The Amalfi coast is an amazing destination. Here is how to discover Amalfi, Ravello, Positano and beautiful minor sites, including logistics and travel tips
Imagine ancient white hamlets perched on high cliffs, overlooking the deep blue Tyrrhenian sea. Add cytrus fields, steep light grey mountains, medieval churches, hidden fjords and beaches. Complete with amazing sea food and a “dolce vita” feeling stronger than anywhere else in Italy. That, and much more, is the Amalfi coast, Italy: you can’t really say you know Italy without visiting this delightful destination.
While you can have a glimpse of it in a day trip from Naples or from Sorrento, the Amalfi coast deserves at least two or three days, if not an entire week.
So here is my personal Italy Amalfi coast Italy itinerary. It will let you explore all the area, including off the beaten path jewels such as the mills valley and the astonishing “path of the gods” trail . My recommendation is to complete this tour by one or two days in Capri, which could be easily reached by hydrofoil from Positano. In my view, Sorrento can be skipped, but I leave this to you.
A last tip: like most central Italy destinations, best time to visit the Amalfi coast Italy is from May to early July, and, even better, from mid September to October’s end. Weather is perfect and the area is not too crowded (better to avoid week ends if possible). Absolutely avoid July and August, when the heat and the crowds would spoil most of the enchantment.
Amalfi coast Italy five days tour: click on the image to get to the interactive Amalfi coast map
Top romantic places in Italy, the most romantic destination you could think of. Here are Italy most romantic off the beaten path Italian destinations
Saint Valentine day is getting closer, and you still don’t know were to go with your beloved one? Then here is my personal selection of the most romantic destinations in Italy!
Are you thinking of Venice, the Amalfi Cost,Bellagio, Capri, the Cinque Terre? Much too easy! Of course, these are fantastic places, full of romance, atmosphere, history, candle light dinners… and tourists! Yes, because since they are so famous, they easily get crowded (and expensive!). Don’t you think your love deserves destinations off the beaten path, getaways to be discovered in (nearly) solitude, hands in hands, pretending you are there all alone?
If the answer is “Yes!”, then this is the right post for you. And, by the way, you don’t need to wait for Saint Valentine day to visit these destinations, they are fantastic all year round!
Italy most romantic place #1: Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet
Well, Verona is not exactly “Off the beaten path”, but it is surely underrated compared to nearby Venice. In fact, ever since Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet drama, Verona has been the portrait of the Italian romantic city (and it surely is!). That’s why I picked it up to start our tour.
Unsurprisingly, in Verona you will find Juliet’s house, complete with her balcony and statue, as well as thousands of love letters tucked into the wall around Valentine’s Day (you can even write one yourself!)
But Verona is much more than that, and its air of romance doesn’t come by association alone. You’ll have plenty of romantic options: enjoying an old fashioned carriage ride, strolling along the river and in the narrow old streets, or relaxing in an outdoor cafe on a renaissance square.
My personal top choices for a romantic walk are Piazza delle Erbe (where you can sit and have an Aperitivo while enjoying the beautiful setting), the old bridge, the Roman theater and, of course, the fantastic views from the belvedere at Giardino Giusti (one of the most notable renaissance gardens in Northern Italy).
By far the most romantic (and, in general, best) accommodation in Verona is the Palazzo Victoria hotel. Palazzo Victoria is located in the very heart of Verona, a few steps away from Juliet Balcony. Everything here is luxury and elegant.
Italy most romantic place #2: Villa d’Este gardens and fountains in Tivoli
Villa d’Este, with its fabulous palace, garden and fountains, is one of the most remarkable Italian Renaissance accomplishments, and, in my view, an incredibly romantic place, especially when visited after sunset. It is located in the small town of Tivoli, 30 km from Rome.
Villa d’Este displays an incredible concentration of fountains, nymphs, grottoes, plays of water, and music (water powered!) and is a unique example of an Italian 16th-century garden. It is rather far from traditional touristic itineraries, and it’s about one/one and a half hours from Rome. For these reasons, it never gets very crowded, and if you go thee during week days, chances are that you will be nearly alone.
During summer time, Villa d’Este is opened also after sunset, and that’s pure magic!
If you spend the night in Tivoli, you should also dedicate some time to visit the fascinating and hyper romantic villa Gregoriana and Villa Adriana.
For a romantic night in Tivoli, book a room at the B&B Al Palazzetto,a beautifully renovated 15th-century building, in the historic centre and easy walking distance form Villa D’Este.
Italy most romantic place #3: Pienza, and the views from the via dell’Amore
Pienza, a Unesco world heritage site, overlooks the Val D’Orcia and is the first example of Renaissance “ideal city”, i.e. a town bult according to architectural criteria of antique classics that would impact directly on the human soul, stimulating spiritual well being.
It’s old walls and buildings are full of atmosphere and are a fantastic romantic destination.
The wonderful walk along the ancient walks has been named “Via dell’Amore” (no need to translate…), and offers fantastic views over the Val d’Orcia.
For your Romantic stay, the relais Il Chiostro di Pienza is arguably the most atmospheric choice. It is an ancient Franciscan convent, just in the center of Pienza. It has a wonderful panoramic terrace with view on the romantic Senese’s hills. You can actually sit on the terrace while sipping a café or a drink (cheaper than spending the night there, indeed!).
Pienza could be an excellent hub to visit the worldwide renewed Val D’Orcia.
Italy most romantic place #4: the island of Ponza, a hidden jewel in the Mediterranean sea
For sure you know Capri, you may have heard of the islands of Ischia and Elba, but hardly anyone other than Italians goes to Ponza: lukily enough, this tiny group of islands has managed to stay away from mainstream touristic itineraries.
