5 tips to spend Valentine’s Day in Italy the classic way.

Valentine's Day in Italy

Any ideas for Valentine’s Day? Hurry up, it’s coming…….

I am sure you’d like to make surprise to your beloved one; and maybe you have in mind some Italian destinations.

Yes, but where to go? What to do? How to spend a memorable Valentine’s Day in Italy?

Here are some great tips, based upon my “direct experience”, if you are short of ideas and you are still unable to decide how to spend your day. Certainly it is not necessarily essential to think of something absurd: often winning ideas are the simplest! So, for your Valentine’s Day in Italy, start thinking about what your partner likes to do.

For example, if your partner is an active person, exuberant and full of energy, you could think of a day at an amusement park, like “Gardaland”, in which you’ll take part into events dedicated to lovers; or you may offer a long journey to discover the places of an interesting historical and natural territory.

Instead, if your lover is a person who prefers relax, or loves to take care of him/herself, the ideal place to book for your Valentine’s Day in Italy would be a stay for two in the charming Spa: Italy is full of Spas or Hotels including a Spa offering dedicated packages.

To spend Valentine’s at the Spa is a very tempting idea: allow yourselves a little rest, a healthy dose of romantic pampering, slowing down the daily grind in one full weekend (Valentine’s Day 2015 falls, by chance, on Saturday).

Moreover, if your partner is a romantic dreamer, you may decide to spend a night in the open countryside, looking at the starry sky, sleeping in a charming and comfortable “agriturismo” (a farmhouse): Italy is full of charming accommodations of this kind.

As you can see, solutions are not lacking …

Yes, but why exactly should we spend Valentine’s Day in Italy?

Because there is no other place in the World offering such a huge amount of romantic places and events fit for lovers.

From the “Via del Bacio” (the Kiss Road) in Pienza (Tuscany), to the Path of Love and the Gulf of Poets in Liguria’s “Cinque Terre”; from the Romeo and Juliet’s balcony in Verona, to snowshoeing in the moonlight in Friuli Venezia Giulia, romantic Italy is at hand. And on Valentine’s Day, you may desire to carve out a day, or a special weekend, with your partner.

All lovers of art will enjoy the “MIBACT”‘s (the Italian Ministry of Culture) promotions, allowing you to enter in pairs in museums and archaeological sites by paying only a single ticket. And if, on February 14th, the weather should scourged Italian monuments, the Ministry has already ensured that they will try to replicate the weekend of 18th and 19th February.

There are also many special openings provided for your Valentine’s Day in Italy: from Villa Necchi in Milan, to the birthplace Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto; from the Museum of the Royal Palace in Genoa, to the National Archaeological Museum of Policoro (Matera, the current Europe’s Capital of Culture).

Moreover, in Rome, you can enjoy free guided tours with the archaeologist, while, in Turin, the Savoia Gallery opens for an extraordinary evening.

My Classic Italian Valentine’s.

VENICE: Romance at the State-of-the-Art.

No doubt: the “romantic myth” for couples around the world is Venice.

The celebrations of Valentine’s Day here blend with those of the famous Carnival: walking hand in hand through the narrow streets of the city, suspended over the water, has a timeless appeal. But don’t forget to wear a mask.

Up to the end of February you can also take advantage of a couple of hours on the oval track skating rink set up in Campo San Polo.

Dive into the Venetian historic center and “sestrieri” (quarters): Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Polo, San Marco, Cannaregio and Castello, with their basilicas, museums, historic buildings, and squares.

Being the only pedestrian city in the world, you can easily explore Venice on foot. The absence of cars makes it a particularly pleasant experience. In fact, the Rialto islands – whose main part is Venice – are rather small in size, to the point that you can walk from one end to the other in about an hour, provided you do not get lost (which happens frequently).

For faster connections, there are several lines of “vaporetti” (water buses) and water taxi.

But….., ehi: you are in Venice, the most romantic city in the World! And you are there to celebrate Valentine……..: don’t miss the gondola tour.

And to make it really an unforgettable experience (ask for information on our tour), you can ask the gondolier to sing you a serenade ….

