Valentine's Day 2016: ideas and romantic places to spend an original weekendRome, Civitavecchia, Tuscia and surroundings: useful tips and suggestions to spend a romantic weekend with your other half
This year the lovers' day offers the opportunity to enjoy a mini weekend for true romance, since February, 14 2016 falls precisely on Sunday.
So, why not organize a short out-of-town trip on the weekend to surprise your sweetheart?
With a bit of imagination and without spending too much is in fact possible to spend Saint Valentine's Day in an original and at the same time fun way. Here are some ideas and suggestions on where to go!
LAGO DI BRACCIANO
Less than 50 km from Civitavecchia and from Rome, the Lake of Bracciano is beyond doubt one of the most romantic destinations where to spend one or more days with your partner.
On the shores of this lake of volcanic origin arise three cities: Bracciano, on the western side, Anguillara Sabazia, on the south-east and Trevignano Romano, on the northern side.
If you want to spend a long weekend we advise you to visit all three of them, if you have otherwise only one day available we ask you to read the following before deciding where to go.
Bracciano is a splendid little town that stands on a hill from which stands majestically the famous Orsini-Odescalchi Castle. From the walls of this castle you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view over the lake with the same name.
If you are fond of medieval atmospheres don't miss a visit to the castle, which is furnished as at the time of its greatest splendour, and it hosts a museum and suggestive collections of weapons and armours.
We also recommend a visit to the surrounding old town, rich in churches and ancient buildings where, along the typical medieval streets you will feel immersed in another time.
And if it is still not enough for you, inside the village you may also visit the small museum of Bracciano, where you can find important finds about the history of the country and its surroundings.
Anguillara Sabazia is on the south-east side of the Lake of Bracciano on the slope of the Sabatini Mountains.
The town is delimitated by city walls and it is characterised by curvy tiny streets. The view over the lake gives an absolute feeling of quietness, ideal to spend a relaxing day.
Among the unmissable monuments is the Church of Collegiata, placed on the highest side of the town, from where compelling panoramic views can be seen, as well as the Roman Villa of the Santo Stefano Walls dating back to the 2nd century..
Through a nice tree-lined avenue, the road along the lake is really the perfect place for a reinvigorating walk.
It's hard not the remain fascinated by the nature's sight surrounding the light blue lake, blurring with the blue sky and the dominating mountains, that will make you feel envolved in an infinite embrace.
Suggestive and romantic at the same time, Trevignano Romano is a charming town placed on the north coast of the Lake of Bracciano. It is the perfect place for an out-of-town trip or to spend a different evening.
During the day, we recommend a nice walk along the coast, with the compay of swans and ducks cigni e anatre who usually swim close to the shore. At night, you can stop by any of the many restaurants that face upon the lake to have a romantic dinner.
Also the old town with its monuments is worth a visit. Especially, the Church of the Assumption of Mary, built around 1500 and from where you can enjoy panoramic views and see the remains of the old castle dating back to the year 1200.
If you are looking for an original destination, the Tarot Garden is what you need! We guarantee you the surprise effect if you keep the secret of what is your destination and you will see the astonishment in your partner's eyes once you cross the entrance of this magical garden!
The Tarot Garden, designed by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, is in Capalbio, on the border between Lazio and Tuscany, only 45 minutes by car away from the Port of Civitavecchia and approximately 1 hour away from Viterbo.
Open to public in 1998, it extends for about 2 hectares, inside of which are incredible sculptures up to 15 meters high, representing the 22 arcanes of the Tarot, made of steel and concrete and covered with mirrors, glass and colored ceramics.
The wonder and amazement that you will experience visiting these colored giants is simply unique, as it is the atmosphere in the park.
Read also our article about the park to discover its history and to organize your visit at best.
Among the romantic destinations par excellence we can absolutely not forget the beautiful Civita di Bagnoregio. The town that is dying seems to be suspended in time and space and it always provokes great fascination. This is the ideal place to make on impression on your lover.
Located on top of a tuff hill, Civita di Bagnoregio can only be reached by crossing a narrow pedestrian bridge from where you can enjoy one of the most stunning panoramic views of the whole Lazio region.
Take the time also to give a look at this fantastic photo gallery.
This suggestive village offers a surreal and unforgettable atmosphere. Try to go up the East cliff in order to admire the splendid views of the "Small Bridges", that is, the huge crate walls, part of a process of erosion that started thousands of years ago and is still happening.
Inside the village are also restaurants, trattorias and bars as well as bed & breakfasts and local artisan shops. For more information, read our article about Civita di Bagnoregio.
If your partner loves art, what do you think of spending 1 to 2 days in Tarquinia?
Center of South Etruria and symbol of Etruscan Art par excellence this Medieval city always awakens great wonder. With its precious monuments and museums, the suggestive old town and some important archeological sites this splendid city is a real concentration of art!
Give straight away a look to this photogallery to get an idea!
