When you’ve found that special person in your life, it’s natural to want to celebrate the wonderful milestones in your relationship throughout the years. If you’ve been looking for a special place to spend your anniversary, look no further than Italy, one of the most romantic destinations in the world.
Like most places in Italy, Florence is a city steeped in history. Its cobbled streets have witnessed some of the nation’s most dramatic events, many of which stemmed from the dramas of the Medici Family. But as much as the family brought conflict and intrigue, they were also great patrons of the arts.
Florence’s artistic and architectural pedigree was established even before the time of the Italian Renaissance. Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome atop the Duomo was finished in 1436, and is still one of the defining structures of the city’s skyline today.
Whisk your loved one away to this spellbinding city and wander through some of the world’s most incredible paintings and sculptures at the Uffizi. See the whimsy of Botticelli’s works, and the awe-inspiring Michelangelo’s David at the Academia gallery.
Filled up on art, take a stroll across the Holy Trinity Bridge to see the sunset over the River Arno. For a sweet ending to the day, pay a visit to Vivoli, an ice cream parlour beloved by locals and tourists alike.
Arriving in the fairytale city of Venice by boat is like taking a step back in time. The audacious city that dared to float upon the water has somehow stood the test of time, and has only grown more beautiful with age. Arrive early in the morning when Saint Mark’s Square is bathed in soft, rosy light, and the market vendors are still setting up their stalls.
Make your way through the labyrinth of winding streets to the famous Rialto Bridge which looks out over the Grand Canal. The oldest of the four bridges spanning the canal, the Rialto was completed in 1591, and today gives you a look out over the water where the skilled boatmen and gondoliers manoeuvre their craft.
Speaking of gondolas, while it might sound stereotypically cliche, there is nothing so romantic as a gondola ride through Venice’s canals. While you can choose to share a boat with other tourists, for a few extra euro you can snag one of these vessels all to yourselves.
Jump off at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection to discover a surreal world of abstract, expressionist and futuristic art lovingly curated for your viewing pleasure. The cherry on top is undoubtedly the Roof Terrace, with a commanding view over the Grand Canal.
Verona, the city that inspired what is perhaps the most epic romance story, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, makes for a fitting romantic pilgrimage.
Start your exploration at the atmospheric Roman Arena, frozen in time with the relics of another era. It mystifyingly survived relatively intact to this day, and is still in use – the renowned Arena Opera Festival is held here each year, with the programme filled with lavish productions such as Carmen, Aida and La Traviata. Snuggle up in the open-air theatre and sit back as the spectacle unfolds.
Of course, no trip to Verona is complete without a visit to Casa di Giulietta, or Juliet’s House, where the Capulets were believed to have lived. Step inside the walled courtyard and you can see the tiny balcony as well as the wall covered in love letters and notes to ‘Juliet’.
Steal a kiss in the shadow of the house, and maybe even send a quick thank you to the spirit of Juliet for letting you find your special someone.