With clear blue seas and terracotta towns, is there anything more romantic than summer in Italy? We have travelled across the country to find Italy’s secret weekend escapes. Forget the tourist traps, there's plenty more to discover in Italy for a romantic weekend getaway.
Porto Venere, Liguria
Sitting on a peninsula on the Ligurian Coast, this charming village in the province of La Spezia is surrounded by areas of great natural beauty. Built by the Romans and originally called Porto Venerus, it is an area of history and romance, said to be a favourite spot of English poet Lord Byron who swam across the bay to visit his muse, Mary Shelley. Compared to the busy streets of Cinque Terre, Portovenere feels serene, the perfect place to take your evening passeggiata after dinner.
Marina di Pisciotta, Campania
Pisciotta is a little-known, charming Italian town in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania. The old town sits on top of the hill, overlooking its seaside frazione, Marina di Pisciotta. Leading away from Pisciotta there are trails to olive groves, that not only elevate the antipasti options but also help the town hold on to its rustic Mediterranean charm. Saunter down to the Marina to see the bustling fishing port, complete with a smattering of fishermen’s cottages and trattorias that serve up some of the freshest seafood you’re likely to find. Insider’s tip: try absolutely anything on the menu that mentions anchovies (the local chefs get creative), as they are some of the best we’ve ever tasted.
Marettimo, Aegadian Island
Think you need to jet to the Caribbean to experience the island lifestyle? Think again! The residents of the island of Marettimo have been practicing a slow, community-driven way of life for centuries. One of the jewels in the crown of Sicily, Marettimo forms one of the three Aegadian Islands that sits off the western coast, a short ferry ride from the port town of Trapani. With a rugged landscape and clear blue sea, it makes the perfect place for walking, scuba diving, or just relaxing in the sun. Unlike some of the other islands, Marettimo has a real laid back vibe free of snobbery.
Liguria’s capital is possibly Italy’s most underrated city. It’s the sixth largest city in the country and Italy’s biggest port. It combines eclectic and vibrant culture, with a rough-edged style. “La Superba” as it was known in its heyday, is a perfect place to end a trip to Liguria if you want a dose of raw culture and intrigue after the serenity of the surrounding coastal resorts.