comes with jetting off to foreign lands or perhaps it’s merely the chance to spend some intimate time with the one you love that creates such a feeling of passion – whatever it is, you can’t go far wrong with the gift of a holiday for Valentine’s Day.
And when it comes to romance, there are few countries that scream love quite like Italy. The home of Cupid is known for its passion and desire so we’ve put together an itinerary that arguably takes in its three most romantic spots: Venice, Verona and Lake Garda.
Even if it’s too short notice to whisk your loved one away for Valentine’s Day itself, why not book the trip for later in the year? Here are some of the things that lovers can expect to enjoy on this trip.
It may sound like a cliche, but you simply must take a gondola ride if you are visiting this enchanting city. Pay extra for the privilege of a serenade and just enjoy each other’s company as you gently glide across the Venetian canals.
After this memorable experience, you can spend some time wandering the intimate little streets with one another, where much of the romance in Venice can be found, in order to find an intimate place to dine.
Of course, there are so many fantastic places to eat in Venice, choosing the perfect setting for a meal can be something of a challenge. Il Ridotto is located near to the incredible Piazza San Marco and the food is of the highest level. Expect delicious gourmet Italian cuisine with a sensational wine list. The restaurant seats up to 18 diners in a compact environment, creating a warm atmosphere.
Alternatively, try Osteria Boccadoro, a traditional Venetian restaurant located away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas. The eatery is located in an airy courtyard, which adds to the wonderfully quaint setting, and the food is typical of Venice; seafood, hearty vegetables and home-made pasta dishes. The simplicity of Osteria Boccadoro is what gives it its romantic charm. You will find this gem in Campo Widman on Calle Widmann.
After you have eaten, witness a truly wonderful opera at Musica a Palazzo, one of the little-known classical venues in the city. The performance space is small and the entertainment is usually watched via the glow of candles – it’s the epitome of romance.
The next stop on your itinerary will see you visit Verona; the infamous setting of Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece Romeo and Juliet. Luckily for you, there’ll be no Montagues or Capulets getting in the way of your holiday so you can enjoy the city without having to worry about ending up a pair of star-crossed lovers.
However, you may want to retrace the steps of Shakespeare’s protagonists; after all, theirs is the story of the strongest love imaginable!
Head to Juliet’s House and see the balcony where Romeo first professed his undying love for the doomed maiden, rub her statue for good luck and leave a note stuck to the wall along with thousands of other passionate letters. For a bit of historical context, you can take the official tour of the Capulet home and learn of Shakespeare’s inspiration and visit other famous locations from the classic tale of forbidden love.
Afterwards, take a stroll to Verona’s historic old town and marvel at some of the splendid structures situated here. The Roman amphitheatre is the crown jewel of the city’s architecture and once inside you will be astounded by the sheer scale of the building. As you walk across the arena floor, you’ll wonder about the incredible spectacles that were once performed here and how one of the world’s most advanced civilisations had a wicked penchant for blood.
Next, grab some Italian gelato and head down the Adige River. Here you’ll find a number of traditional Italian restaurants, perfect for a coffee or an evening meal. Why not have an early meal and celebrate your love as the sun sets over fair Verona?
The picturesque beauty of Lake Garda is enough in itself to inspire romance, with its perfect, clear waters and verdant green surroundings.
For a morning stroll of gorgeous proportions, start your five days by the lakes with a walk down the promenade of Salo. This area is much more secluded compared to the other larger lakeside towns but the views out on to the water are no less magnificent. Simply sit, stare out and enjoy the tranquillity.
To get a completely different view of these romantic surroundings, make your next stop Maclesine. The small town is another worth exploring but it’s the 6,000 ft cable car ascent up Monte Baldo that will really take your breath away. From the summit, you’ll be able to gaze out for miles over the Italian Lakes.
The pace in the Lake Garda area is so laid-back, we recommend you explore it at your leisure. Hike the surrounding foothills, swim in the pristine waters but most of all, just enjoy the time you have in this incredible part of Italy with the one you love.