Venice is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in Italy with winding canals, gondolas, and narrow streets for losing yourselves together. Besides the spectacular Piazza San Marco and cathedral, there are many small picturesque squares and churches. Venice has many romantic restaurants and cafes where you can linger. Venice is Italy's top destination for Carnevale festivals.
Lake Como, ringed with beautiful villas and resort villages, has long been a romantic travel destination. Bellagio, known as the pearl of the lake, is one of the most romantic villages. Surrounded by hills and mountains, Lake Como is in the Italian Lakes District near Switzerland. For a romantic view of the lake and alps, take the funicular from Como town to the village of Brunate.
Positano, on the Amalfi Coast, is one of Italy's most romantic destinations. The picturesque town is built vertically on the face of a cliff, making for stunning views of the sea. There are romantic restaurants with fantastic seafood and sea views. With its relatively mild climate, Positano can be visited year round.
Portofino is a picturesque, half-moon shaped seaside village with pastel houses, seaside restaurants, and cafes lining the shore of the harbor. Portofino's crystalline green waters reveal a myriad display of aquatic life. A romantic castle and tiny church sit atop the hill overlooking the village. For a romantic walk, take the scenic pathway out to the lighthouse on the point. Nearby romantic Italian Riviera villages include Camogli and Portovenere.
Verona is famous for the house and balcony said to belong to Juliet in the Shakespeare story, Romeo and Juliet. Romantics flock to Verona to visit Juliet's house, rub the right breast of Juliet's statue for luck, and take a picture of the balcony. Attending an opera in the 2000 year old open-air Roman Arena is also romantic. Enjoy a romantic carriage ride, stroll along the river, or relax in an outdoor cafe on the square.
Taormina has been one of Sicily's top travel destinations since it became part of the European Grand Tour in the 19th century and Sicily's first resort. Perched on the side of Monte Tauro, the town offers romantic views of the coast and Mt. Etna volcano. Below the town are excellent beaches where you can swim in the clear sea water. Taormina has a medieval quarter, castle ruins and a Greek theater still used for summer performances.
If you prefer smaller more intimate towns on the coast try the Gulf of Poets, Golfo dei Poeti, popular in the past with romantic poets like Byron and Shelley. Even in summer you won't find big tourist crowds. Nearby are the famous Cinque Terre, romantic at night but usually overrun with tourists during the day.
If you're planning a romantic vacation in Italy, you'll probably want to choose a romantic hotel. Here's a selection of romantic places to stay throughout Italy, from Venice to the heel of the boot.