The gondola serenades, from the oral tradition, are the deep poetry of Venice. Sweet melodies in the Venetian dialect spoken in the XVII and XVIII Centuries, written by both anonymous authors and contemporary writers, accompany gondolas depart from San Marco, along the canals and rivers.
The variation of lights transforming the colors of the marble palaces along the Grand Canal will impress you, as a bizarre sinuous fairy-tale road of water.
As said, Valentine may coincide with the Carnival of Venice, another incredible Italian feast. Spending Valentine’s Day in Venice, the most romantic cities in the world, in its full splendor: can imagine anything more wonderful? Costume parties, music and imaginative costumes will be the exciting backdrop to a holiday of romantic couples.

While indulging in the Carnival’s vertigo and masquerades (and also in your lover’s pampering), enjoy the sound of water that accompanies the long walks on the mainland.

At the same time, you can also visit the Venice’s “Biennale”, one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions worldwide, or the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.

Venice always beats all competitors as the most romantic city: with its canals, its narrow streets with mysterious and magnificent palaces, it is the perfect escape for true lovers.

Dine by candlelight in a traditional restaurant and taste the traditional Venetian cuisine and after take a walk hand in hand under the moonlight in San Marco Square, and the magic will be guaranteed.

Valentine's Day in Italy
Valentine’s in Venice matches the Carnival festivities. Don’t miss it in your Valentine’s Day in Italy

VERONA: kiss your love under Romeo and Juliet’s protection.

Verona is a must for all lovers.

The city of Romeo and Juliet is a little gem to be discovered. On Valentine’s day, you can enjoy the “Verona in love”, an exhibition entirely dedicated to love, until February 14th, with theater performances and film, ballet, meetings with authors and celebrities.

The frame of these appointments is the romantic path connecting Piazza Bra and Piazza dei Signori, lit by large red hearts. Decorated and themed shop windows, this big heart becomes a walking path and includes a lovely market of local products and crafts, surround this path.

Yet, the most beautiful installation is the Lamberti Tower, the tallest building in the city: during the Valentine’s days the tower lighting is in red and creates a unique view.

Once in Verona, your romantic journey starts with a visit to the “Casa di Giulietta” (Juliet home), a Medieval building located in Piazza Cappello.

Shakespeare set his play “Romeo and Juliet” in Verona, and you can recognize many places where the Author developed the story, to the point that fantasy mixed with reality.

After the ritual pictures (and kisses) under the Juliet’s balcony, don’t forget to both leave a message on the house wall and touch the Juliet’s bronze statue left breast, in the house courtyard, since under the tradition this would bring you luck.

Obviously, we cannot exempt from a visit Juliet’s tomb, located in the ancient monastery of St. Francis’ crypt, where she rests inside a red sarcophagus, though far from her Romeo who rests not far from city walls because of his exile.

In the evening, couples may go to one of the typical restaurants participating in the “Two hearts” event: they will dine with an ad hoc menus.

Notoriously, the story of Romeo and Juliet, who kept their eternal love until their death, is Verona’s distinctive trait.

“If you love someone, bring in Verona” is the slogan of Verona in Love. This series of events, that the City Council organizes each year, is becoming richer and more interesting and is internationally renowned.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the magnificent Arena built by the Ancient Romans, where concerts and theater performances take place every Summer.

Valentine's Day in Italy
A kiss on the Romeo and Juliet’s balcony is a must on Valentine’s Day in Italy.

LE CINQUE TERRE: Where it’s St. Valentine’s all year round.

There are “love places” in Italy that can be a pilgrimage destination for all the couples in love throughout the year, and not only during Valentine’s Day.

A good example is the “Cinque Terre” National Park, in Liguria, with the “Via dell’Amore” (the Path of Love). This classic spot is a pedestrian path where to walk together with your companion, overlooking the sea enjoying breathtaking scenery and unforgettable emotions, admiring one of the most beautiful panorama in the World.

The trail connects Punta Mesco and Punta Montenero, both in the province of La Spezia, passing through five beautiful Cinque Terre’s tiny towns: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Another spot for “all year lovers” is the “Golfo dei Poeti” (the Gulf of Poets), in La Spezia, the preferred place of Lawrence, George Sand, Lord Byron and Shelley.
Here you can take part into some peculiar events among the Valentine’s regular appointments, which attract thousands of loving couples: for instance, the western Italian Riviera offers a big party to lovers in Alassio, with the competition “A dinner to say I Love You”, that awards the most beautiful love letters. Or Camogli, where the city organizes the “Settimana di San Valentino” (Valentine’s Week), since over thirty years.

