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Destination I Do

Honeymoon In Lovely Rome

Words by Susan Moynihan
Photos courtesy of Hotel Hassler Roma

Italy has long been a favorite for honeymooners, and now more than ever thanks to George Clooney’s wedding.

But long before George met Amal, there was Grace Kelly, the ultimate Hollywood icon, who became royalty when she married the Prince of Monaco in 1956. On their Mediterranean honeymoon, they checked into Rome's Hotel Hassler and celebs continue to do so to this day (think Gwyneth, the Beckhams, Paul McCartney and more).

Owned by the same family for five generations, Hotel Hassler wins for location. Set at the top of the Spanish Steps (made famous by Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday"), it has the best views in the city, from Villa Borghese next door all the way to St. Peter's in Vatican City and beyond. Vendors gather on the small plaza outside, selling paintings and flowers. Walk down the steps past Romans sitting and enjoying the sunshine and you're in the historic Tridente neighborhood. Stroll the high-end shops along Via Condotti, wander to the Trevi Fountain, meander all the way down to the Colosseum and pop into cafés for wine and tasty bites; when you get tired, take a taxi back up the hill. 

But this is your honeymoon, so you may not leave the hotel at all. And, frankly, there's no need. The 93 rooms are thoroughly plush, each unique in décor with silk fabrics, antique furnishings, fresh flowers and marble bathrooms. Even better are the suites, which range in size and have separate living areas and private balconies. City views are most prized, of course, but even the non-city views have great vistas overlooking the Villa Borghese gardens.

Dining is a feast for the palate and the eyes at Imágo. This Michelin-star restaurant boasts Chef Francesco Apreda, who puts his own spin on Italian-Asian cuisine. It's a unique break from the pastas and pizzas you'll be eating as you explore the city. Settle into the red leather banquette for pomegranate bellinis at the Art Deco Hassler Bar, or head outside to the Palm Court in warmer months. 

Rome is Italy's largest city and its central location makes it an ideal jumping-off point for honeymoons north to Tuscany and Cinque Terre, or south towards Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2015 issue. You can order a copy here.
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