The Ultimate Italy Honeymoon Guide
Author: Hollie Bond
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This Mediterranean marvel ticks all the boxes when it comes to the perfect honeymoon – luxury hotels aplenty, glorious countryside, UNESCO world heritage sites, historic and culturally important cities, a wonderful coastline, sun soaked islands and delicious food wherever you go.
In fact, you could spend a year honeymooning in Italy and still only scratch the surface of this wonderful country. If you don’t have a year to play with though, the trick is to pick the Italian honeymoon that most appeals to you and enjoy it to the max during the time you do have.
If you’re planning a honeymoon in Italy, you’ll find everything you need to know about where to go (including information on classic destinations like the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre to more obscure destinations), places to stay and the best time to visit in this Italy honeymoon guide.
Remember though, Italy is the top honeymoon destination in Europe, so if you want to book into the top hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions you’ll need to plan ahead.
Where Should I Go For My Honeymoon In Italy?
Classic Italian Honeymoon Destinations
Italy’s crescent-shaped Mediterranean coastline is a brilliant choice for a honeymoon because the landscape is spectacular and everywhere you go there’s the glittering Med for water sports and luxury yacht trips. Popular spots to head to include Cinque Terre (a collection of five postcard-pretty cliffside villages) and the jet-set Portofino Peninsula. In the heart of all this coastal glory is Genoa, known as La Superba – need we say more?
Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Where to start with this incredible stretch of Italian coastline? There’s so many breathtaking towns and places to explore in this destination, including Sorrento, the chichi island of Capri, candy-coloured Amalfi, pretty hillside Positano, and mountaintop Ravello with views for days. Honeymoons here will see you sightseeing round ancient buildings, sun-bathing in cliffside coves, dining in some of Italy’s best restaurants, shopping in chic boutiques and taking trips across the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea.
The Italian Lakes
Enjoy the best of both worlds, both coast and country, with a trip to Italy’s famously beautiful lakes – Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Iseo, Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano. Some of these stunning stretches of water are so vast you could think you’re by the sea, except when you go swimming in the mineral water clear lake or take a trip across the tranquil waters by boat. The shores of these cerulean blue lakes are lined with luxury hotels and stylish restaurants, colourful flower-filled gardens and breathtaking mountainous scenery that you can enjoy on foot, bike, boat or simply from your sun lounger.
The Tuscan countryside is some of the most beautiful you’ll come across in Europe. The rolling hills covered in vineyards and striking cypress trees are peppered with beautiful traditional farmhouses and castles and foodies will be in their element with the many world class restaurants that have sprung up here to make the most of the land’s bountiful produce.
Sardinia and Sicily in the far south of the country are a brilliant choice if you crave sun, sea, sand and a good hit of culture too. Sicily is right in the centre of the Med and enjoys all the benefits of this perfect location – wonderful weather and striking scenery where mountains meet the sea. The island is also fit to bursting with cultural treasures, so you can satisfy your inner culture vulture. For history of the prehistoric type, mesmerising beaches and the chance to enjoy some outdoor pursuits Sardinia should be your island of choice.
Modern Italian Honeymoon Destinations
Puglia is the heel of Italy’s boot and is fast becoming the go-to region for a honeymoon in Italy. If you’ve already seen some of Italy’s other traditional destinations then this is a brilliant place to head. Everything you’ll find in other parts of Italy is here in abundance too. Ancient towns like Ostuni, Lecce, and pretty Alberobello where you can stay in a romantic trullo house, beautiful countryside and mile upon mile of stunning coastline.
This region is right in the heart of Italy and unlike most regions it doesn’t have a coastline. What Umbria lacks in seaside resorts it more than makes up for in wonderful green countryside and traditional villages where you’ll see Italian life at its most authentic. Umbria is well known for its pretty medieval hilltop villages and towns, and in each and every one you’ll find classic Italian food that will warm your heart as well as your stomach.
