside the cruising gondolas, vibrant Murano glass, and the scattered emblem of Venice’s winged lion. Whether you indulge in a glimpse of the city at sunrise over a quiet Piazza San Marco or stroll hand-in-hand through an authentic neighborhood, you can bask in the calm waters of the Venetian lagoon.
The name Lake Como conjures images of elegant shores dusted with a light mist. The region spreads across the incredible beauty of the Italian Alps near the border of Switzerland. Small sailboats glide over the water’s sparkling surface to create one of the world’s most glamorous lake districts accentuated by the surrounding mountains. Unlike the neighboring villages, Como’s serene streets couple with a lakeside promenade nestled against the 12th-century historical center.
The European feel immerses you in the moment, allowing you to savor the company and watch passersby during an afternoon drink or in the hours of a long, lingering lunch within the 12th-century city walls. The fairytale ambiance enhances the stoic shoreline that offers panoramas sweeping between the fantastical villas. One of the best ways to experience Lake Como is in the village of Brunate and the Faro Voltiano Lighthouse. The vista opens to the gorgeous scenery and quiet mountain charms.
The small Tuscan town of Pienza feels like a secluded escape hidden in one of Italy’s most popular regions. While cities such as Florence, Pisa, Lucca, and Siena have taken most of the recognition, Pienza is a romantic wonderland worlds away from the bustling, crowded streets of many Tuscan destinations. The UNESCO World Heritage status protects the enchanting architecture and the culture that embodies the ideal Renaissance city.
Designed by the theories of antiquity meant to impact the human soul and stimulate well-being, Pineza does not just offer visual beauty but also a passionate atmosphere. The medieval walls continue to wrap around the edges of town and offer unparalleled views over Val d’Orcia’s bucolic landscape.
Pienza’s beauty has inspired poets, writers, and artists for centuries and acted as the setting for many of the scenes filmed in the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet. It is a paradise for foodies who flock to the Val d’Orcia to sample delectable cheeses and decadent wines. The cobbled lanes seduce newcomers and calls to lovers on the narrow streets beyond Via dell’Amore, cherished as hidden corners with marvelous backdrops suitable for secret meetings and stolen kisses.
There is no better place to celebrate your love than in the city of Verona. Home of the famous Shakespearean lovers Romeo and Juliet, the city has an alluring evening ambiance when dim lights flicker through cozy alleys and embrace an unyielding romance. Located two hours away from Venice and Milan, you can bask in views of the surrounding hills and enjoy the dreamy banks of the Adige River. The quixotic romance of the city emanates from the many hidden alleys and famous monuments.
Pozzo dell’Amore, the Lovers’ Well, is a well-kept secret and the Garden of the Giusti Palace sweeps couples into a romantic embrace through the late Renaissance charms of magnificent fountains and blossoming foliage. The garden is home to one of the oldest hedge-mazes in Europe for a touch of unique romance and excitement.
Juliet Capulet has become a patron of love over the centuries and attracts visitors from around the world who are eager to stand in the courtyard where Romeo first climbed the balcony. People write letters to Juliet asking for advice on their relationship woes or to bless their love. It only enhances the beauty of a city already bursting with devotion, romance, and passion.
The island of Capri in the Tyrrhenian Sea is a unique destination known for lavish sunsets, the watery horizon, and enchanting views of the coastline. The rugged karsts, stony peaks, and sporadic beaches highlight the natural beauty while Capri Town unveils the opulent culture. Winding cobbled lanes and boats sailing to the ethereal colors of the Blue Grotto.
The tranquil town of Anacapri offers a serene ambiance revealing a secluded corner of the Mediterranean island. During the day, boats traverse the colorful waters around the rocky outcropping of the Faraglioni sea stacks. Rosemary and sage grow wild in the mountains and countryside. Roman ruins decorate the landscape with masterful architectural designs once belonging to emperors.
Viewing the water from anywhere on the island holds the same crystal-clear shades of azure. The crowds shrink by the late afternoon as the refreshing sea breeze blows through the streets. The street lights reflect off the whitewashed walls of the shops as the sun sets and brings a soft, comforting spark to the open piazzas. When on Capri, you are in the company of emperors, Hollywood stars, and lovers finding comfort in the expected and unexpected splendor.
The Amalfi Coast has become the postcard for the perfect Mediterranean escape. The romance radiates from the sapphire water, rugged soaring cliffs, narrow winding coastal roads, and charming villages. Terraced citrus groves shade hidden coves, and antique marinas give way to pebbled beaches flush with lounge chairs.
Using the eponymous town as a starting point, you can easily explore the entire coastline and discover the similarities and remarkable differences of grand villas set atop the soaring plateaus or hidden vineyards absorbing the sea breeze. Adventurous couples can set off on hikes in search of antique paper mills or crystal-clear mountain streams. An assortment of elegant houses, winding staircases, and narrow lanes lead to views of historical squares or lapping waves.
