You’ve just wrapped up making most of the major decisions for your big wedding day, and you barely have enough brain power or energy to make another decision. You can’t neglect having a big celebration to mark the beginning of a new chapter for you and your spouse. And if you’ve always wanted a post-nuptial getaway in Europe, you might want to consider a luxurious honeymoon in Italy – a country rich in history, culture, and of course, delicious food. So, from Milan to Sicily, here’s eight itinerary-worthy destinations you should consider adding to your customized Italian honeymoon.
Although honeymooners may want to spend a few days in Rome; not even a week is really long enough to see everything in this historic city. Yes, you have to see some of the world-famous landmarks, including the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel and Piazza Navona, but there’s still so much more for newlyweds to see and do. Visit the area near the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) to go shopping at high-end shops – like Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Gucci and Prada – or take in the beautiful scenery around the iconic landmark, where it’s usually quieter and fewer people at night.
Take a stroll along the city’s cobblestone streets to the quiet neighborhood of Trastevere (comparable to NYC’s Greenwich Village or Paris’ Left Bank) to avoid weaving through tourists and to find more authentic food. On the opposite end of the spectrum, couples can also experience the bustling Campo de’ Fiori for fresh fruits and veggies as well as a prime people-watching spot. And at night, it’s a hopping bar scene. And you can’t leave Rome without sharing a scoop or two of gelato from the best gourmet gelateria in the city! You’ll find regular flavors like chocolate, coffee and seasonal fruits.
Welcome to the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance – is the ideal honeymoon destination for couples who want to feast on world-class art and gourmet Tuscan cuisine. That’s right, art lovers and history buffs will be overwhelmed with more than 70 museums and galleries to visit, including Museo di San Marco, Uffizi Gallery, Museo dell Cappelle Medicee and the Galleria dell’Accademia – home Michelangelo’s David, one of the Renaissance’s most iconic masterpieces. And no visit here is complete without climbing to the top of the Duomo (part of the Florence Cathedral) to get panoramic views of this amazing city from above.
For couples who love delicious Italian cuisine, we recommend wandering the maze of stalls of Mercato Centrale, Florence’s oldest and largest food market. You’ll find everything, including a cooking school, and vendors selling steaks, burgers, trip panini, vegetarian dishes, pizza, gelato, pastries and pasta. Experience the city’s café culture at Francesco Sanapo’s Ditta Artigianale that serves first-class coffee and outstanding gin cocktails. And there’s no shortage of tasty restaurants, like Cibreo, where couples can arrange a fine dining experience in the main restaurant, and sample innovative, but traditional dishes made with fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market.
One of Vacation’s expert travel agents can also arrange a wine tasting & winery tour for you and your significant other to engage in a once-in-a-lifetime experience in one of the best wine regions in the world.
Honeymoon on Italy’s Amalfi Coast – the stretch of coastline from Sorrento to Salerno. During the summer the area is packed with wealthy tourists, but we recommend the spring and fall if you’re looking for a more affordable and relaxing retreat. You really can’t go wrong in any of these beautiful coastal towns.
Here’s a quick look at five of our favorite towns: Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Salerno. First… Sorrento sits high on the cliffs overlooking the bays of Naples and Salerno. Picturesque Positano is known for its brightly-colored, cliffside houses, beautiful beaches, expensive shops, chic tourists and its numerous steps to get from one place to the next. Amalfi has a distinctly Moorish feel, and for couples who enjoy spelunking, don’t miss a visit to the Emerald Grotto, a cavern known for its light effects and chamber of stalactites and stalagmites… many underwater.
Add Ravello to your Italy itinerary to find out why it was haven for artists such as German composer Richard Wagner, Swedish film actress Greta Garbo and English writer and poet D.H. Lawrence. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the sea, but when you break your gaze, visit Villa Cimbrone’s beautiful gardens and you may discover why some locals consider it to be the most beautiful town in Italy. And Salerno is a less expensive alternative to the smaller villages and towns on the coast, and it can be a convenient base to explore the area.
Are you both into fashion? Consider a trip to one of the great fashion capitals of the world! Milan’s fashion-forward reputation draws shoppers from around the world. The heart of the city’s shopping lies in the Quadrilatero della Moda (the fashion district), where couples can peruse high-end brands such as Prada and Versace. As you wander, be sure to stroll down Via Montenapoleone, the Italian equivalent to NYC’s Fifth Avenue. Other popular shopping areas include the mile-plus-long Corso Buenos Aires, one of Europe’s longest shopping streets, and the bustling Via Torino, known for its abundance of shoe stores.
Milan has plenty of architectural treasures, too. Visit the Duomo, an iconic landmark for the city and Italy’s largest and most complex Gothic building. The massive structure, which dates to 1386, features roughly 3,400 statues and a rooftop terrace, from which you can see the city come to life.
