What to Do on a Romantic Honeymoon in Rome, Italy

Find out where to stay, what to see and do, and where to eat, drink, and shop!

Discover the romance of Rome on a luxurious honeymoon in the Eternal City that will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget.

Photo: Amy & Stuart Photography

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Following your nuptials, what could be more romantic than experiencing la dolce vita in Italy’s capital city, where time appears to stand still and cobblestone streets will lead you to awe-inspiring locations both old and new. From its magnificent parks and gardens, to panoramic views overlooking historical buildings, villas, and monuments, to world-renowned ancient sites and architectural landmarks, Rome has it all. It’s no wonder the city has captured the hearts of locals and travelers from across the world for centuries.

With direct flights to Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) from many major cities in the United States, traveling to this magical place for your honeymoon is relatively easy. Once you arrive, simply take the Leonardo Express train to the Termini Station nearby many hotels in the city centre, or opt for a fixed-fare taxi or private car transport to your hotel. 

As soon as you step foot in the heart of the Eternal City, explore as you wish. With history at every corner, your itinerary will surely guide you through spectacular squares and architectural sites, palatial monuments and museums, and of course, outstanding Italian wines and cuisine from both fine ristoranti and more-casual trattorias.

View of Rome, Italy

Photo courtesy of Walter Shepard

Where to Stay for a Honeymoon in Rome

Located on a quiet street in the center of the city, travelers will find a welcome home base for their Roman holiday at Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese. The elegant five-star hotel situated in a former 19th-century palazzo offers a classic design by French architect and interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, who was inspired by the original architecture of the building and the exquisite landscaped gardens of nearby Villa Borghese. Located just steps away from some of Rome’s most popular cultural landmarks, including the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, the property will immerse you in the beauty of Rome.

After getting comfortable in one of the hotel’s 78 rooms and suites – featuring Baroque-inspired ceilings with the illusion of a blue sky above, marble bathrooms complete with Hermès toiletries, and 24-hour room service – take some time to nosh at Settimo. One of the highest rooftop restaurants in the city, the seventh-floor lounge and restaurant serves contemporary Roman cuisine sourced from local ingredients by Executive Chef Giuseppe D’Alessio. The sweeping views of the city, including sights of Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica, make this rooftop eatery one of the best to watch the sunset while having sundowner cocktails and small bites before an evening in Roma.

Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese - Entrance

Prestige Suite at Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese

Photos courtesy of Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese

What to See and Do on a Honeymoon in Rome

Explore all that Rome has to offer with assistance from the hotel concierge. From a running tour of the city – including stops at St. Peter’s Square and the Roman Forum – given by an art history scholar and former coach of the Italian National Olympic Committee, to private tours of favored neighborhoods and villas, as well as access to off-site cooking classes and must-visit restaurants and shops, the team will ensure anything you wish to do on your honeymoon in Rome will be seamless and uncomplicated.

Private Villa Tours

Especially if you’ve made the trek to Rome in the past or you have an extended trip that allows for stops at atypical tourist attractions, you won’t be disappointed by taking a private tour of one of the many stunning villas in Rome featuring majestic architecture, impressive frescoes, awe-inspiring artwork, and more. A quick walk up the Spanish Steps and along the Pincian Hill will lead you and your beloved to beautiful Villa Medici, which is home to the French Academy in Rome. A private tour of the Renaissance palace and gardens includes historical and architectural information, of course, as well as an aperitivo (pre-dinner cocktail) in the villa.

Located in the Trastevere district, Villa Farnesina is another Renaissance villa absolutely worth seeing. Built by wealthy Sienese banker Agostino Chigi in the early 16th century, the architectural masterpiece boasts exquisite frescoes by incredible artists including Peruzzi, Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Sodoma. In fact, Chigi commissioned Raphael to paint a ceiling fresco of Cupid and Psyche’s marriage to celebrate his own nuptials.

Off the usual tourist path is Villa Torlonia and its surrounding gardens – now a public park – accessible from Via Nomentana, one of the oldest roads in Italy. Not to be missed and only a 10-minute walk away is the Quartiere Coppedè, a unique, whimsical neighborhood featuring Art Nouveau buildings unlike any other area of Rome.

Villa Medici in Rome, Italy

Photo courtesy of Walter Shepard

See Rome by Night

While most travelers view Rome by day, it’s perhaps even more impressive after dark. Take your seat in a vintage car, and be whisked away to view Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, the Colosseum, and more historical sites illuminated with romantic lights once the sun sets. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

The Colosseum at Night in Rome, Italy

Photo courtesy of Walter Shepard

A Trip to Trastevere

Though it was home to the working class for centuries, the Trastevere district of Rome is now a colorful, lively neighborhood filled with bars and nightlife, street performers and entertainment, and impeccable restaurants. Take an evening stroll as newlyweds through the narrow streets and into wide-open piazzas – including the famed Piazza di Santa Maria – to embrace the charming destination filled with vibrant character throughout.

