by Silvia Pe
If the landscape of human emotion were to exist in a country, it would be in Italy. -Lisa Fantino
A candlelight dinner and a rose are simple and sweet signs of romance, but if you want to seriously get your partner’s attention, organize a weekend in Italy and take love to the next level.
It is often said that it does not matter where you go, but with whom you have the pleasure to spend a romantic holiday. That said, Italy can be seen as the perfect set for a love story: striking locations, delicious food, excellent wine and a fascinating lifestyle are yours to experience with the one you wish to woo.
Italy has so much to offer, and each trip to this stunning country can be personalized according to your imagination for a romantic weekend. Here are three ideas for a lovers' retreat in Italy...
By the Sea
If you are a sea lover, then you could combine your romantic weekend with a stay in Sardinia.
Set in the heart of Mediterranean sea, Sardinia is practically preserved from every kind of pollution. Thanks to this setting, the island boasts amazing beaches surrounded by natural beauty. Thanks also to its insular nature, Sardinia still retains rites and traditions from ancient times, as well as many rural landscapes to roam around.
If you are looking for both romance and privacy, then you should avoid the most highly touristed Sardinian destinations and choose the middle season for your romantic getaway. Try a trip to San Pantaleo, a rare traditional Galluran village tucked in among the mountains. Northeastern Sardinia is one of the prettiest areas on the island, featuring a perfect mix of stone-built cottages, a relaxed atmosphere and about 10-20 minutes’ drive to the many beaches of the Costa Smeralda and Arzachena.
When to go: May, June, September
What to try: Fish soup, mussels, and urchins. A sublime way to cook fish in Gallura is in the oven, topped with the local wine, Vermentino di Gallura.
If you like the slow travel philosophy and the countryside, and if you love art and history, then you could combine your romantic weekend with the discovery of Sicily.
A succession of different rulers over the centuries has influenced Sicilian culture and strengthened its identity: as a result, Sicily is today a land rich in history and traditions. Between palaces, Doric temples, gardens and archaeological sites, you will partake of the charm and magic that pervade the land of Sicily. This feeling of wonder will give a touch of romance to your dreamy holiday.
When to go: Spring is the best period to enjoy Sicily in bloom and the wonderful colors of nature. Summer is another option for trips that mainly visit the seaside.
What to try: Wines from the Etna region, which has become the third most important Italian region for wine production. Etna DOC wines are white, red and rosé and are all produced in the province of Catania. Do not forget to buy a jar of the popular honey produced in Zafferana Etnea, called “the gold of Etna,” also used to prepare delicious desserts and dishes.
Art and Culture
If you like art cities, then you could combine your romantic weekend with a cultural stay in Tuscany.
Tuscany is the region of lyric love poetry, and its renaissance beauty is a hymn to romanticism in and of itself. Without doubt, Florence is the art city par excellence with a nearly endless list of sights to see. Like the art, romance is also abundant here. For something special, take a short trip to Candeli, a little destination located 10 km away from Florence. Go up to the southern Arno river and you'll find yourself in the shade of cypress trees, holm and oaks: a perfect place to relax, enjoy horseback riding and country life, and still make it back to Florence in time for a hand-in-hand walk across Ponte Vecchio bridge.
When to go: From March to June, and September
What to try: A Florentine steak, Cantucci biscuits and a glass of Chianti.
Silvia Pe is an Italian travel enthusiast, compulsive reader and sea-dependent! She works in the tourism field and runs the blog CharmingItaly.com, in which she shares information about Italy.