If you love fast cars then chances are you’ll already know all about this region (it’s home to the production of Ferrari, Ducati, Maserati and Lamborghini), and now hosts a Grand Prix. But this northern region of Italy has more than just super cars to entice honeymooners. Like most of Italy’s honeymoon destinations you can eat like a king here as well as visit historic city’s like Bologna and Ravenna or head to the beach at a smart destination like Rimini.
City Break Italian Honeymoons
If it’s a city break you’re after, you can’t fail to fall in love with Italy’s stunning capital – Rome. Everywhere you look there’s an exquisite example of ancient history – think the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum and Pantheon to name but a few – plus museum and art galley lovers will be in their element. Rome is also home to some of the world’s best restaurants and there’s nothing nicer than sitting in a pretty piazza as the sun goes down enjoying an aperol spritz together on your first newlywed honeymoon.
Venice is one of those places where the pictures don’t do the real thing justice. This city is strikingly beautiful and boggles the eyes, after all simply put it is a collection of stunning marble palaces built on water. Don’t worry about being a cliché on a honeymoon here. If you want to go on a gondola ride, then do so. It might be overpriced, but it’s extremely romantic. Don’t plan your itinerary too strictly in Venice – just walk out your hotel and get lost in the labyrinthine streets – you’ll find a cultural gem on every corner.
Is there anywhere more romantic than the capital of the Renaissance? Florence is the place to head to enjoy the world’s best art and the best Tuscan cuisine. Again, this is the sort of city that you can just head off into the narrow cobbled streets and see where they take you – the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so everywhere is a delight. Although, if you want to see some of the very best museums and galleries then you’ll want to plan your visits. Finish your days on one of the bridges over the River Arno and watch the sunset for a romantic experience you’ll never forget.
Italy Honeymoon Destinations For Adventurers
Tell people you’re going on an Italy honeymoon and they’ll probably expect you to be heading to Cinque Terre, Rome, Venice or Tuscany. When you say Abruzzo they probably won’t know where in Italy that is, because this area is not on the main tourist map and never has been. That said, it has a huge amount to offer adventure-loving tourists: plenty of untouched mountainous land that is perfect for hiking, charming towns that retain their true Italian essence and national parks galore.
If you want to go skiing on your Italy honeymoon, head north to The Dolomites where you’ll find an excellent network of pistes and luxury resorts. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is just a winter destination though. Hikers and mountain bikers will adore the fresh air and incredible views in summer too.
Salina is the second largest of the Aeolian Islands and sits just north of Sicily. This bijou beauty is all lush, verdant land with wild flowers, fresh springs, vineyards and towering cliffs. The island has two extinct volcanoes on it, so climbers and adventurous types will be in their element. Base yourself in Santa Marina and enjoy the tranquility and romance of this fairly unknown Italy honeymoon destination.
The Best Honeymoon Hotels In Italy
Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi
The welcoming family-run hotel on the Amalfi Coast is a mix of bougainvillea-strewn terraces, lush gardens and citrus groves that work their way down the cliff to an irresistible swimming pool next to the sea. The Chalet Giulietta & Romeo is our honeymoon pick – a glamorous love nest with its own private sea-view terrace and infinity pool.
Le Sirenuse, Positano
Le Sirenuse is one of the Mediterranean’s most sought after and famous hotels and it somehow manages to combine uber glamour and luxury with the feel of being in a particularly sumptuous private home. Of course, it is located on the cliffside with the stunning views you’d expect in Positano, but its the combination of amazing facilities and second to none service that makes it a honeymoon staple.
Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany
This elegant Tuscan villa is everything you’d expect from this area of the world – a restored period property surrounded by manicured gardens and cypress trees, amazing Italian food and wine, and an enticing spa. Head here if you want to spend long languorous days doing very little except sunbathing round the pretty pool and eating gourmet grub in stunning surroundings.