So here it is, your private paradise ready for you to discover, explore and enjoy!
Stuck in time atmosphere, laid back life style, gorgeous natural landscapes, gelati-colored houses, fisherman in bright boats, turquoise water and white limestone cliffs, secret grottos for snorkelling, fantastic uninhabited beaches, incredible sunsets over Palmarola island: everything contributes to make Ponza one of the most amazingly romantic places I stumbled upon in Italy (and elsewhere)!
For your stay, consider the posh Grand Hotel Chiaia di Luna, and its fantastic terrace overlooking Chiaia di Luna cliffs. Even if you don’t sleep there, it’s a perfect place for an Aperitivo or a drink after dinner (god music provided!). Unmissable at nigh, when the full moon lights up the cliffs.
Italy most romantic place #5: Ravello, window in the sky of the Amalfi cost
Ravello is a tranquil and tiny medieval town which sits high up on the Amalfi mountains, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean sea.
Richard Wagner was inspired by Ravello….and described it as the closest place from earth to heaven!
Ravello is cosy, sunny, and loaded with notable buildings (such as its 1086 cathedral). Despite its choice position on the Amalfi coast, Ravello manages to retain the aura of an old-fashioned village, and the typical southern Italy laid back atmosphere.
In Ravello, the most romantic place of all is the fantastic Villa Cimbrone, a luxury hotel with a beautiful park that can be visited. But the true highlight are the terraces, and their unbelievable views over the Mediterranean see. Villa Cimbrone is actually used to celebrate wedding parties, and I had the chance to be invited to one of them, some years ago. Indeed, it was a Wow! experience!
The iconic hotel Villa Cimbrone is by any mean your top destination in Ravello… if you can afford the rates (you can and should visit its gardens, anyways)! A more reasonable suggestion for your stay ? The Hotel Villa Fraulo , to enjoy breathtaking views over the cost from its terrace and a great design and service.
Italy most romantic place #6: Ninfa romantic gardens
The enchanting Ninfa English garden in the Roman countryside was once a small agricultural town founded under the Roman Empire, passed through the ages from Pope Pasquale II in the 12th century to the Colonna family in 1293 until the 14th century, when a devastating war with the neighboring cities brought about the fall of Ninfa and its definitive abandonment.
What you see today was started in 1921 by Gelasio Caetani and his mother Ada Wilbraham, who would bring diverse species back to this garden from her various travels and transform it into one the the most amazing, yet unknown, marvels of central Italy.
Among the various treasures to be found in the gardens are the ruins of a 10th-century church (Santa Maria Maggiore) complete with 12th-century fresco, a picturesque river complete with crystal-clear water and ancient bridges, and a plethora of plants from around the globe, such as red Japanese maples, yucca, yellow begonias, orchids, cherry trees, lavender pathways, Himalayan and Mexican pines and miniature pomegranates.
But what makes Ninfa truly unique and atmospheric is having real roman and medieval ruins dotting a lavish English garden, in an incredibly beautiful and peaceful setting. Not easy to find such a romantic place elsewhere!
Whether you are a botanist, bio-diversity expert or Roman/medieval history buff, these gardens will surely excite the inner dreamer (and lover) in you.
Italy most romantic place #7: Moena enchanted mountains
Moena lies in the middle of the Dolomites, which are widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world.
Their intrinsic beauty derives from a variety of spectacular vertical forms such as pinnacles, spires and towers, with contrasting horizontal surfaces including ledges, crags and plateaux, all of which rise abruptly above extensive talus deposits and more gentle foothills. The bare pale-colored rock surfaces beautifully contrast with the forests and meadows below.
The beauty of the scenery and the majesty of Moena’s panoramas will surely capture Travelers in love with nature. Some of the rock cliffs here rise more than 1,500 meters and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world.
Just lie in a meadow (or stand in the snow with a cup of Vin Brulé in your hand) and wait for sunset: the pale grey rocks suddenly turn into unbelievable pink and orange nuances while the sun sets down beyond the peaks. In minutes, the stars will appear in the dark sky, highlighting peaks shape. Believe me, few places look as romantic as the Dolomites at Sunset!
Apart from the gorgeous surrounding, the beautiful village of Moena definitely deserves a visit. It’s a delightful hamlet, known as “la fata delle Dolomiti” (the Dolomite’s fairy).
In the lovely traditional mountain huts, with a hot Stube (local brick stove) to warm the room, you will enjoy delicious local Ladin dishes.
Your romantic choice for Moena is the lovely Hotel Garden. Everything is great: the views, the traditional tyrolean style rooms, the food and the SPA.
Italy most romantic place #8: Sardinia at its best: Capo Testa hidden coves
Capo Testa is a windy, wild area, located in the north of Sardinia, in the Gallura region. It offers unique, lunar landscapes, and incredible beaches.
Lapped by translucent blue waters, backed by macchia (scrub land perfumed by wild herbs such as thyme, rosemary and oregano) and framed by Mistral-warped granite outcrops, northern Sardinia beaches are among the finest in the Mediterranean.
Here you are far from the posh beach resorts of nearby Costa Smeralda, and you can savor the wild Sardinia nature at its best.
In particular the rock bluffs, carved by wind and water into natural pillars reminiscent of Roman columns, are an impressive and unbelievable sight
A really inspiring accommodation close to capo Testa is the Saltara country house (agriturismo), which provides lovely bungalows around a nice pool.
Enjoy your romantic holiday in one of these Italy most romantic places!
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