Valentine's Day in Italy
Valentine’s Day in Italy: Vernazza in Le Cinque Terre is a place where it’s Valentine’s Day all year long.

FLORENCE: Art and Fashion, to celebrate your Love with style.

February is the month of lovers: have you ever thought to spend it in Florence?

This romantic city saw love bloom between the Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) author and his beloved (and praised, in his verses) Beatrice.

Every year, thousands of couples choose Florence as their honeymoon destination or even as the place to get married.

Therefore, it is the ideal place to spend your February 14th with your beloved: red roofs, art in every corner, and great food. Here’s the perfect ingredients for a trip for two.

Take a ride on the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) at sunset, and then a nice walk to the Boboli Gardens, in search of the most hidden and reserved spots where you can exchange very romantic kisses. This enchanted place between flowers and butterflies makes you feel out of time.

Born as the Palazzo Pitti’s grand ducal garden, the Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens) is an open-air museum full of wonderful sculptures and green architecture, so majestic that it inspired many of the royal gardens in Europe, including Versailles.

The Duchess Eleonora of Toledo, young bride of Cosimo I de ‘Medici (a couple very much in love, as emerges from the letters that the two exchanged when the Duke was away from Florence!) strongly promoted this garden creation. Alleys, nooks, fragrant hedges and fountains reveal how the Duke and the Duchess lived in full their passion and love.

Another garden that stands out for its romantic mood is the small Rose Garden that, from Piazzale Michelangelo, leads you to the lower town, in San Niccolò.

Some benches seem to be put there on purpose, to enable lovers to plead their love promises in front of the Florence’s Dome.

If the beautiful and romantic Florence has conquered your souls, please don’t miss the furnished majestic balcony in Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can admire the city in all its beauty, during both the daylight and at night, with a breathtaking 360 degrees panorama.

Here, you will enjoy all the most enchanting monuments in the heart of Florence. The city, seen from above, is transformed into glitzy stage of a large theater: be spectators in the first row of this romantic show!

Dear Gentlemen, if you’re so in love, certainly you cannot miss a little present for your partner; and we all know ladies do love unexpected gifts!

We mean that as a good rider, you can’t escape from sealing your love with a precious jewel. So take a walk on the Ponte Vecchio, famous worldwide for its goldsmith shops and the production of handcrafted jewelry upscale. Even the popstar Madonna, amongst many other celebrities, stopped here to buy a present.

And finally, for the fashion addicted, enjoy a walk in Via della Vigna Nuova, Via de’ Calzaiuoli and Via Tornabuoni, where you can find the major brands’ bouiques and designers. In the end, there is no other gift for Valentine’s Day than a Prada or Gucci bag…. Anyway, beware: in via Tornabuoni you’ll find Tiffany …!

More romance in the night? Don’t miss the unforgettable sunset from Ponte Vecchio, where the bright sun colors tiredly dip into the Arno river. It is wonderful to share such a sweet and romantic moment Mother Nature offers to you both, and don’t be afraid to indulge and lose yourselves in this show.

Late in the evening, like every fairy tale coming to an end, be ready for a happy ending: live an unforgettable experience visiting Florence by night via carriage! The city lights will guide you among the most famous and beautiful monuments of the ancient city …

Valentine's Day in Italy
Romantic view of Florence on Valentine’s Day in Italy

ROME: the Eternal Love is here… And it has nothing to do with Pope Francis.

If you have been there at least once in your lifetime, you will know it for sure: Rome has something special to offer to lovers. And we advise you to discover it on Valentine’s Day, between charming views, romantic walks, secret places where you’ll exchange your love kisses, and much more.

And we’re not talking about the beauties of the city, the monuments or the excellent cuisine. We talk about something that you cannot see or touch, but deeply feel: it’s a special aura that envelops the entire capital and makes everything magic and touching.
For this reason, Rome is the ideal city if you want to spend a very special St. Valentine’s Day.

Imagine yourself with your partner among ancient ruins, Roman ditties, landscapes and much more …

So, jump riding a Vespa scooter, as Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the movie “Roman Holidays”, and go exploring the more romantic side of the Capital.

