What makes a place a romantic? For me, it is the experience, sometimes shared, sometimes solo. Rwanda was one of the most romantic places I’ve ever visited; I went alone. 30 years ago, completely broke, John and I rented the cheapest car possible and drove around Turkey visiting sites mentioned by Homer; eating at roadside stands. Still one of my most romantic trips. And then there is Paris…for me…always magic, whether with someone or by myself.
With Valentine’s Day approaching I asked my followers on Instagram what was the most romantic place they had ever visited. A few agreed with me about Paris. Most chose towns, a few named specific hotels. Italy was the clear winner. Hopefully you find these choices as wonderful as I did.
Venice, Italy: Built on over 100 Islands, there are no roads just canals and bridges and more beautiful, once-private palaces than you can count. Crowds are horrific in summer; the biennale and carnival are both must attend events at least once in your life.
Lucerne, Switzerland: Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, snowcapped mountains and perfect lake side setting. Climb the towers along the 870m 14th century rampart for breathtaking views.
Hotel Crillon Le Brave, Provence, France: a family-owned gem that scatter its rooms throughout small buildings in the little village. Heavenly spa, lavender fields, heated pool and cooking classes. This is the real Provence and the perfect weekend getaway.
Santorini, Greece: Outrageously picturesque…white churches with blue roofs, rugged landscape, red, black and white pebbled beaches…it is impossible to take a bad picture on this Greek island
Fiesole, Italy: Considered the wealthiest, most beautiful suburb of Florence, it is only 5 k from the city. Enviable villas, Roman ruins, an ancient amphitheater, 11th century duomo with its original bell tower make this charming town a destination in its own right.
Little Palm Island, Little Torch Key, Florida, USA: a private island you can only get to by boat…thatched roof bungalows, award winning restaurant, pampering spa… this 16 plus luxury hotel is right out of a romantic movie
Rome, Italy: The Eternal City, The City of God, Love & Seven Hills. Where all roads lead. And the home of La Dolce Vita. Where the rights of cats are enshrined in law, flamingo tongues were once a delicacy; there are more Egyptian obelisks than in Egypt. 3000 euros are taken out of the Trevi Fountain daily (the money is donated to the Caritas charity to help feed the poor & homeless).
Costello Banfi Il Borgo, Montalcino, Italy: just 14 rooms in the middle of one of Italy’s finest winemaker’s vineyards. Located in converted worker’s housing they are the epitome of luxury. An infinity pool overlooking the grapes, a scrumptious breakfast, some of the best WIFI in the area (just in case you have to work a bit) and a complementary bottle of Brunello add to the wow factor
Greve, Chianti, Italy: Strategically placed at the crossroads of three pilgrimage roads, the town square has long been the hub for shopping, markets and people watching. Simultaneously laid back and bustling, loaded with charm, restaurants and the wine museum, Greve is the gateway to Chianti.
The last picture looks like the Place de la Concorde in Paris, shot taken at the corner of rue de Rivoli and rue St Florentin. Is it?