In fair Italy, where we set our scene, you'll find five devastatingly romantic destinations in which to start your love story.
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Whether you're thinking of popping the question, uttering the words 'ti amo' for the first time or simply after a romantic getaway, bring your star-crossed lover to Italy and let its mouth-watering cuisine, sultry Mediterranean climate and captivating landscapes set the scene for an epic love story. Read on for our list of five top dream Italian destinations. Parting will be such sweet sorrow.
Our City Hotspot: The Grand Canal
If it's a good enough setting for George Clooney's nuptials, it's good enough for us. Venice is regarded as one of the most romantic cities in the world and tourists visit in their thousands to savour a backdrop of postcard-perfect surroundings usually only seen on a Hollywood chick-flick movie set. The signature gondola rides are always popular with romancing couples who float down the Grand Canal to the sound of serenading gondoliers. Out of the water, stroll hand-in-hand down narrow lanes and over quaint bridges.
Our City Hotspot: Juliet's House
Due to its close proximity, Verona draws many comparisons to Venice. It's an ancient city full of history and character with cobbled streets and one of the finest outdoor theatres in Italy, the Arena di Verona. However, it's the city's connection with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet which makes it really unique and full of an ambiance of amour. Head for Juliet's House to capture the spirit of Shakespeare's most famous love story and you'll find a small museum as well as a statue of Juliet and her legendary balcony overlooking the courtyard.
Our City Hotspot: The Terrace Bar at the Eden Hotel or Trevi Fountain
With an abundance of excellent hotels, an inspiring Renaissance art scene and a long, illustrious history as the seat of power for the Roman Empire, the allure of Italy's capital is strong. And there's no shortage of romantic hotspots in the 'Eternal City' either. Impress your date with sweeping views of the city's seven hills at the incredibly fancy Terrace Bar at the Eden Hotel and throw a few coins in the Trevi Fountain to wish for love and marriage.
4. Positano, Amalfi Coast
Our City Hotspot: The Hamlet of Nocelle
Just south of Naples, Positano has been hailed as the most enchanting place on the Amalfi Coast. The best time to visit is in late spring or during the summer when warm, clear skies allow you to see the landscape in all of its glory: think colourful, hillside houses leading down to incredibly bright Mediterranean waters. Climbing the many steps to reach the town's vantage point may seem like hard work, but trust us, the sight at the top will make your heart sing. For the most spectacular of views, take a bus up to the hamlet of Nocelle, a beautiful little village from which you can hike along the 'path of the Gods'.
Our City Hotspot: Piazzale Michelangelo
Known as 'the cradle of the Renaissance', Florence is blessed with an array of monuments including the city's signature domed cathedral, The Duomo, and one of the world's best art galleries, Uffizi Gallery. This sophisticated, sensual city was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site 30 years ago. Loved-up couples and honeymooners visit to explore the sights and take in the stripped-back beauty of the surrounding Tuscan countryside with its plentiful vineyards and olive groves. Get to Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset and you'll be awestruck by the beautiful hues of the city and hills beyond.