This modern city is also an art lover’s paradise, especially for Leonardo da Vinci fans. Visit the National Museum of Science and Technology to explore a collection of models based on the artist’s drawings and the Refectory at Santa Maria delle Grazie to see the original The Last Supper in all its glory.
Call it the city of love, as Verona, located midway between Milan and Venice, is the setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Although this tale has an unfortunate ending, as a couple, you can celebrate the love between these two star-crossed lovers. You can visit “Juliet’s House” and see the famous balcony where Romeo first declared his undying love for Juliet.
Shakespeare aside, Verona – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is an enchanting city with over 2,000 years of history. Start your exploration with the Renaissance entrance gates that run parallel to the city wall. Pass under the triumphal arch as you and your new spouse walk through the old town or grab a couple seats at one of the many outdoor cafés to sip an espresso (or glass of vino) and drink in the amazing views.
No visit is complete without seeing the Verona Arena, an open-air amphitheater (Italy’s third-largest) that was built in the first half of the first century. Arrange to see an opera or other musical performance here while you’re visiting. Even if you’re not an opera fan, the ambience alone is worth the experience.
You may also consider a visit to Castelvecchio, a massive castle with a museum that houses Venetian art, jewelry and weapons. Couples looking for a honeymoon in Italy can spend time wandering along the Adige River, a popular spot for locals, or take short bus ride to Lake Garda, one of Italy’s biggest and most beautiful lakes. From Verona, you can also drive into cities like Trento, and just an hour-and-a-half drive away, adventurous honeymooners can visit Dolomites, the gateway to the mountain range known for fun outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking and skiing.
Although the nearby island of Capri often steals the spotlight, Ischia (called the Green Island) is equally appealing, offering something for everybody, from wine lovers and sunbathers to hikers and water sport fans.
Easily reached by hydrofoil or ferry, Ischia is heralded for its thermal waters, a reputation that has endured since the eighth century B.C., thanks to the more than 100 hot springs that stream out of Mount Epomeo. An expert travel agent can help you find a hotel that has a pool or pools filled with hot spring water, in addition to nearby wellness centers, such as Giardini di Poseidon on Citara Beach.
Most of the hotels are located in Ischia Pointe, where you’ll find plenty of shops and cafés. Serious outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who want to connect with Ischia’s source of fame, will want to head to Fontana, where you can set off on a 2,500-feet hike to the top of Mount Epomeo.
Although it’s probable you’ll bump elbows with other tourists, Taormina is a gripping honeymoon location – perched high above glittering turquoise seas – is the perfect place for couples to create a lifetime of memories.
Located about an hour from Catania, Sicily’s second-largest city, Taormina is best known for its historic Greek amphitheater, almost fully intact, which offers breathtaking views of the coast and the volatile Mount Etna. Check the schedule, as you’ll want to catch a concert or play here.
Time spent in Taormina can also be spent relaxing on one of the many beaches such as Giardini Naxos, Mazzaro, or the protected natural oasis of Isola Bella. Go shopping on the main street; or visit Castelmola, a charming village that can be accessed by foot or by car. For more active travelers, hiking trails surrounding the city, even those around Mount Etna, prove to be rewarding experiences.
All of Italy is rich in culinary experiences, but when you visit the lively city of Bologna, you’ll understand why it’s called “Bologna the Fat,” namely because the cuisine is arguably the country’s best, upholding its reputation as a well-fed city.
Of course, Bologna is the birth city of Bolognese sauce, and most menus revolve around this and fresh pastas such as tortellini, tagliatelle and lasagna. But don’t leave without sampling the mortadella, a blend of pork, spices and herbs cooked in natural or synthetic casing.
Bologna is rich in culture and history, too. One of the best places to start is Piazza Maggiore, the city’s center where you’ll find the Palazzo D’Accursio (Bologna Town Hall) and the Basilica di San Petronio, home to the world’s largest sundial. You’ll also want to wander into the adjacent Piazza del Nettuno to see the elaborate Fortuna del Nettuno fountain.
From here, you can explore the narrow streets of the Quadrilatero, the old city market. During the day, vendors sell everything from seasonal produce to fresh fish, while in the evening, the area’s bars come to life. And then we recommend that couples head to Piazza Santo Stefano where they’ll see what appears to be one large church, but is actually seven. Look up to see the twin towers of Asinelli and Garisenda, and, if you’re up for the challenge, climb the almost 500 steps to the top of the Asinelli for rewarding and spectacular views over the city. It’s just one Italian destination you should consider adding to your honeymoon itinerary.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable honeymoon in Italy? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent to customize an itinerary you’re gonna love.