Ca Maria Adele, Venice
Go for the full Venetian experience on your Italian honeymoon by staying in canalside hotel that is packed full of art and Baroque architecture. Ca Maria Adele is in a fabulous location and is undeniably Venetian with its traditional interiors and over the top themed rooms. The concierge here is particularly strong and will help you arrange all the tours and Venetian experiences your heart’s desire on honeymoon.
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Sicily
Get a taste of la dolce vita, Sicilian-style, at this alluring hotel, set in the gorgeous town of Taormina. The incredible views from the rooftop restaurant are out of this world and makes for the perfect setting to celebrate your newlywed status.
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento
This grand dame hotel in Sorrento has it all – a wonderful central location in the buzzing town, but large gated mature gardens complete with a swimming pool making it feel like a complete oasis. It is also built right on the edge of the famous Amalfi Coast cliffs meaning the views from most rooms and the terrace are of the glittering turquoise sea over towards Naples. We love the quirky lift built into the rocks allowing you to descend straight to the harbour and take the hotel’s snazzy yacht for a spin over to nearby Capri.
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Hotel, Rome
As Italy honeymoon destinations go, they don’t get much more wow factor than this hotel located on one of Rome’s seven hills with views across the Eternal City. This vast hotel is filled from the marble floors to the rooftop bar with masterpieces, meaning you can enjoy a museum style experience while you’re enjoying afternoon tea. The view as you eat in three-michelins-starred La Pergola is out of this world too.
Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, Matera
So staying in a cave on your Italy honeymoon might not sound sexy, but you haven’t seen the calibre of the caves in Matera. These caves are an UNESCO World Heritage Site and are magical and romantic. All the rooms are pared back perfection with pretty candle filled alcoves and balconies and there’s a wonderful restaurant in a local church hewn into the rock.
Adler Dolomiti Spa Resort, South Tyrol
The hills are alive with the sound of spa music… or they will be if you chose to stay at this luxe spa hotel in Italy’s mountain region. With stunning Sound of Music-esque scenery, the chance to ski in winter or hike in summer, the Adler Dolomiti Spa Resort is ideally placed to mix relaxation with adventure.
Stay in the heart of Florence at this contemporary bolthole that is right by the Ponte Vecchio and has a brilliant rooftop bar with views over Florence’s extraordinary skyline. There’s a bijou spa too for when you’re not pounding the streets seeing the sights, although all the best bits of Florence are located within a few minutes walk from the front door so sore feet certainly won’t be a problem.
Capri Palace, Capri
Capri is a seriously stylish island and the most stylish address here is Capri Palace – an elegant five-star hotel with all white interiors and two restaurants with three Michelin Stars between them. The Neapolitan Palazzo is in Anacapri, which is a more laidback and charming village than touristy Capri itself, and within easy reach of some natural wonders like Mount Solaro and the Blue Grotto natural sea cave.
For a romantic hideaway in famously beautiful Lombardy, we adore the 19th-century elegance of L’Albereta. Choose the Cabriolet Suite for some honeymoon wow factor – you can roll back the roof and truly sleep under the stars. You can celebrate in style in this region too. Franciacorta is Italy’s answer to Champagne, and this luxury hotel is right in the centre of all the sparkling wine producing vineyards.
Il Salviatino, Florence
You’ll fall in love with this beautiful 15th-century country villa at first sight. And once you’ve seen the inside you’ll be completely smitten – the dome view rooms have a perfect line of sight over Florence’s famous Duomo. The original interiors have kept all their historic glory, but rest assured, all your mod-con needs will be catered for.
Il Sereno, Lake Como
If you like your hotels more contemporary than a classic Italian palace, then lakefront Il Sereno will be right up your street. Everything in this hotel is designed to make the most of the stunning Lake Como vista from the infinity pool and terrace to the minimalist suites with huge picture windows of the lake. Even the bathrooms have windows out towards the watery wonder.
