The Complete Guide to a Romantic Rome Honeymoon

When in Rome… honeymoon!
Rome skyline at sunset with Tiber river and St. Peter's Basilica, Italy
Photo: Alexander Spatari | Getty
Dina Cheney - The Knot Contributor.
Dina Cheney
Dina Cheney - The Knot Contributor.
Dina Cheney
The Knot Contributor
  • Dina writes for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in food, travel and relationships.
  • With more than 20 years of experience in service journalism, she also pens articles and recipes for publications, such as Good Housekeeping, Parents, SELF, Health, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Prevention, Fine Cooking, Weight Watchers and Diabetic Living.
  • Dina graduated from Columbia College, Columbia University and The Institute of Cul...
Updated Apr 12, 2024
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A Rome honeymoon is ideal for culture-and-food-adoring newlyweds. With its wealth of artistic masterpieces and 28 centuries of rich history, Italy's capital city is undoubtedly one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world. It's also incredibly romantic.

Couples who want to marvel at the Vatican, stroll down charming cobblestone streets in Trastevere, and indulge on pasta, pizza, gelato and wine should head to this storied metropolis for a memorable honeymoon. It's also a great starting point for a multi-city European vacation, if traveling to more than one Mediterranean country is in the cards for you.

When it comes to planning your honeymoon in Rome, let us be your guide. From the best months to visit Italy to the best hotels and things to do, use our expert tips to plan your romantic getaway.

Rome Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    Domed roof tops of Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, from the Pincio, Rome, Italy
    Photo: Sylvain Sonnet | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Rome

    Reco Trip Designers Matteo Della Grazia and Daniela Mencarelli both suggest visiting the Eternal City in May or late September and October (which is when you'll find the best weather). This way, couples avoid summer's intense heat and crowds, but can still be comfortable living La Dolce Vita outdoors.

    Summers in Rome are very hot under the Mediterranean sun, causing many locals to flock to beachfront resorts. Plus, many of the buildings lack air conditioning, so couples will want to check with their hotels for corresponding amenities.

    Best weather: May, September, October.
    Festival highlights: The Estate Romana (Roman Summer), featuring months of concerts, outdoor cinema and cultural events across the city from June to October; the Night of the Witches (dedicated to Saint John the Baptist) on June 24th; Carnevale in February; Natale di Roma (Rome's Birthday) on April 21st.

    Rome Honeymoon Planning Tips

    With its iconic architecture, fountains, and terraces, a Rome honeymoon will make newlyweds feel like actors on the set of an Old Hollywood movie. Couples can spend days sightseeing at ancient ruins and world-class museums. Evenings involve a multi-course Italian meal (ideal for foodie couples), followed by a romantic stroll. The city is also nearby beaches and has a well-oiled transportation and train hub to access the rest of Italy.

    Rome offers an endless menu of activities and sights to see. Thanks to its beautiful, historical buildings and acclaimed cuisine, it provides pleasure—both visual and gastronomic—in spades.

    Fortunately, the City of Seven Hills is extremely accessible. Couples can fly direct into Rome–Fiumicino International Airport from New York, Newark, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and Los Angeles, says Ruchi Harnal of Harnal Travel. They can also take a high-speed train from other European cities to Roma Termini (the train station). After several days in Rome, newlyweds might want to add on time in Naples and the Amalfi Coast, Florence and Tuscany, Venice, or other parts of Europe.

    Since Rome is a major metropolis, it's pricey and crowded. Plus, travelers should be wary of pickpockets, says Harnal. Don't accept flowers or other items from strangers. If you keep the roses, toys or holy pictures offered to you, you'll have to fork up cash or meet the demands of street swindlers. Here are a few more things to keep in mind before buying plane tickets for your trip to Rome.

    Entry requirements: A US passport that is valid for at least 3 months. Starting in 2025, US citizens will need to have an ETIAS for an Italy honeymoon. It's valid for 3 years and can be obtained online.
    Location: Rome, Italy's capital city, is centrally located in the western part of the country.
    Currency: The Euro (EUR).
    Flight time to Destination: From New York City, direct flights to Rome are about 8 hours.
    Getting around: Rome's historical center is compact and walkable, making it easy to explore on foot. For longer distances, the city offers a comprehensive public transportation system including buses, trams and a small metro system. Taxis are readily available, but can be more expensive.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to help you plan the perfect Rome honeymoon. Find a travel agent near you on The Knot Marketplace for advice.

