The Ultimate Honeymoon in Italy
Enjoy your most beautiful time as a newly married couple, exploring the gorgeous riches of Italy
Planning a honeymoon is just as exciting as planning the wedding itself. Romantic beaches, lovely sunsets and colourful streets, all sound like every couple's dream. Not sure where to book your travels? We want to show you what an ultimate Italian honeymoon would look like. We think Italy is the perfect honeymoon destination as it has pristine beaches, beautiful coasts, gorgeous flora, secluded villas in some of the most quaint towns in Europe and perfect food. Pack your suitcase and get ready to explore the most beautiful places in Italy as a newlywed couple. Here are our well researched, tried and tested tips on how to plan your ultimate Italy honeymoon.
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The Ultimate Italian Honeymoon
So many couples are taking an interest in Italy as a desired honeymoon destination. We wanted to organise our wedding in Italy but because our family is scattered all around the world, we decided to get married in the UK. Although we didn't experience a destination wedding, we did experience an extensive honeymoon all around the world. And Italy was part of it!
It's natural that like millions of visitors every year, we fell in love with Italy during our first ever visit. In fact, we loved our time in Italy so much, that we decided to organise our own delayed honeymoon around Italy. We started our adventure in Belaggio, around Lake Como. We spent two nights loving every second of our time there. Everybody loves pizza, but trust us, nobody makes better pizza crust than the Italians. There is something truly romantic about walking hand in hand through colourful Italian streets. We ended our evening with a view of the Italian and Swiss Alps overlooking the gorgeous Lake Como.
Our journey continued to Venice, where we stayed in a glorious old mansion with a mile-long driveway and beautiful statues. We then stayed in Rome where we indulged in cultural activities and loved every single bite of Italian food. We finished our Italian honeymoon in Liguria which is a crescent-shaped region in northwest Italy. This postcard-perfect Mediterranean coastline is known as the Italian Riviera.
We then returned to Italy to explore other parts of the country as well. All in all, we can now help you create your perfect Italian honeymoon itinerary, based on the locations we loved the most and we think are most suitable for a newlywed couple. Plus, we've asked other wonderful couples who have spent their own honeymoon in Italy to contribute to this article.
Melissa from Why Not Let's Go spent quality time in Lucca for her Italy honeymoon.
"We were fortunate enough to stay in an older villa just outside of Lucca. We were not typical honeymooners and we planned on just living the Italian life rather than travelling and sightseeing. We got to know our neighbours, tended the vegetable garden, grocery shopped every day and went to the local gelateria every night. We loved that we became a part of the community--we were invited to dinners, to sagras, to concerts. We embraced the Italian life and it embraced us. We still have close ties to many of the people in the community and go back to visit our favourite places.
We have travelled and stayed all over Italy, but our preference is always Lucca or nearby. Being in central Tuscany for a week allows for easy mobility. We took day trips to the nearby beaches of Viareggio and Forte di Marmi, weekends to Florence and trips both south to Rome and north to Venice (from where we took a Mediterranean cruise). Lucca is a large enough city to offer good shopping, restaurants and events, but not too large that it feels crowded with tourists. Being one of the few cities with the surrounding wall completely preserved, it has a medieval charm and rich history."
10-night Italian Honeymoon
Tracy from Tracy Kaler spent 10 nights enjoy various parts of Italy. Here's how she spent her Italy honeymoon.
"I'm not sure why we chose Italy for our 2000 honeymoon. Perhaps it was all the positive experiences we'd heard from friends or family or my undying love of pasta. To be honest, I can't remember why, but I recall our honeymoon trip like it was yesterday. I knew after a few short days that it was only the beginning of my lifelong infatuation with Italian food, wine and culture.
My husband and I flew into Rome and spent three nights exploring the iconic sights including the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Sistine Chapel. We sipped Frascati, ate gelato, and of course, indulged in our fair share of Italian food and wine.
Our second stop was Florence. While I enjoyed Rome, I loved every last detail about Florence, so much that I imagined living there. Michelangelo's David at the Accademia, the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, and four more nights of simple yet decadent plates of Italian food like I'd never tasted before. One of the most memorable meals of our life together happened at La Giostra, a family-owned restaurant that continues to share the wonders of Italian tradition and culture through cooking to this day.
