Honeymooning in Italy

Honeymoon in Italy for the beauty of the Amalfi coast, the glories of Rome, the romance of Venice and much more. Here’s everything you need to know for courtying somebody special in Italia

Italy is famous for its incredible coffee, gelato and cuisine but it is also home to some of the most romantic and beautiful destinations in the world

There’s so much to see in Italy that it hardly seems fair to pick just one place to visit. Our guide to honeymoons in Italy will provide you with travel tips for the country on the whole as well as insider info on some of the most popular travel spots it has to offer.

Where to go on a honeymoon in Italy

Flickr: Pontes de Verona by Camila Pastorelli

Verona

The home of one of the greatest love stories in the world, Verona proves to be just as romantic as Shakespeare would have you believe. Visit the famous balcony to which Romeo called and the accompanying statue of a young Juliet, then add a padlock onto the gates as a symbol of your own everlasting love. Love this idea? Check out other places to hang a padlock of love.

To get away from the hustle and bustle, roam the cobbled streets of Verona, taking in the history of the city as you go, popping by its numerous churches and Roman ruins. Even in the summer, Verona is much quieter than Rome, Milan and Venice. Next to the impressive Arena there’s a small courtyard and garden where you can sit in the shade with some fresh peaches (almost) the size of your head and enjoy getting messy while people-watching.

Flickr: Venice Night by Iselin

Venice

This sinking city is one of the most timeless places in the world. Little has changed in the city so you can drink in the history and typically Venetian architecture that you’ve seen in all the photographs. There are no cars in Venice but you can jump in a water taxi or for true luxury enjoy the city by gondola. If you’re lucky, your gondolier will share a typically Venetian tune or two with you.

I recommend entering the city by foot and getting totally lost in the winding cobbled streets, finding odd coffee museums, waterside cafés and unusual mask shops before stepping back into the touristy areas of the bridge and San Marcos square.

It can get hot in the summer but there’s usually a light breeze from the ever present water surrounding the city. Spring and autumn are better if you enjoy milder climates but its most popular time, in February for Carnival, is also its rainiest. Be aware of high tide (aqua alta) when the streets can flood and you won’t want to be wearing flip-flops.

Although the festival of Carnival only comes once a year, the masks worn at the masquerade ball have become synonymous with Venice. In both shops as well as on market stalls you can find the classic painted varieties, the somewhat unnerving plague-doctor mask as well as unusual leather varieties moulded into piece of art rather than masks to be worn. Don’t be afraid to barter for a good price.

Tempted to explore? Check out our detailed Venice city guide

Flickr: Cetara, Amalfi Coast - set for Galaxy Chocolate Advert by Michael Jones

Amalfi Coast

With its Mediterranean beaches and medieval cliff-side fishing villages, it’s not surprising that the Amalfi Coast (a UNESCO world heritage site) is getting more popular year on year.

The Mediterranean climate offers opportunities for water sports and sailing for the majority of the year. The weather warms to about 18C in April, rising to 30C in July and August before returning to a steady 17C in November. There are regular boats running trips to Naples, Positano, Capri, Salerno and Sorrento; travel in June or July to avoid getting caught in the rain.

The closest airports to the Amalfi Coast are Salerno or Naples, with transfers and public transport runs to the coast regularly.

Flickr: Rome by Moyan Brenn

Rome

The country’s capital is full of famous travel icons such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica so history-lovers rejoice. There’s plenty to see in the Eternal City; you’ll find impressive reminders of Rome’s ancient legacy around each corner. Many of these must-see destinations are churches so the covering-up rule is enforced. The most famous of these religious centres is Vatican City. The papal state boasts a mind-blowing art collection as well as an intense and interesting history and the glorious Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s famous fresco.

Dive head first into some culture and visit the various museums Rome has to offer. If you’re full to the brim of history and art and you’ve already thrown your coin into the Trevi fountain, sit back and enjoy La Dolce Vita with a delicious Italian cannoli outside in the warm Roman air.

Flickr: Tuscany: rooftop view by Dympna

Tuscany

The rolling hills of Tuscany are famous for their olive gardens and vineyards, so take a tour then tuck in. The famous Tuscan countryside is also home to some beautiful art and history so for a real European getaway it’s hard to beat Tuscany’s hilltop towns.

