Honeymoon in ItalyWords by Victoria Abbott Riccardi
No matter where you choose to go in Italy – a bustling city, seaside village or tiny mountain town – this sensual country delivers over-the-top romance for newlyweds. Below are several ideas to help you plan the perfect escape in a variety of locations. To ensure a flawless experience, one of Italy’s most luxurious, five-star, family-owned hotel lines – Baglioni Hotels, has you covered.
Rome: A Chic Cosmopolitan Sojourn
Combining ancient history with urban edge, The Eternal City provides a dashing setting for your honeymoon. Baglioni Hotel Regina, which has hosted Madonna and Kim and Kanye, has a sumptuous Roman Penthouse Suite with a stunning 360-degree view of the city, where you can toast your marriage in style. The hotel can arrange a whirlwind tour of the city’s top sites, including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Stroll hand-in-hand along the Tiber River, then lose yourselves among the cobbled streets of the medieval quarter, breaking at a sun-dappled café for gelato. For dinner, enjoy a pre-prandial Prosecco in the hotel’s Brunello Lounge & Restaurant (which also makes a magnificent pasta carbonara). Enjoy succulent veal and mushrooms, perhaps at Clemente alla Maddalena, a favorite of local politicians and movie stars like Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone, tucked away in an elegant 16th century building near the Pantheon. And isn’t this fitting? The word “romance” is derived from “in the Roman style!”
Punta Ala: A Tuscan Seaside Secret
Beach lovers seeking a posh, yet secluded spot to honeymoon will adore the southern Tuscan port town of Punta Ala. Known for its sailing regattas on the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, this town is where Italy’s fashion elite have second homes – including Bulgari, Prada and Ferragamo. Kick back at Baglioni Hotel Cala Del Porto, a Relais & Châteaux property perched high on a cliff. Here you can savor grilled seafood, al fresco, at Belvedere Restaurant. During the day, head to the resort’s uncrowded beaches, ride horses along trails in the Maremma pine forest or golf at the Golf Club Punta Ala. For a memorable day trip, the hotel can transport you to Rocca di Frassinello winery, where, under expert guidance, you can create your own signature wine blend, which the winery will ship home bearing your own personal label. Imagine uncorking a bottle on your first anniversary!
Florence: A Stylish Capital Escape
Known as the birthplace of Italian language and the Renaissance, Florence makes a fitting urban oasis to usher in the birth of your new life together. Filled with glorious art and architecture, the city abounds with world-renowned museums like the Uffizi Gallery, home of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and The Galleria dell’Accademia, displaying Michelangelo’s David. As for accommodations, there is the 18th century palazzo, Relais Santa Croce, now a Relais & Châteaux and Baglioni Hotels property. With frescoed ceilings and antique-filled suites, you can luxuriate in the lap of splendor (like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did when they were guests). If you wish, you can buy out the entire hotel with its 24 rooms and suites and the attached Michelin three-star Enoteca Pinchiorri restaurant. During your stay, be sure to stroll over the Ponte Vecchio, a small bridge arching over the Arno River. Explore the city’s shops selling leather goods and jewelry, and savor regional specialties, including saffron risotto and rich red Super Tuscan. Saluti!
Venice: A Magical Water Wonderland
For a floating fairytale of a honeymoon, the city of Venice rivals no other. Built on a 118-island archipelago, this noble Italian port feels frozen in time with no cars or skyscrapers, just miles of spired buildings, palaces and foot bridges. Take a water taxi from the Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia (train station) to Baglioni Hotel Luna, steps from Piazza San Marco and surrounded by the city’s top shops. Try to book the San Giorgio Terrace Suite, which has its own private terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. In addition to arranging for a private gondola ride, the hotel can coordinate a day on the island of Murano, where you can peruse an assortment of glass shops to find such keepsakes as a dozen swirled, crystal Champagne flutes. Speaking of flutes, be sure to visit the original Harry’s Bar. Visited by kings and queens and featured in Ernest Hemmingway’s Across the River and into the Trees, it is located only minutes from the hotel and is where the famous Bellini (Prosecco blended with white peach puree) was invented. Back at the hotel, share an intimate candlelit, rooftop dinner of Venetian specialties, like cuttlefish risotto and tiramisu, where you can raise a toast to your love under a tapestry of shimmering stars.
William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet is one of the most romantic stories ever written about an Italian couple. However, by honeymooning Italian-style, you and your mate can create your own passionate tale of never-ending love.
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Baglioni Hotels (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th), Baglioni Hotels/ MOREAU (6th, 10th), Baglioni Hotels / Peccoz (7th), and Victoria Abbott Riccardi (8th).
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