Our 10-night trip continued to amaze us as we ended our honeymoon in Venice, deemed one of the most romantic cities in the world and for good reason! Sure, the gondola ride is quintessential Venice, and crossing the legendary Bridge of Sighs to return to our hotel each night made us feel like we were living in a fairytale. My husband fed the pigeons at Piazza San Marco, the bustling square that we returned to every day despite how touristy it was. We couldn't stay away! But it was the hours we spent roaming the streets of this alluring city with no particular agenda or place to be and getting lost in its labyrinth of alleyways – hand in hand while exploring a foreign country together for the very first time that I remember so fondly.
We started talking about returning to Italy as soon as we set foot on the plane at Venice Airport. Finally, we went back 16 years later, but this time to Milan, Genoa and the Piedmont Region. Once again, we were captivated by the magic of Italy.
I've travelled many places and intend to travel to many more in my lifetime, but Italy is a country that I will return to again and again. No trip, though, will ever compare to the first when my groom and I explored Rome, Florence and Venice as a newly married couple."
Rome - Florence - Venice
Nina from Traveling with Nina shares her exciting trip around Rome, Florence and Venice. Nina and her husband love Rome the most and tell us we need to try oven-fired pizza in Florence.
"We got married very young and had never been out of the country. We had always wanted to go to Europe, so we chose Italy because we knew it would be delicious and exciting. We went to Rome, Florence and Venice. It was actually this trip that made us fall in love with travelling.
Rome, to this day, is one of our favourite cities in the world. We even went back on our fifth wedding anniversary to relive the beauty and splendour of the Trevi Fountain. Italy had everything we could possibly want: good food, historical sites, streets to stroll through, beautiful views, nice people and adorable hotels. You don’t need a car in the major cities and can get around easily by train. It seemed like at every corner we turned in Rome, we were greeted by a piece of ancient history. Actually seeing the Colosseum was something amazing to experience as a couple.
We didn’t know what we were missing until we tried oven-fired pizza in Florence. Trust me, until you eat this pizza, you don’t know what pizza is. We got married in December, so this was actually off-season for travel, but we got to see Venice lit up with string lights in preparation for Christmas. To say that sipping wine by the water and strolling through the city’s little corridors lit with twinkle lights was romantic would be an understatement. It was exactly what I had imagined. I love telling people I spent my honeymoon in Italy because it was magic; not some generic beach vacation. Italy opened our eyes to the exciting and delicious world of travel."
Authentic Italy for Honeymoon: Umbria & Emilia-Romagna
Matt from Little Roads Europe tell us that it's not just the cities to look forward to in Italy, but the beautiful experiences you can have during your road trip.
"We took our honeymoon in Italy, starting in Rome and driving up through the country, ending in Venice. For us, it was the in-between that really drew us in - the authentic food, the lovely people, the wide landscapes, and the lack of tourist hordes. We had a few days at an agriturismo in Umbria, and a few more at another in Emilia-Romagna (the vast breadbasket area north of Tuscany), which was the region that really captured us so we would return again and again. This is the region of the food that we know and love in the States: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto and culatello and other salamis, beautifully stuffed tortellini pasta. Fewer tourists than most more well-known areas, beautiful landscapes and castles to visit, and wonderful people."
Honeymoon in Sardinia
Clelia from Keep Calm and Travel is a Sardinian born travel blogger so she really knows where to find the best honeymoon spots in Italy.
"If you are deciding where to go on your honeymoon to Italy, which such a plethora of choices of enchanting destinations the "Bel Paese" can offer it can be daunting to narrow it down to only one destination. That's why I'm here to give you some valuable advice as a local Italian, born and raised on the marvellous island of Sardinia, to guide you to find what I think is the absolute best place to spend some romantic moments with your sweetheart.
