Experience One Of The Most Romantic Getaways In The World At This Italian City

Italy, the land of unparalleled art, history, and culture, is synonymous with romance. Its iconic cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence have always been popular among honeymooners and vacationing couples alike. But beyond these famed cities lies a hidden gem ideal for a more intimate escape. Welcome to Salina, one of the seven Aeolian Islands located just to the north of Sicily. This idyllic, ten-square-mile island with slightly over 2,300 inhabitants is easily one of the most romantic European destinations for couples to visit.

Salina is one of Italy's most precious treasures. The island is a lush green paradise adorned with twin extinct volcanoes, Monte Fossa delle Felci and Monte dei Porri, which are now covered with ferns, giving a dramatic backdrop to the deep blue waters surrounding it. Salina's landscape varies from the rugged coastline to lush farms in the interiors. This natural scenery offers couples many things to do with amazing views to boot. Trek up the volcanic peaks, take a leisurely walk through the vineyards, or participate in a caper-picking experience. 

Speaking of capers, Salina's are some of the finest in the world, so much so that they have an annual Caper Festival that happens on the first Sunday of June in the village square of Sant'Onofrio, in Pollara. The gastronomic scene is passionate and delectable. Sample fresh seafood by the beach at Il Gambero, pasta topped with local ingredients at Trattoria Cucinotta, iconic granita at Da Alfredo, and finish off with the renowned sweet Malvasia wine cultivated on the island itself.

Poetic beaches, seaside stays, and so much more

Romance is best enjoyed with a backdrop of pristine beaches and waves gently kissing the shore, ideally with a cocktail in hand. Salina boasts plenty of stunning beaches. Lingua, with its tiny salt lake, is a popular choice, while Pollara, a semicircular bay formed from an ancient volcanic crater, offers mesmerizing sunsets that you and your partner will cherish forever. Pollara was also the filming location for "Il Postino" (1994), a movie about a postman falling in love with poetry. 

Salina isn't crowded with large chain hotels, and that's precisely what makes it so charming. Choose from luxurious resorts such as Capofaro, boutique hotels like Signum, or private villas perched on hillsides with panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Accommodation prices range from less than $100 a night to over $600. But no matter where you stay in Salina, you'll be waking up to the serenity of nature and a fresh island breeze, wondering if you're still dreaming. 

Salina's small population and the fact that it is mainly visited by local Italians (not hordes of tourists!) add to its intimate allure. The islanders are known for their warm hospitality — from the moment you arrive, you'll feel the authentic energy of Salina. There's even a hamlet, Valdichiesa, with approx. 77 residents. This makes the entire stay feel like you've been invited into a private sanctuary, so different from similar mainstream destinations like Capri or the Amalfi Coast.

Things to do and how to get there

For couples seeking activities beyond leisurely walks and beach outings, Salina has tons of great options. You could charter a private boat and sail around the island, diving into secluded coves like Punta Tre Pietre. Explore the island's history at the Aeolian Museum in Lingua, and see it in actuality at Portella Village, which dates back to the Middle Bronze Age. The island's intimate setting offers unique experiences that are perfect for bonding and creating lasting memories.

The only way to get to Salina is by ferry. But, no complaints there because the ride will be an experience in and of itself. Ferries depart from Sicily, Campania, Calabria, and the other Aeolian Islands, taking anywhere from one hour to over four, depending on the operator and departure location. The island is divided into three main comuni (administrative regions); Santa Marina, Malfa, and Leni, with smaller villages interspersed throughout. Each one has a distinct vibe and plenty to offer. 

May, June, and September are the best times to visit Salina for great weather and fewer crowds. An ode to love, nature, and simplicity, Salina remains untouched in a world dominated by fast-paced lives and over-touristed destinations, retaining its Italian authenticity and charm. It allows couples to connect and relax, surrounded by natural beauty and warm hospitality. Simply put, Salina should be at the top of your list if you're looking for an intimate, serene, and utterly enchanting romantic getaway.