Postcards from Italy

Italy: The Perfect Romantic Gift

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and everyone over the age of 8 who is in a relationship is feeling the pressure of choosing the perfect gift to celebrate their love. From a classic understated box of chocolates to an over-the-top showstopper classic car, nothing gives more pleasure than knowing you have found that one thing that will make your sweetheart smile.

Florence twilight.

<(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Unfortunately, research has shown that the thrill of a new possession fades quickly. Instead, the pleasure of an experience, especially one shared as a couple, lasts much longer. Rather than a gift that can be wrapped in a bow, this year think “outside the box” and opt for something that will make memories to last a lifetime. In short, diamonds are neither a girl’s best friend nor forever, but a vacation in Italy and the memories made during your trip can be both of those things!

For an extra romantic touch to your trip, here are a few suggestions perfect for a vacationing couple:

A Sunset Row in Florence

Florence from the Arno

(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

There are a number of great vantage points around Florence where you can settle in to watch the sun set, most famously Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the city rooftops and Brunelleschi’s iconic dome. The most unique sunset view, however, is from the picturesque Arno River that courses through the heart of the historic center. Take a boat trip for two down the placid river with one of the city’s few renaioli, the traditional boatmen that operate flat bottomed boats on the river. Glide past the pastel facades of the palazzi lining the riverfront and under the Ponte Vecchio as the sky turns rose and the golden light of the Tuscan sun sets the water aglow.

Toasting to Venice

Bellini cocktail at the Londra Palace, Venice

<(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Though you often hear that the best Bellini in Venice is served at Harry’s Bar, where it was famously invented in the 1940s, we beg to differ. Right now, the hands down best Bellini is being crafted by the award-winning mixologists Marino Lucchetti at the elegant Londra Palace hotel bar near Piazza San Marco. With freshly pureéd white peach nectar and crisp dry Prosecco, this version of the iconic classic is frothy white, ice cold, and perfectly balanced. After your cocktail, book a table for two at Do Leoni, the hotel’s excellent restaurant with an outdoor veranda along the beautiful Riva degli Schiavoni.

Hotel Heaven


(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

When you are on a romantic break, you want to choose a hotel so breathtaking that you never want to leave. Monastero Santa Rosa, perched on a clifftop directly over the Amalfi Coast, is just the place. This 17th century former monastery was recently converted into a luxury hotel, and its indulgent service, elegant yet spare decor, sweeping views over the Mediterranean and the dramatic coastline, and stunning garden with an infinity pool are more than enough to keep you here for days of intense together time. If you are able to pull yourself away to explore the surrounding area, the hotel has a shuttle service to nearby Amalfi.

The Lights of Rome

All cities are particularly beautiful at night, and Rome is no exception. Use your day to see some of the Eternal City’s famous museums and archaeological sites, but after the sun goes down, take a driving tour by night to enjoy the Roman architecture and Baroque fountains dramatically lit, and savor the festive atmosphere of this Mediterranean capital that never sleeps. You can stop to stretch your legs in Piazza Navona, take in the view from the Gianicolo Hill overlooking the city, and snap pictures of the newly-renovated Colosseum by night.

A Lifetime of Pasta


(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Couples who cook together, eat together. And couples who eat together, talk, laugh, and relax together. So why not spend a day during your Italy trip to pick up some secrets of one of the most beloved cuisines in the world? Take a break from touring to learn how to make fresh pasta in a country kitchen or wine estate, rolling and cutting the egg dough to be tossed with the sauce you have painstakingly simmered, and feast on the fruits of your labors at the end of the lesson. These new skills will be yours for years to come, and your pasta dinners at home will be the source of new memories for a lifetime.

Travel Specialists

Maria Landers

Brian Dore