One of the driest places in Italy, you can expect mild to warm climates all year round. A great place for renting a scooter or bicycle and enjoying the scenery slowly, stopping for indulgent focaccia and prosciutto and a guaranteed incredible view. If you’re wondering where exactly to go, check out Daisy Cropper’s tips for romantic things to do in Siena.

“Südtirol – South Tyrol” by Dieter Müller

South Tyrol

Wine, dine and mountain climb. This region is known in Italian as Aldo Adige and in German as Südtirol. Due to the history of the region, the whole area is bilingual in both German and Italian and so the culture and cuisine is a strange and delightful mix of the two. Once belonging to Austria, visitors can find fantastic beer and sausages on the same menu as Italian classics like lasagne and melanzane e formaggio, an aubergine and cheese bake that I cannot recommend more!

The orchards and vineyards of the smaller villages and towns provide some of the best cooking ingredients and wines in the country. Those looking for some adventure can take to the Alps or towering Dolomites for hiking, mountain climbing and winter sports. There are guided and independent options, so you’ll find something suitable even if you’re beginners.

Whilst there are beautiful hotels in the main cities and towns of Bolzano/Bozen and Trentino/Trento, if you’re looking for a getaway love-shack, take a trip up the Passo della Mendola/Mendelpasse where you can hire a cabin in the woods. Usually family owned they can range in price depending on their location to the shopping facilities but one nestled in the centre of the woods is great for hiking and walking trips.

Flickr: Lake Garda by Mike Fleming

The Lakes

The Italian Lakes District is a stretch of Northern Italy from Piedmont to Lombardy that boasts some of the world’s most beautiful lakes. With nine main lake regions nestled into the Prealps, they have a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and lush green valleys all in one.

There are private villas for rent buried in the mountainside overlooking the lakes, popular with the likes of George Clooney and Richard Branson. Such a tranquil and beautiful setting is perfect for a quiet, romantic getaway with the possibility of venturing out to the cities or towns should you feel like it.

With connections to Milan, Verona and then Zurich if you fancy a bit of Switzerland too, you can get into the city for the day then retire the tranquil lakeside hotels for the evening on the shores.

Flickr: Milan by Tony Stevens

Milan

The fashion capital of the country – or world to an Italian – doesn’t disappoint when it comes to shopping. The label conscious can find high-end boutiques whilst bargain hunters can visit one of the many markets and street stalls for finance friendly fashion.

One of the most modern cities in Italy, visitors will find a stylish metropolis that still manages to keep its historical roots. Visit the Duomo di Milano for some really impressive architecture but don’t forget to cover those legs and shoulders if you want to peek inside.

Milan doesn’t have the same ancient atmosphere that you’ll find in the rest of Italy so it may take some exploring to find some really good gems but it’s a great stop on your Italian tour, particularly for some music or theatre from international artists.

Flickr Naples by Stacey Kizer

Naples

Get into the nitty-gritty of Italy with Naples, a city like no other. Although steeped in history and full of great food, this city doesn’t have all of the same quaint charm as you’ll find in the cities further north. For sandy beaches and incredible pizzas and caught-that-morning seafood dishes it’s a quirky destination.

The nearby city of Caserta is a must see if you’re in the area. As the original home of the Italian royal family, the city’s regal legacy is obvious in its vast, green parks and impressive architecture. The Reggia di Caserta was the 18th century home to the Bourbon king of Naples and the nearby the Anfiteatro Campanio – what the locals like to call ‘the real Colosseum’ – is a great quiet alternative to its busy counterpart in Rome. The amphitheatre claims to be where Spartacus and the gladiators trained but now they hold an art show amongst the ruins in late September.

At night time, drive, cycle or walk up the hill to Caserta Vecchia (Old Caserta) which has cosy cafés and a great view over the city. Providing a real escape from Napoli city life, this city gives you the warm southern welcome that the Italians are proud of.

Ready to pack your bags? Here’s what you need to know before you go:

Learn some Italian phrases

Even in the biggest cities it’s not always easy to find English-speaking help at hand so learn the important things such as the obvious toilette (toilet), ristorante (restaurant) and caffè (coffee) as well as the much needed biglietto (ticket) and parlare inglese? (speak English?) – note that they pronounce every single letter. The Italians famously speak with their hands so communicating via gestures will often suffice if your language skills fail you.

