Destinations Made for Romance

Autumn in the northern hemisphere, or spring in southern latitudes are an ideal time for a romantic holiday. It’s an off-season time of year, perfect for experiencing a new destination, just the two of you.

Florence, Italy

The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence’s streets, squares and buildings overflow with history, art and culture, the historical city center being a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. Apart from its rich cultural and artistic attractions, Florence and all of Tuscany is renowned breathtaking landscapes, cuisine and wines.

High speed trains from Rome are approximately 1 hour 23 minutes to Florence’s station close to the historic center. There are many famous museums in Florence and not to be missed are the Ufizzi Gallery and Accademia Gallery which houses many of Michelangelo’s greatest sculptures and works of the Renaissance masters, including Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.

For a bird’s-eye view of the city the Piazzale Michelangelo provides stunning views, take a stroll across the Ponte Vecchio for a view of the river or hop on a carriage in the Piazza del Duomo for a romantic tour of the inner city. For quieter moments the Boboli Gardens, the Garden of Roses, Villa Bardini, are escapes full of manicured gardens and fragrant flowers, while a candlelit dinner in a restaurant nestled on the Arno river is the ending to a perfectly ordinary and romantic day in Florence.

Cologne, Germany

While perhaps not renowned for romance, Cologne situated on the Rhine River with a distinctively charming Old Town of narrow cobblestoned streets lined with cafes, restaurants and tiny shops is just waiting for exploring and romance.

The River Rhine remains at the heart of the city with an array of boat cruises through the city both day and night, as well as longer voyages on the river that wind through picture perfect landscapes and vineyards which climb the hills that rise up from the river bank. Cologne and the surrounding area offer some of the most romantic river travel in Europe.

The Rheinpark in the city along the river bank is one of Germany’s best urban parks, a string of delightful gardens and walkways that where nature flourishes with constant views of the Rhine River. At the Hohenzollern Bridge you’ll find a wall of padlocks engraved with the names of the lovers who made their pledge to love. Here you can still purchase a lock, toss the key into the river and seal your token of immortal love.

Kyoto, Japan

A capital of Japan and former residence of the Imperial family, Kyoto still retains a serene beauty for romances of the heart.

The Togetsukyo Bridge, or the Moon Crossing Bridge over the Katsura River in Arashiyama, is renowned for its scenic beauty and a favorite of Japanese couples. The Sagano Romantic Railway, an aptly named sightseeing train that winds through beautiful Arashiyama-Sagano area of Kyoto. One of the magical segments is through the Sagano Bamboo Forest where the Nonomiya Shrine is located, home to various deities including “Nonmiya Daikokuten”, the Japanese God of matchmaking and marriage.

Hanami-koji Street is the historic geisha district of Kyoto, lined with traditional wooden houses and well preserved buildings. Kyoto is also the birthplace of the Japanese tea ceremony and this area is home to many venues where this unique ritual can be experienced.

For romantics at heart Kyoto is a destination that continues to celebrate beauty and the arts distinctly Japanese, no matter how many times you visit.

Auckland, New Zealand

Our spring time destination, Auckland is a diverse, multicultural and cosmopolitan city and home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. ‘Tamaki Makaurau’ the Maori name for Auckland means ‘place of a thousand lovers’.

For a panoramic view of the city, begin with the Auckland Sky Tower, a prominent landmark and New Zealand’s tallest structure at 328 meters. From the observation deck, you’ll see just how perfectly Auckland nestles into its surroundings of ocean, bays, islands and rolling countryside.

A cultural highlight in the city is the Auckland Art Gallery with a collection of over 15,000 artworks and one of the world’s largest collections of native Maori and Pacific Island artists.

Ponsonby is the hot spot for sophisticated boutiques, upmarket homewares, local arts, crafts and some of Auckland’s best dining venues, from high end restaurants to pop up street food.

Not to be missed is a ferry journey to Waiheke Island with incredible beaches, cycling trails, and above all for wine lovers, countless boutique wineries and local eateries for the ultimate afternoon lunch or moonlit dinner.

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