By Daniela Degrassi
Italy is probably in everyone’s bucket list, so why not make it a honeymoon destination, especially if you can fund it via your wedding registry? The time may be just ripe now, with the lift of a few Covid travel restrictions, especially from tourists coming from EU Countries; check the latest travel requirements from the Italian Minister of Health website and start planning!
If you’re concerned about those rumors saying that Italy is not among the most vegan friendly Countries, don’t get too worried. Yes, that’s in part true, but especially in very rural areas. Vegan options are constantly improving (proof is, that vegan meal options are available in every supermarket if you are planning to rent an apartment with a small kitchen, for instance). If you prefer to skip prepping meals on your own (hell, yeah!), we found some great hotels and resorts, from the North to the South of the sunny Peninsula that will serve you exceptional vegan food, with that distinct Italian wow factor Italian cuisine is known for. Whether you’re looking to relax in the countryside, explore art cities, experience the beach movida of the Adriatic, hiking on the breathtaking views of the Dolomites or a mix of all the above, work on your itinerary with these awesome stays in mind.
Reinhold Messner, one of the greatest climbers in history, claims that the Dolomites are the most beautiful mountains in the world. Well, he has been around, so his word should count for something. I can also assure you, having visited the area a few years back, it is truly beautiful and peaceful. The area has become very eco and vegan friendly in the recent years. Like, LA VIMEA, an adults-only biotique hotel we featured on The Kind Bride in our Vegan Honeymoon Destination series dedicated to the Alps (the Dolomite peaks sit on the eastern side of the Alps).
New in our radar, is Paradiso Pure-Living Vegetarian Hotel (don’t fret, plenty of vegan food options available here) with their strong ecological approach. Organic materials, bio components and a conscious usage of natural resources. Isn’t this place dreamy?!
Not too far from the Dolomites, you can head towards Lake Garda, the widest lake in Italy. Here you can stay at Hotel Gabry offering a quiet corner of peace and relaxation with lake views and within the shade of Monte Brione. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Trentino, you can ride a bike to the loveliest spots in Upper Garda, take a long walk along the lake, swim in their pool, and then finish off the day with a well-deserved pampering in their wellness area. Rest in their eco-friendly bedrooms in natural, non-treated materials (from the furniture to the flooring) and enjoy their zero waste quality meals, with plenty of ethically-responsible vegan options. You can book from a variety of rooms or apartments.
Just a short drive from the French Riviera, the Liguria Coast has nothing to envy to the perhaps more glamorous Nizza and Cannes. You’ll agree with me when you’ll have visited the renown 5 colorful villages of the Cinque Terre, as well as stylish Portofino and many other small precious villages on the sea. Nested in tranquil hills a few kilometers away from the shores, you’ll find Casa Kara, a vegan B&B serving breakfast daily prepared with the best organic ingredients. Sweet, salty and raw foods available for all tastes. The hosts also offer cooking classes, guided excursions and shuttle services to the nearest train station for more region exploration.
Speaking of beaches, the most populated of all, especially loved by the youngest, is the Adriatic Riviera of Rimini and Riccione, famous for their long beaches and busy nightlife. Hotel Luxor of Bellaria Igea Marina, is a fully vegan hotel run by the Bianchi family. Located only a few meters away from the sea, in a central but quiet area, the hotel is also a stone’s throw from the Gelso natural park (2,500 hectares of greenery), an ideal place for beautiful walks surrounded by greenery, on foot and by bicycle if you want to take a break from sunbathing. The kitchen offers a full service of vegan food for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
If you’re planning to bring your pets with you, Hotel Virginia sounds like the perfect fit. Why? This dog friendly hotel has a dedicated dog pool, a veterinarian and dog sitter service on request and access to a dog beach. Also family run, the staff strives to create delicious alternatives to the traditional Italian cuisine, understanding and sharing the belief that has led many people to go vegetarian or vegan or have just decided to lead a healthier life including organic products in their diet.
