By Lisa Harvey
If you’re one of the lucky ones that has either found love in Europe or brought it with you, here are a few recommendations as to where you should celebrate your relationship. Regardless if it is now, with the snow falling softly in the northern cities, or later when the sunlight paints your body golden brown, you will be falling even more deeply in love by surrounding yourself with European beauty.
Florence. The couple sits on the ledge of the Ponte Vecchio. The summer air is hot but this age-old bridge is cooler with the breeze winding down off the Arno. The jewelry shops have all closed up with skeleton keys from generations ago. The lights of the duomo shine in the distance and sometimes opera music floats down from Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s the perfect place to watch a sunset sink over the mountains surrounding this city. A glass of wine before dinner. A stroll with a gelato after.
Paris. Hide away from the early spring chill by ducking into a side café, small enough to keep the heat in. Share pastries so decadent they melt in your mouth. Visit the Versailles palace and imagine living life as a royal couple – draped in luxuries, diamonds and gold. And, of course, select a bottle of wine, a French baguette and some brie. Set a blanket down and watch as the Eiffel Tower glitters to life in the Parisian night sky.
Santorini . The black sand beach emits warmth as you sink into summertime bliss. Hike up through the winding alleyways of whitewashed walls and deep-blue shuttered windows. Slip into the volcanic hotsprings for a natural spa-like afternoon, or take a two-seater ATV ride and find a quiet spot to watch the sun set over the surrounding islands (we recommend the village of Oia).
Galway . Find a cozy corner of a local-filled pub with a pint of Guinness and let the rhythm of the live music take you away. Buy matching claddaugh rings – with the hearts pointing in towards your own hearts to show that you’re together. Reenact scenes from PS. I Love You, run through the bright green grass along the ocean, and photograph the whimsical fishing boats still strewn along the coast.
Vienna. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage, nestled under furs as you ride through the streets bathed in golden light from illuminating the monuments and cobblestones. Get lost and steal kisses in a hedge maze worthy of a royal family, and visit a carriage museum fit for a queen, or Cinderella. Dress up and have a night at the opera at the Staasoper in a booth draped in red velvet, or simply walk in the footsteps of the royal Hapsburgs.