Rome Honeymoon Guide

Discover la dolce vita in Rome – one of the world’s most perfect cities for lovers and the perfect honeymoon destination or romantic getaway.

The ancient capital of Rome offers newlyweds much to do and see. Wander hand-in-hand through centuries-old piazzas past stunning monuments; explore narrow, medieval cobblestone streets around Trastevere; and stop for lunch in an authentic trattoria.

Stroll through the ruins of the Roman Forum and the nearby Colosseum. Wander across St Peter’s Square into St Peter’s Basilica and marvel at Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

Smooch in the lush gardens of the 17th century Villa Borghese and admire Renaissance art treasures inside the Borghese Gallery.

Climb the Spanish Steps in the Piazza di Spagna, take a horse-drawn cab ride through the neighbourhood or share a tub of zabaione (a delicate custard), laced with 20-year-old Marsala at the famous Il Gelato di San Crispino.

Enjoy a cuddle among the pine trees in the beautiful Pincio Gardens or relax in each other’s arms as you take in the unforgettable view over Rome from Piazzale Napoleone, then stroll down hill for a cocktail at Café Rosati in pretty Piazza del Popolo.

Sip a blood-orange Spremuta d'Arancia or a campari at a table for two, then enjoy a candle-lit dinner in the Piazza Navona. Have a nightcap with Rome’s beautiful people at nearby Antico Caffe della Pace or salsa the night away at Caruso Café de Oriente.

Major sights in Rome

In Rome, it's easy to find must-see attractions that are a perfect backdrop for romance just about everywhere you go, including the following…

Piazza di Spagna – Stroll up the Spanish Steps to the Church of Trinità dei Monti, especially beautiful in May when decorated with pink azaleas.

Via Condotti – Splash out on Armani and Valentino designer labels on elegant Via dei Condotti.

Savour an espresso at a table for two at the famed Caffè Greco, founded in 1760 and a favourite hangout of Casanova. Or visit Babington’s Tea Room, founded in 1896, for tea and pastries served by waiters in traditional English attire.

Fontana di Trevi – Be a superstitious romantic and toss three coins over your shoulder into the water. According to legend the first coin will ensure your return to Rome, the second will make you fall in love with an Italian and the third will guarantee you marry him or her.

Roman Forum – Stroll the ruins of what was once the heart of ancient Rome. Discover the Arch of Septimius Severus, the three-columned Temple of Vespasian and Titus and the Temple of Saturn.

The best view of the Forum on a romantic night is from Capitoline Hill, Michelangelo’s Renaissance piazza, which overlooks the Forum.

The Colosseum – Imagine the spectacle of bloody gladiator battles in ancient Rome’s greatest architectural legacy.

Built on order of Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, the four-storey amphitheatre was abandoned at the fall of the Roman Empire, later ravaged by earthquakes and then plundered for marble to build many of Rome’s great churches and palaces.

The Pantheon – Explore Rome’s best-preserved monument of antiquity, built by Marcus Agrippa in 27 BC and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 120 AD as a religious temple.

Later abandoned, it was stripped of its gilded bronze ceiling then converted into a church in 609 AD. The artist Raphael is buried here.

Catacombs of St Domitilla – Enter through a sunken 4th century church into Rome’s oldest catacomb – 15km of underground caves laid out on three levels – for an insight into Christian life in Imperial Rome.

St Peter’s Basilica – Built in the 5th century at the place where, according to ancient tradition, Peter the apostle was crucified and buried (his tomb is under the main altar), the marble-floored St Peter's Basilica features Renaissance treasures such as Bernini’s 29m bronze Baldachin, Michelangelo’s exquisite Pietà and the Navicella mosaic by Giotto.

Steal a kiss on the roof of the magnificent cupola and enjoy an unforgettable view over St Peter’s Square and the city beyond.

Sistine Chapel – Go early and hire a pair of binoculars to fully appreciate the finer details of Michelangelo’s frescoes on the ceiling of the chapel. The sublime paintings depict scenes from the Old Testament including the Creation of Adam.

Equally memorable is Michelangelo’s Giudizio Universale, an apocalyptic vision of the Last Judgement, painted on the alter wall.

Galleria Borghese – Discover a treasure trove of masterpieces including Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael’s Deposition and Caravaggio’s Jerome.

Bocca della Verita – Be brave: put your hand into the Bocca della Verita and swear allegiance to one another for ever. Rome’s legendary lie-detector for doubting lovers (Mouth of Truth) lies inside the atrium of St Mary's in Cosmedin church.

Beaches near Rome

Escape the rigours of sightseeing in Rome by visiting two of mainland Italy's finest beaches at Sperlonga and Terracina.

The beach resorts of Sperlonga and Terracina lie to the south of Rome on the Lazio coast and are less than two hours by train or car from the city.

Either of these beach resorts is good for a day trip or overnight outing from Rome; or for a satisfying stopover en route to Naples. Both resorts provide all the ingredients you need for a great Italian beach honeymoon holiday near Rome.

