Finding a romantic spot in Italy for a Valentine’s break has never been too much of a challenge but sometimes it is good to get a little off the beaten track. We’ve identified three of our top love nests for a dreamy retreat.
Alpine spa indulgence
Enjoy classic alpine luxury and spa treatments for two at the Hotel Bellevue in the Aosta Valley. Check in to a suite or private chalet where treats include a four-poster bed, fireplace, private sauna or Jacuzzi. The hotel’s award-wining spa has five different saunas (including citrus and hay), salt and ice caves and the option of couples’ treatments in a private sanctuary for two, including soaking in a bath brimming with milk and honey. Dining options range from the alpine Bar à Fromage to an exclusive gourmet experience in the Michelin-starred Le Petit Restaurant, where there are just four tables. Outside the hotel, there are snow-capped mountains and, for those who prefer not to ski, hiking against the magnificent backdrop of the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Prices start at £170 per room per night, including breakfast, afternoon tea and entry to the spa.
Romance and candlelight in a converted cave
The Corte San Pietro is probably the chicest cave dwelling around. Set amidst the winding lanes and stairways of Matera’s ‘Sassi’ district, the converted cave offers contemporary, designer accommodation with rock-hewn archways, huge stone bathtubs for two and flickering candlelight. Step outside to explore the extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage neighbourhood, home to rock-hewn churches and frescoed caves. Up on the clifftop, the new town of Matera is lively, with elegant churches, palazzi and the pedestrianised Piazza Vittorio Veneto.
Prices start at £130 per room per night, B&B.
Romance in Rome
Gaze out across Rome’s skyline from the romantic rooftop terrace at the Hotel Campo dei Fiori, an atmospheric ivy-clad hotel just a short stroll from the morning market, restaurants and bars of the Campo de’ Fiori. Frescoed ceilings, twinkling chandeliers and a blazing fire in the hall fireplace all add to the hotel’s atmosphere while rooms feature canopied beds with heavy brocaded fabrics and, on the top floor, a small private terrace. Take in the traditional sights of the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountains, then head for Gianicolo hill and the Ponte Sisto, ‘the kissing bridge’, for the best views of the city.
Prices start at £140 per room per night, B&B.