Manners also go along way so per favore and grazia (please and thank you), buongiorno or buonasera(good morning/good evening) or a simple ciao will put you in good stead with the locals who you’ll find have all the best tips on where to eat and drink.

Eating and drinking

When it comes to food, we have a lot to thank the Italians for. Each region has its own specialities and the Italians really do know how to cook, eat and drink. Expand your pallet and make it an aim to sample something special from each region. It would be a crime to go to Naples, the birth place of pizza, and not tuck in to some of the best local ingredients around or to the Strada del Vino (literal translation: Wine Road) – in South Tyrol without having a little tipple.

Take home a taste of your honeymoon by cooking up some delicacies at a cooking class. They’re available in each region and the best ones will use locally sourced ingredients to make the final product as delicious as possible. Try a side of tender prosciutto and creamy mozzarella followed by a glass of vino for a real taste of Italy.

Vegetarians can find a multitude of mouth-watering choices wherever they go, but be warned, they often use meat in the sauces so be sure to make a point of what you do and don’t eat.

The Mediterranean climate also allows for some of the worlds most delectable fruits. Market stalls are the best place for the freshest produce; few things are better than sitting in the sunshine, enjoying the view, and munching your way through a bag of cherries with an ice-cold lemonade each.

Getting Around

Public transport in Italy is not cheap. Trains and buses will set you back a fair amount even for small trips so consider buying seasonal or multi-trip tickets which could save you money in the long run.

  • Bus and train tickets must be bought in advance and are widely available online or from newsagents and ticket points (this is where biglietto per bus/treno comes in very handy) to save you incurring a hefty fine of up to €100 each if you’re found without one. Make sure you clip your ticket to validate it at the yellow/orange machines as you board. If your ticket is not clipped, you’ll be faced with an invalid-ticket fine.
  • If you are planning to travel from city to city by train, invest in an interrail country pass. They can be much more economically friendly than buying tickets as you go, although require more planning as you have to book seats in advance. Prices start from £164/€187.
  • Alternatively, you can hire a car (auto) from around £13 a day and if you go with a large company they’ll have offices in all the biggest cities. (You won’t need a car in Venice.)
  • If you’re sticking to one area or region, live life in the fast lane by travelling like the locals and rent a scooter (motorino). There will probably be a cheap rental place locally but if you want to plan in advance prices come in at about €35 a day or €150 for the week along with a hefty deposit.

Getting There

Most international flights land in Rome, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Naples and Bergamo but Pisa, Verona and Florence are all easily accessible too. If you’re heading to South Tyrol, consider flying into the nearby Innsbruck (Austria), Zurich (Switzerland) or Munich (Germany) before getting the train down to Italy.

Weather

Whilst the temperature varies from the north to the south, you can expect warm summers iitboth. Between June and September the whole country sees highs of 27-31C but whilst Tuscany has very little rain, in Venice you can get caught in a summer shower. In the winter temperatures go down to about two degrees in the north whilst the south stays a mild seven or eight. The Alpine regions in the north of the country get cold and snowy in the winter which is great for those wanting to hit the slopes.

Handy tips

  • It is usual to find a tip already added to the bill but just check at the bottom (look forservizio) otherwise add 10-15%.
  • If you are sitting in a café or restaurant, be aware that the price does not always include the ‘coperto’ which is an extra charge for the tablecloth, silverware etc. Restaurants will often advertise the fact that this is included in the price, especially if it is in a touristy area, but check with the server if you are unsure; it can add quite a sum to your bill. This charge may be avoided in cafés if you stay at the bar to drink your coffee, as most Italians do. If you want to sit down, choose a place where you don’t mind spending a while enjoying your drink so that the extra couple of Euros is worth it.
  • Many people still tell you that you must keep your receipt because if a police officer asks to check it and you don’t have it you can be fined. This is not true and you are not even under obligation to show them!
  • Those famous siestas are not a myth. For a couple of hours in the early afternoon the whole country gets a little sleepier and many shops and cafés shut for lunch. If you’re planning on a picnic, buy your goodies before midday to avoid disappointment.
  • Cover up to visit churches or cathedrals; shorts, short skirts and bare shoulders are not allowed. Scarves are often sold on the streets nearby for visitors who forget, but they can be pricey.
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