Also close to Rome are the scenic Pontine Islands, a pretty archipelago sitting just off the Italian coast south of the city.

With a dramatic landscape dotted with Pre-Roman and Roman ruins, good beaches, breathtaking views and a selection of bars, restaurants and hotels, the Pontine Islands offer an ideal island break from Rome.

Sperlonga Beach

Unwind on the soft golden sand of this crescent-shaped beach that nestles beneath a steep rocky headland with a hilltop cluster of ancient whitewashed houses.

Either pay to use umbrellas and sun loungers on the established section of the beach or stroll down to the public spiaggia libera (free beach) where you can take your own towels and sunbathe and swim for free.

This long and clean beach is complemented by shimmering, clear turquoise water and a lush tree-lined promenade.

A short stroll from the beach stands the traffic-free old town, a warren of picturesque narrow alleyways and staircases leading to whitewashed houses and terraces overlooking the beach and the blue sea beyond.

To the south, around a rocky headland and another pretty beach, sits a nature reserve, the remains of a Roman villa (once owned by the Emperor Tiberius), an archaeological museum and a scenic grotto where Roman statues once stood.

Behind the beach, the lower modern town offers a good range of bars, pizzerias, trattorias and small delicatessens where you can buy food and drinks for a beach picnic.

You can also find a good range of accommodation there, including two modern 4-star hotels – the Virgilio Grand Hotel and Hotel Grotta di Tiberio, and the 3-star beachfront Hotel Aurora.

By train, Sperlonga is on the main Roma – Napoli line, with a dedicated bus link direct from the station to the beach.

Sperlonga is located on the Lazio coast, around 128km south of Rome.

Terracina Beach

Pick your own spot to relax on this long and wide golden-sand beach that nestles between two rocky headlands and shelves into clear turquoise water perfect for swimming.

Facilities include sun umbrellas and loungers, within an easy stroll of beachside cafes and restaurants.

The beach is located a short taxi ride or 20-minute walk from the town along a wide tree-lined boulevard, the lungomare. Here, you can find a range of bars, restaurants, pasticcerie, gelaterie and clothing boutiques.

Away from the beach, explore the winding medieval streets of the Old Quarter of Terracina, with its tall stone houses perched high on a hill overlooking the beach. In the historic Piazza del Municipio, stroll across ancient paving stones taken from a Roman forum.

Admire a fine mosaic floor built over a Roman temple to Augustus inside the Duomo and see ancient sculptures in the small Museo Civico Pio Capponi.

Then follow steps from the piazza to the hilltop ruins of the Temple of Jupiter Anxurus – a fascinating 1st BC ruin of vaulted arches and an acropolis with sweeping views overlooking the coast. Beneath the temple is a 36m-deep cut in the rock face – part of the famed Appian Way.

Terracina offers a good range of accommodation including two beachfront 4-star hotels, the Hotel Torre del Sole and the Albergo Mediterraneo.

By train, Terracina is on the main Roma – Napoli line, with a dedicated 15-minute bus link from the town’s station to the beach. There are also buses direct from Rome EUR Fermi; the trip takes around two hours.

Terracina is located on the Lazio coast, around 112km south of Rome.

The Pontine Islands

(Isole Pontine) – Discover this pretty archipelago sitting just off the Italian coast south of Rome.

Swim from a choice of sand and pebble beaches including Ponza’s Chiaia di Luna Beach, which nestles beneath craggy cliffs, a typical characteristic of the islands’ beaches.

Go boating and diving in the clear waters surrounding the islands of Ponza and Ventotene. Visit the remains of the Roman Villa Giulia on the tip of the Eolo headland on Ventotene.

Take a cruise to the other uninhabited islands, including craggy Palmarola, the green isle of Zannone and its nature reserve and ruined 13th century monastery, and tiny Gavi, inhabited only by wild rabbits.

Stay at the 4-star Grand Hotel Chiaia di Luna on Ponza, which sits on a cliff top with stunning views overlooking Chiaia di Luna Bay and nearby Palmarola Island.

Ponza (isola di Ponza) is the largest island in the Pontine Islands archipelago, and is located 33km (21mi) south of Cape Circeo in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

By ferry and hydrofoil, the Pontine Islands are easy to reach from Anzio (42km), an hour's train journey from Rome. Other ferries travel to Ponza and Ventotene from Terracina and Formia, both on the Lazio coast.

Where to stay

Rome offers newlyweds an excellent choice of accommodation options for every taste and budget, including the following 5-star hotels…

J.K. Place Roma
Location: Via di Monte d'Oro 30, Spagna, Rome
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD1,626 per suite
Description: Featuring stylish rooms with free Wi-Fi, the J.K. Place Roma is in the heart of Rome with the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon each a 10-minute walk away. A breakfast buffet is included. All the rooms include air conditioning, a satellite flat-screen TV and iPod docking station. Slippers, bathrobes, and free toiletries are supplied in each private bathroom. The interiors are designed by Michele Bonan and feature rosewood canopy and handmade fabric beds. The marble bathrooms are complete with a large glass shower and bidet. The on-site restaurant features Italian and international cuisine with daily fresh produce. Piazza del Popolo is a 10-minute walk from the property, and Termini Train Station is 2.4 km away.