Palazzo Avino, Amalfi Coast
Known as the pink palace, this five-star hotel is a seriously romantic option for your Italian honeymoon. The pretty 12th-century building sits high above Ravello’s hillside and is just as aesthetically pleasing inside as out, with Italianate arches, vaulted ceilings and sweeping staircases. The Michelin-starred restaurant is one of the most romantic spots you’ll ever eat at too.
Hotel Laguna, Chia Laguna, Sardinia
There are four hotels in the Chia Laguna resort, but the five-star Hotel Laguna has to be the choice for honeymooners. There’s a special VIP area on the Dune di Campana beach reserved for hotel guests, and there’s no-one more important than a newlywed couple! The hotel also features a private swimming pool with delightful views over the bay and direct access to the natural spa with its Turkish baths and experience showers. As an Italian island, fine food is unsurprisingly at the heart of everything. Restaurant La Terrazza is a romantic choice for dinner per due.
Donna Coraly, Sicily
There are just five sumptuous suites at this renovated farmhouse, all of them decorated beautifully with local ceramics and striking tiles. Everything is designed to make you feel like the 600-year-old estate is exclusively your, from each suite’s private garden and ‘My Private SPAce’ spa package, to the many tranquil places in the ground, such as the pretty pavilion where you can enjoy some just-the-two-of-you time. The food is as exquisite as you’d expect from a Sicilian estate, and the menu changes daily depending on what is sourced from the farm.
Palazzo Cristo, Venice
A Venetian Palace, with views of one of the city’s most beautiful squares, Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the 15th-century Palazzo Cristo has been renovated from floor to roof, while keeping its historical spirit alive. Each suite is flooded with light, thanks to enormous windows, and comes with a bathtub big enough for two. It’s the place to stay if you want to enjoy la dolce vita – you can relax over coffee and Italian pastries in the pretty square, before taking a leisurely stroll to the city’s major sights.
Which Season Is Best For A Honeymoon In Italy?
Italy is a year round honeymoon destination depending on the region you visit. If you’re planning on skiing in The Italian Alps or The Dolomites then of course winter (December to March) is when you should be visiting. However, traditionally Italy is a spring and summer honeymoon destination. While the weather is at its hottest from June to September, Italy is a lot more crowded over these months because both Italians and tourists tend to take their summer holidays then. Shoulder season April/ May and September/ October can be really smart choices for honeymooners. For guaranteed warm weather and sun though, you can’t beat the summer months in Italy. Just stock up on high factor sun cream. The temperature can hit the high 30s or 40 degrees celsius in July and August in some parts of the country.
What Should I Pack For A Honeymoon In Italy?
This of course depends on when you’re planning your honeymoon in Italy. If you’re skiing or heading out in winter you’ll want warm, waterproof clothes as well as some smart winter clothes and boots for dinners. In summer though, light clothes and swimwear should be your go-to items as well as comfy shoes for sightseeing, especially if you’re heading to one of the culture-filled cities. Traditionally, Italians love designer labels and looking chic so don’t be afraid to pack some smart clothes as you won’t look out of place in your Sunday best.
Best Souvenirs To Bring Back From A Honeymoon In Italy
The most obvious thing to buy in Italy is of course items of food. Foodies will want to make space in their suitcases for interesting speciality pasta shapes that you can’t buy in the UK as well as delicacies like extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany, limoncello from Sorrento, pesto, biscotti, chocolate, balsamic vinegar, truffle oil, Italian wine, well wrapped parmesan cheese and coffee.
In terms of items that aren’t edible, you’ll want to look at luxurious Italian leather and perhaps invest in a gorgeous handbag, belt or shoes. You’ll find plenty of designer boutiques in the main cities to satisfy any high-end shopper.
There are lots of lovely bright and artistic ceramics to take home too, from places like the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany, while you can buy colourful Murano glass directly from the island or in Venice. Burano near Venice is famous for pretty lace and in Venice itself you’ll found hundreds of intricate Venetian masks to choose from, which make for lovely mementoes and decorative pieces for your house.
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