With everything from road trips along the coast to a sunset aperitivo on a mountaintop, Italy offers plenty of dreamy ways to spend a honeymoon. Whether you're more of a city girl looking to shop your way around the fashion capital of Milan, or he's more up for a rugged adventure hiking along alpine trails, it's not hard to find a compromise while touring through the land known for prosecco and pizza.
From countryside escapes in the Dolomites to city stays in Milan and coastal hikes through the most charming of seaside villages in Cinque Terre, here are three romantic ways to honeymoon your way around Italy that are sure to suit both of your travel styles.
Moveable Feast Through Milan
Italy's fashion capital may be known for designers' shops and cultural attractions like Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper," but to really get to the heart of the city, you have to eat (and drink) your way through it. Get your bearings at Obicà Mozzarella Bar, on the top floor of La Rinascente department store, taking a seat on the terrace overlooking the city's pièce de résistance: the gothic Duomo cathedral, with a facade of 135 spires and 3,400 statues. Spend the day touring some of the city's art, from 20th-century Italian artwork at the Museo del Novecento in the Piazza del Duomo to something more off the beaten path, like Gold Black Style's personalized urban street-art tour of Isola, the city's former working-class neighborhood.
In the evening, head over to the canal-lined Navigli district, which has terraces spilling out along the water. Take part in aperitivo, an Italian ritual of pre-dinner drinks and light bites, at one of the local favorites, like Mag Café. Navigli is considered Milan's nightlife-heavy neighborhood, while the former artist haven of Brera, with its cobblestoned streets, has become more of a dinner spot. Sit down for a tapas-inspired dinner in Brera at the modern Pisacco, a bistro with neon signs and street-art-style walls, before ending the evening across the street at the buzzy craft cocktail bar Dry, which has a menu of "forgotten" cocktails and contemporary classics like vintage negronis and gin mules.
When you're ready to call it a night, sleep in Milan's fashion district in new boutique hotel Fifty House (named after the number of rooms). Formerly a boarding school, the building has been revamped in a style resembling members-only Soho House, with common spaces designed to feel like living rooms, a courtyard garden prime for evening aperitivo, and a collection of local avant-garde artwork lining the walls.
Seaside Roadtrip in Cinque Terre
Add a little luxury to your Italian getaway, cruising the Ligurian coast in your car of choice, whether that's a sporty Lamborghini or retro-inspired Mercedes-Benz. Reserve your ride in Milan with a rental company like easy-to-use Auto Europe (keys will be ready and waiting when you arrive) and cruise off on the four-hour drive to Cinque Terre, a string of five candy-colored seaside towns linked by a cliffside hiking trail, Sentiero Azzurro, or the Blue Path. Once you arrive, start with a light hike, such as the two-hour trek between Monterosso and Vernazza, or the hour-long, no-experience-required path between Riomaggiore and Manarola.
Hiking along the sea through the Cinque Terre National Park is one of the major highlights of the area, but the food is also worth the trip. Indulge in regional classics like trofie, a twisted pasta best served with fresh pesto. In the westernmost village of Monterosso, you'll come across the family-run Ristorante Ciak, which grows its own organic vegetables in a garden just a short stroll away. The 40-year-old restaurant is a favorite for its authentic Ligurian dishes cooked over hot flames in the open kitchen. Take a seat on the patio outside, sipping on wine crafted from the surrounding vines while sampling charcoal-grilled fresh fish.
Alpine Escape in the Dolomites
Head just four hours from Milan and you've escaped city living for the Italian countryside in the heart of the Dolomites, with 18 peaks staggering nearly 10,000 feet high. Couples up for an adventure can do everything from rock climbing and hiking in summer to alpine skiing and ice skating come winter. Sleep in the family-run Hotel Ciasa Salares, with wooden rooms resembling a luxurious version of a mountain hut. In summer, you can start the evenings with aperitivo on a mountaintop, but those who would rather cozy up indoors can opt for a wine tasting with vino hand-picked from the 20,000-bottle cellar.
Continue the evening in gourmet fashion with fondue in the wine cellar or a forest-themed tasting menu at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Siriola. (The foie gras on coffee crème brûlée is a must-try.) The eatery even has a pre-dessert option in the form of a chocolate room, with more than 40 types of craft chocolate, including a fondue fountain. If you really want to feel like you're embracing the local culture here, head to the spa for a detoxifying soak in an alpine bath. Choose your blend of alpine herbs and prepare to sweat out any post-wedding stress in a "hay bath," inspired by farmers who once used Dolomite hay as a re-energizing rustic spa treatment.