Italy is one of the most romantic countries in the world and there is no shortage of sensual locations in which to enjoy an unforgettable break and Holiday Homes in Italy offers some great accommodation in each...
There are plenty of romantic associations linked with Italy; Italian is the language of love, the world’s most famous star-crossed lovers were the Verona’s Romeo and Juliet, the most infamous lover was Italian Casanova. Italy is a land of sex appeal, of an atmosphere thick with sensuality and a country where romantic poets such as Keats, Coleridge and Shelly choose to spend their days, so what better place to plan a romantic break than Italia. There are no shortage of options, from rural retreats to luxurious hotels and breath-taking landscapes and monuments, to cities and lakes. We round up some of the best below.
La serenissima - Venice
Venice; that one world conjures up alluring images of canals and gondolas, of colourful houses with peeling paint, of romance, culture and breath-taking monuments. The floating city – a series of islands lying off the mainland of Italy – is truly unique, and it is perhaps this uniqueness and sense of grandeur now passed that gives it a feeling of faded glamour and romance. The city offers magical views over the canals from the Rialto Bridge, or from the inside of a gondola – a must for any lovers experiencing the city for the first time. However, for a memorable entrance to the city – is to catch the vaparetto (water bus) from the mainland, and enter Venice by water; that is a truly awe inspiring moment.
With hundreds of churches, some of the world’s most wonderful frescos and the magical glass island of Murano to choose from, there are stacks of cultural attractions to see by day. However, by night standing on the waterfront just off Piazza San Marco and watching the canals by night can be a magical experience. In many cases, just wondering off the beaten track in order to escape the tourists can provide you a glimpse of the real Venice, and this can in many cases invoke sadness for the decay of the once great city, but also allows you to uncover a different, more brooding side to the Venice than seen in the guide books. For a bit of peace and quiet, take the vaparetto to one of the many small islands lying off the coast of the mainland, such as Torcello
In terms of where to stay, there are many wonderful waterfront palazzo’s which can offer views over the Grand Canal, and some of the plushest hotels in Italy. Perfect for a romantic weekend getaway, while this isn’t the place for nightlife, this is the place for atmosphere, ambiance and an unforgettable holiday. For a selection of unforgettable accommodation in Venice, click here.
Lago di Garda
The romance of the Italian lakes is unmatched anywhere in the world. Lake Garda in particular enjoys a breathtaking setting, from her crystal clear waters to the surrounding snow-topped peaks and the hills festooned with olive and lemon trees. Many people have fallen in love with what is reputedly Italy’s most beautiful lake. Among their numbers are Roman poet Catullus, Mussolini, Diva Maria Callas and James Joyce and Ezra Pound. Numerous poets and songwriters have waxed lyrical about the stunning scenery and romance of this freshwater lake, and this a wonderful place to visit with a number of stunning villas, churches and castles lining the banks of the lake.
One of the most beautiful towns on the lake has to be Sirmione. As you approach from the water the colourful facades of the Palazzi jump out at you, while just offshore are the Roman ruins of the Grotto of Catullus (Grotte di Catullo), the most striking in northern Italy. Complete with a fairytale castle, this is a wonderful spot to enjoy a meal of fresh, locally caught fish overlooking the lake, or to enjoy a glass of the locally produced Bardolino on the waterfront.
The best way to enjoy the beauty of Lake Garda is from the water, and the lake’s most beautiful spot has to be San Vigilio. Just to the north of Garda, San Vigilio is part of a promontory that juts into the Lake, upon which is built a beautiful 16th century villa designed by SanMicheli, which is surrounded by a typical Renaissance-style Garden, full of olive groves and lemons trees. Facing out onto the water is a small ancient church, dating back to the 4th century, which is dedicated to San Vigilio, and is truly stunning.
The best way to finalise a romantic break on the lakes is to get up early to watch the sun rise over the water – you’ll find you’re the only two people around and this is a truly magical way to end a fabulous holiday. Click here for our choice of lovely accommodation on Lake Garda.
Want to wander the streets hand-in-hand with the one you love? Well, there’s no better place to do this than in Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance and offering skyline views to rival all others. Walk along the Arno River, wander the Boboli Gardens complete with fountains, statues and ampitheatre, or sit in the Piazza de Republicca and enjoy watching the world go by, glass of wine in hand. Florence’s ambiance was made for romantic breaks, and is a city full of passion. You can view the sights by taking a carriage ride through the streets of Florence, starting in Piazza Signoria, and then there’s the Uffizi gallery which houses numerous masterpieces, where you can soak up the Renaissance art, including the Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Michelangelo's Holy Family, and Titian's Venus of Urbino. Climb to the top of the Duomo to enjoy some breathtaking views of the city, while for a glorious sunset, make for the Ponte Santa Trinita, one bridge up from the Ponte Vecchio, and which is less crowded allowing you to view the river, as well as the old bridge itself. Click here to find your romantic hideaway in Florence.
Hopefully, our round-up of locations has given you some ideas for some romantic breaks to Italy. However, Italy is a land where passion and romance hides around every corner, and so don’t be afraid to find somewhere new to treat your loved one. After all, this is the land of romance…