    Places to Visit in Rome

    Colosseum in Rome, Italy
    Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock

    Vatican City

    The smallest country in the world is a country-within-a-city. Vatican City is a must-visit even if you're not religious, says Harnal. Art and architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of masterpieces, displayed throughout the 54 galleries making up the Vatican Museums. Don't miss Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

    The Colosseum and The Forum

    One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Colosseum is an ancient amphitheater built in 70 AD. Four stories tall, it was the site of gladiatorial combat. Visit during the day and then return at night to see the landmark structure illuminated. After your daytime tour of the Colosseum, walk to the Roman Forum. Now a collection of ancient ruins, this area once comprised the city center. To understand its history, Harnal suggests couples book a guided tour.

    St. Peter's Basilica

    Couples will get their exercise in at this landmark after noshing on pizza and wine. Visitors will climb 551 steps to ascend the dome of this famed cathedral for panoramic views of the city. To avoid crowds during the summer, come early in the morning or book a tour that allows you to skip the line.

    Piazza del Popolo

    One of the most iconic sites in Rome, this vast public square is home to an ancient Egyptian obelisk, neoclassical buildings, churches and fountains. The surrounding gardens of the Piazza del Popolo is a lovely spot for people-watching and lounging on a picnic blanket (weather permitting).

    The Trevi Fountain

    Rome features more than 2000 fountains, says Harnal, but the most famous fountain of all is a Baroque masterpiece known as the Trevi Fountain. While there, visitors will toss a coin over their shoulder to receive luck. The hours between 7 to 10 am local time are best to avoid throngs of tourists.

    Spanish Steps

    Completed in 1725, the famed Piazza Di Spagna was memorialized in the movies, Roman Holiday (from 1953) and The Talented Mr. Ripley (from 1999). The beautiful tourist destination is a stone's throw away from luxury boutiques like Bulgari, Cartier and Louis Vuitton. Just be aware that, as of August 2019, sitting on the steps can result in a 400€ fine.

    The Pantheon

    Nearly 19 centuries old, this landmark is the largest unsupported concrete dome in the world, says Harnal. Each May, on the Christian feast of Pentecost, thousands of rose petals are released from its oculus. The Pantheon is located close to world-class cafes too, for the espresso-adoring pair.

    Trastevere District

    Stroll through this charming former working-class district located west of the Tiber River. With its ocher palaces and trendy restaurants, bars and shops, the area is simultaneously historic and cutting-edge. Plus, it's reputable for delicious gelato.

    Villa Borghese Gardens

    Hold hands and meander through these gardens near the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. Originally developed by a cardinal in 1606, the public park was redesigned in the nineteenth century.

    Campo De Fiori

    A short walk away from Piazza Navona (another historical landmark where chariot races were hosted), Campo De Fiori comes with its own fascinating background. Now a food market that offers everything from truffle oil to fresh pasta and cured hams, there's a darker side to Campo De Fiori to discover for history enthusiasts. For foodies, a stop at the 500-year-old Forno di Campo de' Fiori for takeaway pizza is a must.

    Excursions Outside Rome

    To balance hectic city days, honeymooners should consider day trips to serene, local towns. Harnal recommends Orvieto, a hilltop town with breathtaking views and well-preserved Gothic and medieval buildings. She also suggests Tivoli, a town that's home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este. Both towns are about an hour from the city center.

    Best Rome Honeymoon Hotels

    Rome (and Italy in general) offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury honeymoon suites to charming boutique hotels tucked away in quieter neighborhoods. Here's what we recommend when it comes to the most romantic hotels in Rome.