Romance on the Amalfi Coast abounds with quality cuisine using local ingredients coupled with enticing views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. From towns that climb up the rugged cliffs to colorful antique facades hosting terraces that frame the vibrant sunset, you can love the sea, board a boat, or simply indulge in the comfort of an artistic town.
The Cinque Terre embrace the treasured shores of Liguria and comprise a colorful world with azure waters. The former fishing communities are virtually impossible to reach by car, providing the feeling of seclusion. The romantic ambiance stems from a perfect combination of coastal views and remote authenticity. The minimal, narrow roads and preserved antique architecture weave between the network of mountain trails.
Life slows down along the Ligurian coastline marking the southern edge of the Italian Riviera for a timeless romantic escape. Waterfront cafes, elegant birdsongs, and ancient sanctuaries hide amid the clifftops that overlook the Mediterranean waves. The treasures of the five towns can be revealed through hikes and boating excursions, walks and drives that highlight the gentle rhythms that shift between dawn and dusk.
Pastel row-houses shimmer at sunset, and botanical gardens along rocky promontories support exotic birdlife. Grapevines produce the popular local wine, Sciacchetrà. The steep windy roads lead to secluded coves while colorful terraces face the Ligurian sea or offer an inspiring maze of stairways. The scent of lemon trees filers through the breeze casting a refreshing ambiance amid returning fishing boats creating unparalleled romantic moments.
The exquisite blend of rustic charms and sophisticated history brings the essence of Portofino to life. The harbor presents a gem of a village with lush hillsides bordering the bright blue waters. A romantic walkway highlights the charismatic architecture of a traditional fishing village, with the marina often harboring a mixture of yachts and typical fishing boats.
Passionate locals maintain a connection to the folklore. The harbor's half-moon arrangement reflects the best of the Italian Riviera, with spectacular views from every point of the promenade stretching to the horizon. The 15th century Castello Brown crowns the hill for a touch of fantasy and luxury. The protected marine area creates a rare and rich collection of natural treasures that contrast the luxury yachts perched in the harbor.
The sea calls visitors into its depths near Portofino even further with the Christ of the Abyss statue positioned on the seafloor and access to the secluded San Fruttuoso Abbey. Couples indulge in the romance of Portofino by strolling on the promenade, lounging on the nearby pebble beach, sailing along crystal clear waters, or enjoying the views from the idyllic plaza known as the Piazzetta. It is an ideal place for creating tranquil, picturesque memories.
The spectacular seaside destination of Polignano a Mare is perched on limestone cliffs resulting in elaborate panoramas of the shiny Adriatic Sea. The fabulous historic town blossoms with a romantic mixture of maze-like narrow alleyways, panoramic terraces, and bright houses. The diverse history along the seaside bluffs has also resulted in a tradition of world-class cliff diving.
A seaside piazza dates back to the ancient Romans for an enchanting setting famous for ice cream on a hot summer’s night and caves that pockmark the craggy ravine. Romance derives from sweet shops selling Italian croissants and the restaurants filled with the aromas of elegant seafood dishes.
The sunlight glints against the whitewashed walls as the picture-perfect village mirrors the limestone cliffs. You can indulge in the sweeter side of town or celebrate romance hidden in the inlets and sandy bays where the slower pace of life reveals the pleasures for which Southern Italy is known.
The marvels of Taormina capture the spirit of Sicily. Ancient Greeks established the town on a rugged hill overlooking the water. The cobbled boulevards and panoramas sweeping from Mount Etna to the Ionian Sea wrap you in timeless romance.
The Greek Theater emanates passion and is used for summer performances. The quaint neighboring village of Castelmola sits above Taormina, providing fabulous views of beaches, Mount Etna, and the lush colors of the Naxos gardens. The nature reserve supports birds, lizards, and a spot for sunbathers to bask in the Mediterranean sun.
Excursions for adventurers can lead to the top of Mount Etna or the ruins of Agrigento, visiting the rushing waters of Alacantara Gorge or absorbing the crafts and antique shops dotting the multicolored lanes. Whether sipping a glass of wine or indulging in the charming atmosphere, Taormina blends the pleasures of luxury with the grandeur of effortless charm, from wide boulevards to attractive cafes, crafting an idyllic romance in Sicily.
Italy inspires romance and passion with idyllic towns and captivating seaside vistas. It offers a fairytale experience or a spirited escape. From a charming honeymoon overlooking the countryside blanketed in vineyards to an exclusive Mediterranean island getaway, a travel specialist with local knowledge can tailor any trip to your preferences. You can explore more with the Honeymoon Travel Guide or discover your perfect Italy trip with Zicasso’s Italy Travel Guide. If you are planning a romantic trip, you can speak with a travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request Form or by calling 1-888-265-9707.