Among the destinations you can absolutely not miss there’s first of all the beautiful Necropolis of Monterozzi, with over 200 depicted tombs represents the greatest existing Etruscan Art pictorial core and at the same time, it is the most important proof of old painting before the Roman Empire Age. Walking among these old tombs you will seem to be in the set of the last Indiana Jones film!
It is obviously also worth a visit the amazing National Etruscan Museum of Tarquinia, housed in the Palazzo Vitelleschi. It is the most important and biggest Italian Etruscan Art collection. The most significative artwork is the high-relief of the Winged Horses, found in the ruins of the temple of the Altar of the Queen.
Finally, after visiting the museum, take a nice walk through the alleys of the Old Town of Tarquinia and you will feel transported back in time in a magical Medieval atmosphere among churches, monuments and historical buildings.
To learn more, also read the 10 Things to See in Tarquinia.
BEACH ON WINTER
Going to the beach on winter d’inverno brings unique felings, a pinch of melancholy, but specially an incredibly romantic atmosphere.
There's nothing better, actually, than walking embracing your partner along a desert beach, watching the waves breaking on the shore.
And what better place that the long beach of Santa Severa with the wonderful Castle on the background? Or the suggestive seafront of Civitavecchia that takes you from the Marina to the Pirgo terrace passing by restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a nice dinner for two?
Take a look to these pictures and you'll be convinced!
Sometimes simple things are the most appreciated: during your walk you can enjoy yourself picking up shells and coloured pebbles and your other half will thank you for having had such a romantic idea!
CIVITAVECCHIA'S SEAFRONT (THE MARINA)
From Piazza della Vita, through Viale Garibaldi to the pedestrian part of Via Duca d’Aosta and the Promenade Thaon de Revel winds the Marina, Civitavecchia's seafront. Here stands the Pirgo beach resort in front of the islet with the same name, the square behind Piazza Betlemme and the small port of the Lega Navale.
The whole area is full of bars, restaurants and pizzerias: a perfect place to relax and to have a romantic dinner.
"Roma nun fa’ la stupida stasera...damme ‘na mano a faje di’ de si’" ("Rome, don't act stupid tonight... help me get her to say yes"). With thses words started a famous Roman song that really captures the idea of the magical atmosphere that only the Capital can bring.
But if it is true that Rome is one of the most romantic cities in the world, which are the right places to take your sweetheart and make the flame burn? Here are some ideas...
THE GARDEN OF THE LAKE IN VILLA BORGHESE
To spend an afternoon diferent than usual, after admiring the panoramic views from the Pincio terrace, get to the Garden of the Lake in Villa Borghese where you can rent a rowing boat and get aside with your girlfriend or boyfriend in an amazing location. To top up the dream there's also the Asclepius temple on the background.
THE GARDEN OF ORANGES
On top of the Aventine hill is one of the most suggestive spots of Rome, known as the Garden of Oranges. On this hill stands the Villa del Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta, that besides offering an amazing panoramic view over the city, it also hides a small secret.
In fact, placig your eye close to the key hole of the gate you'll see the outline of Saint Peter's Dome. The trees of the Garden of Oranges have ben especially cut so as to make the view into the dome free.
THE ZODIACO AND THE ASTRONOMICAL PLANETARIUM
If you love breathtaking views then one option is to go to the famous Zodiaco park, an extremely suggestice place on top of Mario Hill. From up here you can enjoy one of the most amazing views over Rome and spend a romatinc evening in the restaurant with the same name. It is no coincidence that here is also the famous "Path of Lovers", meeting point for many couples looking for some intimacy.
Next to the Zodiaco panoramic viewpoint is also the wonderful astronomical Planetarium of Rome, where you can completely plunge into a "spacial" atmosphere, really thrilling and so making your evening unique.
Among the most fascinating and at the same time mysterious places, stands out Castel Sant'Angelo and the bridge with the same name, which, especially after the sunset turns into one of the best suited locations for a romantic walk.
The imposing fortress stands on the right side of the Tiver, not far from the splendid Basilica of St. Peter, with which is connected by the so-called "passetto di Borgo", an old secret passage that allowed the access to Popes in war times. In some periods along the year, the passetto is open to public and it is walkable.
To find out more about the many stories and legends that surround Castel Sant'Angelo read also our article about it.
Our last suggestion to spend an unforgettable Valentine's Day, we take you to the Gianicolo hill, one of the most romantic places in Rome.
From the top of the hill you can attend to a unique panoramic view with your sight getting lost among the roofs and ancient ruins, among the monuments and Baroque domes to the neighbouring hills.
In piazza Garibaldi is the equestrian statua of the heroe of the two worlds and in the neighboring garden are busts of famous soldiers of the Garibaldi army. Is you are art lovers we recommend the Temple of Bramante, perhaps the best example of Renaissance architecture in Rome. Otherwise, for nature passionates the compulsory visit is surely to the Botanical Garden, with over 8,000 plant specimens.
P.s. if at noon you hear a big noise, don't be scared! Here, actually, every day a cannon is shot into the air to sign the midday. Maybe your sweetheart, scared, will throw herself into your arms... take advantage of the situation ;)
Enjoy Valentine's Day!