Hassler Roma
Location: Piazza Trinità Dei Monti 6, Spagna, Rome
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD610 per room
Description: Set at the top of the Spanish Steps, Hassler Roma is one of the city's most famous hotels. It offers elegant rooms and suites with high-speed free WiFi, and free wellness facilities including a sauna, Turkish bath and gym. Its restaurant and gym have panoramic views over Rome's rooftops. Dining options at the Hassler include the Michelin-starred Imàgo on the 6th floor, the stylish Salone Eva, and the Palm Court restaurant with its ancient stone walls. The cuisine is classic Italian, with international specialities. Rooms at the Hassler feature a satellite TV, air conditioning and a DVD player. The rooms are classically furnished and some have a large seating area with a sofa. The Hassler is a 5-minute walk from Spagna Metro station: where guests can take trains to Termini Central Station and the Vatican. Via dei Condotti, one of the most exclusive shopping streets in the world, is just a few steps away.

Palazzo Dama
Location: Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia 2, Spagna, Rome
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD528 per room
Description: Offering an outdoor pool and a garden, Palazzo Dama is set in the Spagna district in Rome, a 3-minute walk from Piazza del Popolo. The hotel has a lounge bar, restaurant and rooms combining contemporary décor with vintage design objects. The rooms include a flat-screen TV with Sky channels and a minibar. Some rooms include a seating area for your convenience. Each room includes a private bathroom with toiletries and hairdryer. A continental breakfast is served daily in the elegant hotel's restaurant. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. In fine weather you can unwind in the garden surrounded by olive and lemon trees, where a free outdoor pool also is. Piazza del Popolo is 200 m from Palazzo Dama, while Via Margutta is 500 m away. Ciampino Airport is 16 km from the property.

Hotel Splendide Royal
Location: Via Di Porta Pinciana 14, Via Veneto, Rome
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD407 per room
Description: Set between Via Veneto and the beautiful gardens of Villa Borghese, Hotel Splendide Royal is a converted 19th-century monastery. The restaurant with terrace offers magnificent views of Rome's rooftops. Hotel Splendide Royal - Small Luxury Hotels of World features spacious accommodation of extreme elegance and class. Each room is equipped with satellite TV with pay-per-view channels, and some suites have a private terrace overlooking Villa Borghese. The restaurant of Splendide Royal Hotel was awarded with a Michelin star and serves fine Mediterranean cuisine. Various breakfast menus are available. The Splendide Royal's professional team of staff guarantees a warm welcome and a personalised service.

Hotel Raphael – Relais & Châteaux
Location: Largo Febo 2, Navona, Rome
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD352 per room
Description: One street from Piazza Navona, Hotel Raphael offers luxurious rooms with marble bathroom and parquet floors. Its roof terrace boasts panoramic views of Rome, from St. Peter's to the Pantheon. All air-conditioned rooms come with flat-screen satellite TV and free wired internet. Each elegant bathroom features a bathrobe, slippers, and courtesy set by Bulgari. Some rooms were designed by architect Richard Meier and include an entertainment system by Bose. The 5-star Hotel Raphael – Relais & Châteaux serves an abundant buffet breakfast every morning. Guests can dine at the La Madre Terra restaurant or, weather permitting, at La Terrazza Bramante on the roof terrace. The Raphael Hotel is well connected by buses and most of Rome's historic attractions are just a short walk away. You can reach the Pantheon in 5 minutes on foot, while Castel Sant'Angelo is only 700 metres away.

Best time to honeymoon in Rome

Anytime: but probably the best time to visit Rome is during spring and early summer, from mid-April to mid-June; and autumn, from September to early-October – so avoiding the crowds and high heat of summer.

The mid-summer months of July and August, are sunny and very hot.

Rome enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, sunny summers and cold, rainy winters. You can expect rainfall throughout the year in Rome.

For more climate info: Rome Weather Guide

Getting to Rome

Rome is located on the Tiber River in the central-western region of Italy, and is easily accessible by air and rail from locations in Italy and all the capital cities of Europe.

The most convenient route to Rome is by air to Rome–Fiumicino International Airport 'Leonardo da Vinci' (FCO), located about 35km (22mi) south-west of central Rome.

For more about how to get to Rome

How to get around Rome

While Rome is a large, sprawling city, the historic centre (centro storico) is relatively compact; distances are not great and walking is the best way of getting around.

Elsewhere, there is a choice of public transport options, including buses, trams, the metro and a suburban train network. The main transport hub is centred at Stazione Termini.

The Metro provides a convenient and fast way to get around the city, and while public buses are much slower you do get to see more along the way.

Bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and cars are all available for hire.

Taxis may be difficult to flag-down on the street but can be found at taxi ranks or booked by phone.

For more about how to get around Rome

More about Rome…

Latest update: Rome honeymoon: 4 August, 2022