Romantic spots in Rome for your perfect Valentine’s.

  • Villa Borghese and the Pincio. The perfect place for a romantic picnic at the park? Surely Villa Borghese and its grass where you can lie drinking a nice bottle of white wine, caressed by the warm sun of February. Cuddle each other between a walk in the streets, a bike ride and a trip with the rowing sling on the Park lake. In late afternoon, head to the Pincio Terrace, where you can watch the sunset over the Eternal City.
  • The Orange Garden. At Orange Garden the time seems to stand still, everything is suspended and wonderfully romantic. Get there walking through the streets of Rome. Stop at the famous Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) and head to the “Testaccio” quarter. Once arrived at the Tiber River, take via Savelli, a tiny uphill alley along the walls of a castle. From here, you will enter the Orange Garden: now you can lean over the rail and enjoy the view of Rome, with St. Peter that stands against the blue sky.
  • The Janiculum. Another romantic and charming angle of Rome, where you can breathe the magic air of this city far from the noise and chaos is the Promenade of the Janiculum. To get there, you can match the famous “Fontanone” (the Big Fountain: just remember the first scenes of the Oscar awarded movie “The Great Beauty”, that’s this place); take a break at San Pietro in Montorio for a romantic kiss in front of the Bramante temple and get to the top along the climb. A few further steps and you’ll see Rome at a glance.
  • The Zodiac hill. The place of lovers for excellence in Rome? The Zodiac, one of the most beautiful places of the Eternal City, to be seen strictly at night. Nothing to do with oroscopes or similarities: it’s just the name of the restaurant there. Leave the chaos behind you and look out from the heights, hold your lover tight and admire the bright lights of the city, Piazzale Clodio at the Foro Italico, through the Trionfale district, Monte Mario and the Olympic Stadium. Drive along the lovers avenue and let the magic of Rome guide you; a romantic kiss under the stars is invaluable.
  • The keyhole on the Aventine hill. Yes, a true keyhole! The St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the great symbols of Rome, but there is a spot in the city where you can see it in a brand new and very romantic way. In the frame of the Knights of Malta Square, at nightfall, look in the keyhole of the famous palace: you’ll see the Basilica from an unusual perspective. We advise you to go there in the evening, when the sky wears a thousand colors, and the Eternal City starts falling asleep.
  • Ponte Milvio (or Milvian Bridge). After 20 Centuries, it is still the bridge of lovers, and you cannot go there if you are in Rome on Valentine’s Day. Tie a padlock to one of the many street lights of the bridge; write your names on it; then throw the key below and stay embraced in the dark, soaking up the fresh wind of the evening. By chance, this area in the evening is one of the most dynamic places in Roma, full of young people gathering together to drink en plain air, and to eat something in one of the dozens restaurants surrounding Ponte Milvio Square.
  • The Trevi Fountain. “Marcello, come here ….!” shouted Anita Eckberg to Marcello Mastroianni in the movie “La Dolce Vita” by Federico Fellini, while she entered the fountain. Few people know this, but the Trevi Fountain is also known by the name of “Fountain of Love”, why? According to an ancient legend, the lovers who drink water from the fountain will never separate. Go there in the evening, when lights enlighten the statues and make everything seem even more majestic: exchange a kiss and toss a coin inside. Will it bring you luck?
Valentine's Day in Italy
One of the most strangest things to do for your Valentine’s Day in Italy: take a view of St. Peter’s Basilica through a keyhole.

At the end of this ideal journey, Italy has always been a nation of artists, writers and dreamers, men of culture with a great passion and an incredible romantic feeling.

For this reason, in this Country, you’ll find plenty of cities with a strong artistic value, which are perfect for a romantic getaway at Valentine’s Day in Italy.

The “Bel Paese” hosts the most romantic cities in the world and is full of unique places, neighborhoods and charming villages like few others; these fantastic places are even more exciting if you visit them with the loved one.

So, Valentine’s Day in Italy is coming. Don’t lose time. Think of taking place in events, parties and evenings to celebrate this special occasion with your partner.
Which Italian City do you think might suit to spend your St. Valentine’s Day in Italy with your beloved?

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