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For some reason I find beautiful views very romantic so in Rome I always climb the steps behind the Piazza del Popolo to the Pincio, a terrace that offers a sweeping vista of the city. From there you can explore the shady calm of the Villa Borghese gardens and perhaps go boating on the lake. Or head to a less well-known spot, the Orange Garden on the Aventine Hill, another terrace with beautiful views and a small but romantic garden - wonderful as the sun sets.


The whole of Venice is romantic but sometimes the crowds can steal away the atmosphere. My most romantic moment happened when I was there entirely on my own. I’d woken early and walked to an almost-empty Piazza San Marco. There was already an orchestra outside Caffe Florian, which is said to be the oldest cafe in the world. So I ordered what was probably the most expensive coffee in the world and sat listening to them playing just for me.


Last time I was in Italy I rented a trullo house in Puglia. These are curious little stone buildings with conical roofs that look straight out of a fairytale. At night, illuminated by the moon, surrounded by olive groves and almond trees, with the countryside silent, and glasses of local wine to sip on, felt incredibly romantic.






  • A Year at Hoel Gondola - Nicky Pellegrino

    A woman swaps her far-flung travels for her biggest adventure yet - a relationship - in this career-defining novel by Number 1 bestselling author Nicky Pellegrino Kat has never wanted to live a small, everyday sort of life. She's an adventurer, a food writer who travels the world visiting far-flung places and eating unusual fare. Now she is about to embark on her biggest adventure yet - a relationship. She has fallen in love with an Italian man and is moving to live with him in Venice where she will help him run his small guesthouse, Hotel Gondola. Kat has lined up a book deal and will write about the first year of her new adventure: the food she eats, the recipes she collects, the people she meets, the man she doesn't really know all that well but is going to make a life with... Still, as Kat ought to know by now, the whole point of adventures is they never go exactly the way you expect them to. Nicky Pellegrino writes gorgeous, gastronomic Italianate dramas rich with passion, sunshine, humanity and intrigue. She is adept at evoking an Italian feast as she is at describing the pain of hearbreak or the joy of falling in love.

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