Sardinia offers not only kilometres of pristine beaches, but also rugged and wild mountains, stunning secluded waterfalls, lakes, and lovely local villages to explore, so you can mix a relaxing holiday with a more active trip if you feel so inclined. Add some delicious local foods such as the typical Seada or some "Spaghetti alla bottarga" and you won't want your honeymoon in Sardinia to end!
But where exactly should you go when there are so many incredibly beautiful places around the coastline?
My suggestion as a local is, if you have at least 10 days, to take some time and travel around, starting from Cagliari, Sardinia's capital, and exploring the Villasimius area, all the way up to the Golfo di Orosei on the Oriental coast, where you will enjoy the wild beaches of Cala Goloritze, Cala Mariolu, Cala Biriola, and many others, but will also be surrounded by the majestic green and beauty of the Gennargentu mountains, with a vast variety of treks and hikes. I thoroughly recommend the trek to the Gologone, the most suggestive canyon in Europe, and the hike to Cala Goloritze.
If you want a more chilled honeymoon, don't worry! You can find a vast choice of hotels in the area of Orosei/Baunei and you can take your time to enjoy the meals, the stunning panoramas, and the relaxed and authentic Sardinian vibe of the nearby villages. I warmly recommend you rent a car to get around Sardinia, as the local transports might not be ideal and are not well connected to reach the most stunning destinations the island can offer. Other than that, I'm sure you'll fall in love with my beautiful island and will want to come back for more!"
Honeymoon in Venice is a must
Anisa Alhilali from Two Traveling Texans has enjoyed an extensive romantic time in Venice and she recommends this timeless city to all newlyweds.
"Venice has to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. It's the perfect place to spend some time as newlyweds. You won't run out of romantic things to do in Venice.
Since it's your honeymoon, you can splurge on a gondola ride. It's a special experience that you can only have in Venice. A gondolier will take you and your partner down narrow canals and under the beautiful bridges so that you can see the city from a unique perspective.
You will want to take in the views from some other spots as well. How about a drink at the rooftop terrace at T Fondaco? It has views of the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge.
It's also a great city for food. You can dine alongside one of the canals, grab a cone of gelato on the go, or try Cicchetti, the Venetian version of tapas.
Let's also not forget about the wine. You could take a wine tasting tour in Venice or do a day trip to nearby vineyards. Whatever one you choose, it will be a memorable time with your significant other.
While you are in Venice, you should also visit some of the other islands in the lagoon. If you want to go to the beach, head to Lido. For a photographer's paradise, go to the colourful island of Burano. Nearby Murano is a must if you are interested in the Venetian glass.
While there are plenty of romantic places to stay in Venice, the Gritti Palace is something quite special. It is a 15th-century palazzo set at one of the loveliest spots on the Grand Canal. The interior feels luxurious with priceless antiques and frescoes. There is also a small but exquisite spa. You won't find a better hotel for your romantic trip."
Amazing honeymoon in Rome and Tuscia
Claudia Tavani is an Italian born writer from Strictly Rome with extensive knowledge when it comes to honeymoon spots in Italy. She thinks Rome and Tuscia are ideal.
"Few places in Italy are as romantic as Rome. The Eternal City is packed with sights and viewpoints and there are so many landmarks in Rome that you should visit and that is perfect for a couple too. Start your exploration with the classics - the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are best visited with a guide. Make sure to walk all the way up to the Palatine viewpoint for incredible views of the forum and the Colosseum below. On your way back to the historic centre of Rome, stop by the Altar of the Fatherland and invest in a ticket to the elevator for even more incredible views.
Don't miss a walk to the Giardino Degli Aranci (Orange Garden) on the Aventine Hill. It's one of the best sunset spots in Rome. And for a more local spot, walk up the Janiculum to admire the splendid Fontana dell'Acqua Paola and for more views over the city. For more romance, walk by Trevi Fountain - though if you want it all to yourself, plan to head there at odd hours as it can be very crowded!