    Spanish steps in Rome
    Photo: RudyBalasko | Getty

    Hotel Eden

    In one of Rome's most exclusive neighborhoods, this romantic hotel in Rome includes personal butler service. Under the Dorchester Collection, Hotel Eden comes with unique and original programming to entertain couples after a day of sightseeing.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Hotel de la Ville

    Atop the Spanish Steps, this 18th-century palazzo-turned-boutique hotel also offers an on-site spa with five treatment rooms, an ice fountain, a hydro pool and a Mediterranean-inspired salt room. The Rocco Forte Hotel de la Ville features 89 rooms and 15 suites, as well as the number one rooftop terrace in the entire city.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Maalot Luxury Hotel

    Just steps from the Trevi Fountain, the Maalot Luxury Hotel is located in the most centralized part of the city. It's also located close to other chic properties, including the W Rome and the Soho House.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Hotel de Russie

    The luxurious Hotel de Russie is near the Spanish Steps and features an on-site spa with a Turkish steam bath and an interior courtyard with a terrace and gardens.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Hotel Indigo Rome - St. George

    Within walking distance of Campo de Fiori, the Hotel Indigo includes an enviable rooftop and a private spa with a hot tub and Turkish bath.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The First Roma Arte

    The First Roma Arte is a 29-room boutique hotel near the Spanish Steps. It boasts contemporary art and top-notch technology, including iPod docks and espresso machines.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Hotel Vilòn

    With just 18 rooms, the luxurious 16th century building of Hotel Vilòn sports Art Deco and contemporary decor. Many of the suites at this hotel have private terraces with gorgeous views of the Borghese Palace Gardens; a perfect base for a Rome honeymoon.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    J.K. Place Roma

    Housed in a 17th-century building, this 30-room luxury hotel was once a school of architecture. Inspired by mid-century modern design, the rooms at J.K. Place Roma come with minibars stocked with complimentary soft drinks and snacks, iPod docks and free WiFi.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Singer Palace Hotel

    This beautiful five-star hotel near the Trevi Fountain is in the former headquarters of Singer sewing machines. At the Singer Palace Hotel, couples will experience true and refined luxury after a day of exciting sightseeing.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for unique accommodations in Rome with more privacy or potentially lower prices, consider booking a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Rome Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    Rome is filled with romantic activities for couples. Enjoy a sunset stroll through the Villa Borghese gardens, have a romantic dinner in the Trastevere neighborhood, throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain or take a private guided tour of the Vatican Museums. The options are endless.

    Bearded man giving girlfriend piggyback ride standing by Colosseum in Rome
    Photo: Moyo Studio | Getty

    See the City at Sunset

    In the early evening, enjoy dinner al fresco and head to Gianicolo (on Janiculum Hill), Orange Gardens on Aventine Hill, or Pincio (at Villa Borghese) for dramatic views of the city at sunset. Swoon over the colors of the sky and the peacefulness that permeates the entire city.

    Take a Cooking Class

    Bring a piece of Rome back home with you after the honeymoon by taking a cooking class. Learn how to make classic Roman dishes, such as cacio e pepe (pasta with pecorino cheese and pepper), carbonara (pasta with pecorino, guanciale, and egg), and fried artichokes.

    Dine Everywhere

    For casual fare during the day, feast on pizza al taglio (rectangular pizza, sold in slices by weight) and sip espresso at cafes. Come evening, try one of the city's 53 Michelin-star restaurants. The amount of consumption will be balanced by the extensive amount of walking most couples do during a Rome honeymoon.

    Take In Famed Art and Architecture

    Rome is particularly known for its masterpieces from the Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical eras. Works by Michelangelo, Bernini, Caravaggio, and other Old Masters are speckled throughout the city. For instance, the public square, Piazza Navona, is home to Baroque buildings and the famed Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi by Bernini.

    Pro tip: Add Rome honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so your friends and family can pitch in on your great Italian adventure. Make sure to post a few photos to your wedding website—this way your wedding guests can see what you're up to abroad.

    What to Pack for a Rome Honeymoon

    Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy, in front of a pink sky
    Photo: Gennaro Leonardi | Getty

    The number one rule for a Roman holiday is to bring comfortable walking shoes, advise Grazia and Mencarelli. Not only is the historic center large—the narrow streets are paved with cobblestones making heels rather uncomfortable. Harnal also suggests packing clothing that covers your knees, midriffs and shoulders for modesty at religious sites.

    As far as general fashion goes, think smart casual. Instead of shorts, pack linen pants and sundresses or skirts in your honeymoon luggage. Plan on dressing up for evenings, especially when dining at swanky restaurants. Romans are impeccably dressed for such occasions, so make sure your packing checklist includes a few formal pieces.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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