If you’re honeymooning in Italy, hard to imagine not visiting Venice, the most romantic of all. From the Adriatic Riviera we just explored, you can take a train and plan a day trip. But if you want to spend the night, we found Venice BB Venezia, a small but comfortable bed and breakfast that will serve you vegan options upon request.
Another adored destination. If you are visiting Florence and its vicinities, have a read from this recent feature on The Kind Bride. If you’re looking for a tranquil honeymoon in the countryside, look no further than Agrivilla I Pini, nestled in the abundant hills of San Gimignano. With 11 elegant lodgings surrounded by rolling vineyards, olive groves and permaculture gardens, the property is 100% committed to environmental consciousness. From their seasonal vegan cuisine to the terracotta tiles upon which you’ll walk, the owners seek to provide their guests with an experience that intimately represents the Tuscan bioregion and culture.
If you fancy long walks through the Capital’s cobblestone streets and endless art sightseeings, you can stay vegan at the Raphael Bio Hotel. The fancy 5 stars hotel, facing Piazza Navona with its Bernini fountain, sits in the heart of Rome.
The Hotel Raphael has a green heart, that can be seen in the carefully thought details and great attentions that the management spreads towards their guests, always worried about their comfort and their health.
A masterpiece of ecological and solar architecture, their Vegetarian, Organic, Biodynamic and Vegan restaurant Mater Terrae encourages people to relax and abandon themselves to the widespread wellbeing which permeates every dish. Their healthy recipes are good both for you and the environment.
The Umbria region is often called the country’s green heart, it’s known for its medieval hill towns, dense forests and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles and wines. With its anciently rooted culture, veganism may be quite a novelty here, but you’ll find a haven at Torre Morgana, a vegan-friendly agriturismo. This farmhouse is located on the border between Umbria and Tuscany, not far from Lake Trasimeno. This vegetarian and vegan farm spreads over about 10 hectares between woods and pastures. Your pets are welcome here, and they are allowed in the rooms.
Agriturismo Biologico Piccapane rises into the hearth of Salento, a natural and relaxing place, suitable for the eco sustainable and nature lovers. Salento, also known as the Heel of Italy, is a vast plain in Puglia, stretching from Lecce to Capo Santa Maria di Leuca. This area benefits from a vantage location since it is located between the west coast with sandy beaches kissed by the Ionian Sea, and the rocky and wilder coast of the Adriatic Sea.
The farm’s vegan and vegetarian “Bio Osteria” propose excellent meals prepared with 100% organic ingredients and the breakfast consists in a rich buffet of home made products prepared with local and organic ingredients and seasonal freshly picked fruits. The restaurant use only whole wheat, and the sugar is forbidden and replaced by the malt or agave juice. Also the wine and the beer are organic and produced in the region. The hotel also has a room for activities and courses, including dance, non-violent communication, awareness, meditation, creative arts, music. Animals are welcome!
I truly recommend you spend some time discovering Sicily. When I visited a few years ago, I didn’t have many expectations but I was blown away but this magical region. The beautiful baroque architecture will make you feel like you’re on a movie set and the lifestyle of the Sicilians will be a contagious invite to slowly down and enjoy the small things in life. You can visit the greek ruins at la Valle dei Templi or get a near look at the Etna Vulcano. Crystal clear waters will invite you to relax at the many beaches you’ll find in this mesmerizing island.
If you’re staying in the historic city of Palermo, you can book a room at Novecento B&B. This pet friendly bed and breakfast is mindful of the environment, use of biodegradable products, zero kilometer policy, differentiated waste, high efficiency lamps and provides vegan options for their guests.
We’ve also found a fully vegan b&b in the Siracusa area, Vegan Cherry Room but it’s currently closed. We will keep an eye on this location and update this article when more news are available. If you have a date in mind for your trip, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are still so many areas of Italy we didn’t cover in this article worth visiting! In fact, this may be very well a ‘part one’ feature! But wherever you fancy takes you, booking an airbnb is the easy choice to put a roof under your heads while in Italy; restaurants are more and more willing to accomodate vegan options so don’t be afraid to ask. Buon viaggio!
An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.