Once you are done exploring the Italian capital, head north to the Tuscia region of Lazio. Rent a car as this is a fabulous place for a day trip - not to mention, it will make your life infinitely easier. Use Viterbo, the main town, as your base. On the way there stop by Tarquinia to visit the well kept Etruscan Necropolis, and then head to Bagnaia for a walk around the park of Villa Lante. Make sure to explore Viterbo, a lovely papal town with a pretty medieval historic centre. From there, you can visit the surrounding villages. Don't miss the popular Civita di Bagnoregio (avoid it on Sundays, when all locals visit too!) and the lesser-known abandoned town of Celleno; Vitorchiano; Soriano nel Cimino (don't miss a walk in the UNESCO protected Faggeta forest); and nearby Bomarzo with the famous Monster Park."
Amalfi Coast - the most romantic spot
Izzy from The Gap Decaders is passionate about the Amalfi Coast, a colourful Italian spot perfect for a romantic honeymoon in Italy.
"The Amalfi Coast consists of a spectacular ribbon of tarmac with charming towns dotted along the rugged cliffs and coves of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
This stretch of gravity-defying landscape extends from the Sorrento peninsula east to Salerno and offers incredible views of the turquoise sea, the island of Capri and beyond. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is so beautiful that people come from all over the world to honeymoon here and enjoy the romance of the lush landscapes, Italianate villas and cool Mediterranean vibe.
Along the coast, you’ll find the gorgeous towns of Positano, which seems to tumble into the sea in a stack of pastel-coloured houses, and some very romantic boutique hotels, perfect for newlyweds to retreat and enjoy a private slice of paradise - all with endless views.
There are a handful of really good beaches here, chilled during the day and a bit more lively in the evening when the beach-side bars and restaurants come to life. Positano’s old town is perfect for wandering off lunch or that gelato you just couldn’t resist, with a great selection of independent shops and galleries.
For a traditional Italian sea-side experience, head to Amalfi, from which the coast takes its name. With less of a luxury feel than Positano, Amalfi is no less attractive. The pretty seafront, with its elegant shops and cafes, has a delightful buzz, and it’s easier to get around than Positano; slowly meandering rather than rushing to the sea at its foot. Amalfi has an engaging history as a maritime republic and was a trade bridge between the Byzantine and western worlds for centuries. The story is told in the graceful historical buildings which line the narrow alleys and small squares.
Further along the coast and into the hills is Ravello, surely one of the most romantic destinations in Italy. With Villa Rufolo echoing with a centuries-old love story and offering incredible views, and Villa Cimbrone beckoning couples to wander along its unique Infinite Terrace, romantics will enjoy secret moments in hidden corners of this enchanting village."
A honeymoon in Portofino
Nadine from Le Long Weekend is passionate about Portofino, a dreamy honeymoon spot with incredible vista points and plenty of romantic things to do for the newlywed couple.
"Like something out of a Disney movie, the Italian town of Portofino seems almost too perfect to be real. Loved by locals and visiting celebrities alike, it sets the scene perfectly for an unforgettable honeymoon in Italy. Stay at either of the breathtaking Splendido hotels, each of which offers sea views, hillside pools and luxurious rooms.
Spend your days strolling hand-in-hand around the waterfront promenade, visiting nearby towns, shopping in high-end boutiques, or filling up on pasta at authentic trattorias and award-winning restaurants. An absolute must-do is to take a boat trip to the San Fruttuoso Abbey, which is only accessible by sea, or by foot (although the trek will work up a sweat on a hot day). Spend the day swimming in the private cove, sunbathing, and drinking Aperol spritz at the perched taverna. Back in Portofino, castles, churches, galleries and museums are waiting to be explored at a leisurely pace.
There aren’t a myriad of activities in Portofino, so it’s ideal for those who just want to savour their surroundings. But if you do feel like exploring further, the Cinque Terre, Genoa and Sestri Levante are all within an easy day-trip distance, along with plenty of other smaller seaside towns. The bustling harbour of Santa Margherita Ligure can be reached by foot, bus or boat, and also offers plenty to do and see for a day or two. Portofino accommodation is limited and in high demand, so if you can’t find your romantic retreat, or it’s out of your budget, the charming fishing village of Porto Venere, near the Cinque Terre offers a very similar experience at a more affordable price point."