A visit to Trastevere would not be complete without stepping into Basilica di Santa Maria, one of the oldest churches in the city dating back to the third century. Other sites of interest include the Basilica di Santa Cecilia, which features 13th-century frescoes by Pietro Cavallini, and the nearby Belvedere del Gianicolo, a scenic hilltop offering a breathtaking panoramic view of Rome.

Trastevere District in Rome, Italy

Photo courtesy of Walter Shepard

Cooking Classes

Inquire with the hotel concierge about a fresh-market tour and cooking class with a local chef. Trustever Tastes provides a fun, interactive experience beginning with a visit to the farmers market as well as cheese, bread, and spice shops in Trastevere’s Piazza di San Cosimato, followed by a cooking class in Chef Paola Sansalone’s kitchen. From tasty starters to fresh homemade pasta and finally gelato for dessert, enjoy quintessential Italian dishes along with delectable wines while overlooking the Basilica di Santa Maria.

Chef Paola Sansalone of Trustever Tastes

Trustever Tastes Cooking Class

Photos courtesy of Walter Shepard

Where to Eat & Drink on a Honeymoon in Rome

After visiting the ancient archaeological sites and magnificent museums and villas, you and your new spouse will assuredly work up an appetite. Fortunately, Rome has alluring eateries and wine bars at every corner to satiate even the most discerning of palates. While in the Trastevere district after visiting Villa Farnesina, be sure to stop at Enoteca Ferrara for dinner. Just off Piazza Triulussa near Via del Moro, the ristorante showcases high-quality Roman and regional Italian cuisine, complete with a sommelier on hand to assist you in selecting the perfect wine pairing for each imaginative dish. With a more casual osteria and mescita on site, travelers can enjoy beer, wine, and light meals all night long.

You and your beloved cannot leave Rome without trying the thin-crust, Roman-style pizza crafted by fourth-generation baker Pierluigi Roscioli at Pizzeria Emma. Just under a 10-minute walk from the Pantheon, fall in love with the dough made of 100% organic and Italian flours, sauces created with the very best tomatoes, exquisite locally sourced mozzarella, and premium toppings from the famed deli counter Salumeria Roscioli.  

Settimo, the refined rooftop restaurant at Sofitel Roma Villa Borhese, is the perfect place to have lunch, dinner, or drinks with an unmatched view. While at the hotel, be sure to also relish in a blind wine tasting. The two-hour tasting will lead you through a selection of French and Italian wines selected by the master sommelier, while blindfolded to provide an opportunity to taste the wines without any preconceived notions of likes or dislikes. It’s a group experience not to be missed for beginners and aficionados alike.

The Terrace at Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese

Blind Wine Tasting at Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese

Photos courtesy of Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese

Where to Shop

Honeymooners can book an "Over-the-Top Romance Experience" through the hotel to enjoy a helicopter tour to a countryside vineyard for a private tasting, a personal shopping excursion with jeweler Cazzaniga, and additional romantic offerings. Even without booking the package, a visit to the family-owned atelier, established by Angelo Giorgio Cazzaniga in 1929 and now run by his son Paolo Cazzaniga, will take you back in time. Choose a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted piece created by goldsmiths with the influence of Renaissance, Byzantine, and Baroque styles, and take home a precious memory of Rome.

Cazzaniga Gold & Pearl Earrings

Photo courtesy of Cazzaniga

One of the newest offerings at Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese is the five-night Bellissima Experience, which offers fashionable excursions with Italian fashion influencer Selvaggia Capizzi. Browse boutiques such as Bottega Veneta, Fendi, and Marni, as well as relish in a private jewelry experience at Cazzaniga. Another designer to visit is Jamal Taslaq, a talented Palestinian designer who creates couture designs for both bridal and evening wear, as well as a prêt-à-porter collection of high-fashion clothing and accessories.

Jamal Taslaq Fashion in Rome, Italy

Photo courtesy of Walter Shepard

Aside from visiting the popular tourist destinations in Rome, the best way to get a feel for the city is to truly do as the Romans do. Wander the streets, stop into local osterias and trattorias, and shop for handmade items you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Take in every adventure, scent, taste, and sound, and fall in love with la bella vita in Rome.

Explore More in Rome

Visit Villa Borghese:

Sip on Italian coffee and go for a morning stroll through the impressive landscaped gardens, or take a tour of Galleria Borghese.

Day Trip to Tivoli:

Take the train to explore the Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana. Consider hiring an archaeology guide to make your experience even more rewarding.

Shopping for Him:

Visit Gaetano Aloisio Boutique to order custom suits and sportswear, stop by Caleffi for made-to-measure shirts from a master tailor, and head to Guarino for classic luxury menswear.

Explore More of Italy:

Work with Access Italy, a luxury travel company, to create a custom-made journey through Florence, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, or Lake Como. Call 888.499.5513 for more information!

Opening photo by Amy & Stuart Photography; Registry: Gearys Beverly Hills; From Real Wedding: Classic Summer Wedding in Rome, Italy with Rustic Elements

This expert advice article was originally published in the Spring 2022 issue of Inside Weddings magazine. To order a copy of the Spring 2022 issue, visit our library of Inside Weddings back issues available for purchase.