This Underrated Italian City Is A Great Spot For An International Couples Getaway

It's not hard to feel amorous in Italy. If the scenery, cobblestone streets, and music doesn't get you, maybe the wine will. There's one charming city that's all but flown under the radar, especially compared to well-trodden destinations like Florence and Rome. It's called Torino, or Turin if your map is in English. By train, it's a one-hour zip from Milan and every bit as romantic as other Italian cittàs.

Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region, the birthplace of Ferrero and Nutella, among other treasures. It's the fourth-largest city in Italy and known as the chocolate capital of the country. As such, it's only fair for you and your sweetheart to indulge in a chocolate tour, first thing. There's no need to wait until after dinner, either, as the Do Eat Better Experience Turin Sweet & Chocolate Tour will take you on a morning or afternoon tour. Over the course of four stops, you'll try gianduiotti made of hazelnuts and cacao, bicerin with espresso, marron glacé with candied chestnuts, and dark chocolate gelato, to name a few. The walking-and-tasting tour costs $69 per adult.

Romantic spa day and opera performance

Once you've had your fill of chocolate, if there is such a thing, the QC Termetorino awaits. This luxurious day spa features outdoor pools, steam baths, foot baths, a salt room, and aromatherapy with an elegant nineteenth-century building as the backdrop. The spa is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week and closes at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets range from $46 to $52, with five time slots to choose from. Your fare includes a bathrobe, slippers, and the Aperiterme, a sparkling wine accompanied by fruits, cheeses, and olives. For a little extra pampering, the spa day and couple's massage costs $232.

Come evening, meander over to the Teatro Regio di Torino, an iconic opera house with a lineup of ballets, musicals, and concerts all year long. First built in 1740, the historic theater was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1936. After nearly 40 years of renovation, it was once again open for performances in 1973. Today, the beautiful facade is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. With 10 or so performances a week, you're sure to snag a couple of seats for date night. On the low end, tickets cost $17. Closer to the stage, you're looking at $114.

Museums and fine dining

Turin has an impressive lineup of museums and galleries, like the National Museum of Cinema and the Car Museum. The Egyptian Museum is a popular tourist draw, as it houses 30,000 artifacts like statues, jewelry, and mummies. (Perhaps an opportunity to reflect on how lucky you are, while alive, to have found someone so special.) The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with limited hours on Monday. Tickets cost $20 per adult.

The Musei Reali Torino, i.e., the Royal Palace of Turin, is another must-see, with an opulent palace, armory, chapel, art gallery, archaeological museum, garden, and library all in one — in the enchanting way only Italy can deliver. Tickets start at $17 per person or you can take an hour-long guided tour of each wing for $22 apiece.

Round out your trip to this underrated destination with a romantic stroll through the Parco de Valentino, one of the oldest parks in town. Nearby, you'll find Borgo Medievale, the life-size reconstruction of a 15th-century village built along the Po river, complete with a drawbridge, fountains, and a garden. It's open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and admission is free. After a long day of exploring, head to the centro storico, the historic city center, for a romantic pasta dinner and a bottle of Piedmont's finest red. With delights like this, you'll wonder why you didn't book Turin sooner.