Beaches of the Salento Peninsula, Puglia
Michele from A Taste for Travel thinks Puglia is the best place to be if you want a honeymoon on the beach. Not only you can enjoy the romantic settings but you can have spa treatments, great picnics with a view and incredible food.
"While the Puglia area of southern Italy is most famous for its northern hill towns and conical stone huts are known as “trulli” its other main attraction is its southern beaches. Stretching along two coastlines of the Salento peninsula of the “heel” of Italy’s boot, Puglia’s beaches are the ideal destination for honeymooners looking for history, culture and fine regional cuisine.
The seaside town of Santa Maria di Leuca is a prime place to begin explorations of the beaches that wrap the Adriatic and Ionian seas at the southern tip of Puglia. First, get oriented with a boat cruise of the hidden coves, beaches and inlets, stopping for a picnic lunch and a swim in the turquoise blue waters.
Then, follow the winding coastal highway along the western shoreline to Marina di Pescoluse where you’ll discover the best lidos (beach clubs). Plan to spend the day on a lounger set on soft powdery sand, skipping in and out of the warm waters of the Ionian Sea.
Another option is to head to the eastern coastline, a dramatic route that follows the Adriatic coast. Here, you’ll discover sandy beaches set beneath limestone cliffs. One of the most famous beaches is at Cielo Bridge but others such as Porto Badisco Beach south of Otranto are well worth visiting. The charming spa town of Santa Cesarea Terme makes an especially romantic stop as it’s possible to spend the day at a spa basking in mineral-rich thermal waters that bubble out of the limestone fissures and caverns.
No matter which coast you choose, you’re sure to see several of the historic coastal watchtowers that were once part of the medieval defence system of the peninsula. The stunning scenery, the regionally-inspired wine and food of Salento, the Baroque architecture and unique boutique hotels (many of which are situated in former palazzos), make this region of Italy, the ultimate seaside escape for honeymooners."
Sicily - a stunning honeymoon location in Italy
Jacqui from The Pasta Project lives in Verona and recommends Sicily as the perfect honeymoon destination given its beaches, history and delicious food.
"Sicily is a fabulous part of Italy to spend your honeymoon. There are so many beautiful beaches, historic towns and cities, stunning scenery and fantastic food and wine and of course a majestic volcano! Although we live in Verona, my hubby is Sicilian and we travel there every year, so I’ve visited many parts of the island. However, although an island Sicily is pretty big! In fact, it’s the largest island in the Med. So, travelling all over would take a lot of time. Best to choose one or two areas and enjoy what they have to offer.
My two favourite parts of Sicily are the Western and Northern provinces of Trapani and Palermo. In Trapani province, you can visit the ancient saltpans of Marsala, the Medieval village of Erice located 750 metres above sea level and the Temple of Segesta. Or take a ferry to the Egadi islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo.
Palermo is just 1.5 hours by car from Trapani city and the city’s airport is the best for those planning to stay in Western Sicily. Palermo has so much to offer from the Monreale Cathedral, a World Heritage Site to the stunning Palace of the Normans and the Byzantine Palatine chapel. Foodies will love the Ballaro market, the largest and most typical in the city. You can try the local street food or just browse stalls filled with the best produce Sicily has to offer.
For beach lovers, an hour along the coast from Palermo there’s the picturesque fishing village of Cefalu with several luxurious beach hotels. However, if you’re looking for something special and an unforgettable Sicilian experience the best places to stay in Sicily are the wine estates with accommodation."
Italy is a wonderful place for honeymoons and casual travellers who want to experience a wonderful world of food, culture and love. Like many other European countries, Italy can be experienced as a luxury destination but it can be a suitable option for backpackers and travellers interested in budget locations.
These couples have spoken: Italy is a fantastic destination for a honeymoon and we know for a fact you are going to love it there. Whether you decide to spend it exploring the coastal towns or want to drive up and down the country in pursuit of the best ever food, Italy will provide you with the experiences you need to enjoy an incredible time with your loved one. We wish you congratulations on your wedding and safe travels on your honeymoon!
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Fantastic read and very helpful! Going to Lake Como and the Italian Riviera in March (next month)
Glenn and Valerie