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Genoa Italy  Image via Visit Genoa

The picture-perfect port city of Genoa is an incredibly romantic honeymoon destination. Although often overshadowed on European itineraries by the likes of Rome and Venice, this understated city is too beautiful to go unnoticed. The lovely city is a labyrinth of hidden gems, excellent cuisine, and pretty sights.

Genoa BeautyImage via Visit Genoa

5 Places to Stay:

Villa Pagoda

This villa is incredibly beautiful, boasting spectacular views of the sea. The hotel staff are incredible, as is the lovely restaurant where dining is just as magical as Genoa itself —dining on the terrace is incredibly romantic!

Romantik Hotel Villa PagodaImage via Villa Pagoda

Hotel Continental Genova

This lovely hotel is the perfect honeymoon destination, and not just because of the amazing romantic honeymoon packages for their newlywed guests. Here enjoy an unforgettable dinner in the restaurant or enjoy their room service. Take advantage of their spa treatments or relax on their secret beach. There is not a lot that can surpass this perfection.

Hotel Continental GenovaImage via Hotel Continental Genova

Villa Gnocchi

This villa is perfect for the country getaway! Enjoy spectacular coastal views with breakfast, explore the nearby villages during the day, and return to a glass of wine on the candlelit terrace. This charming villa greets you with birdsong and an incredibly luxurious interior. Enjoy!

Villa Gnocchi AgriturismoImage via Villa Gnocchi 

Villa Edera 

The family-owned villa is perched above the beautiful town of Moneglia and is conveniently located around some of the most romantic destinations in Genoa. It’s the perfect place for relaxation in-between the adventures that you’re sure to find outside – and when you’re ready, be sure to take advantage of their cookery classes, wine tastings and escorted tours.

Villa Edera e La TorrettaImage via Villa Edera 

Sognando Villa Edera

In this hotel, spend your time in your own private apartment, complete with its own garden and terrace. The peaceful villa is perfect to come home to, or just spend the day by the pool amongst the roses and the birdsong. Plus there’s always the incredibly heavenly views all around. The villa is also conveniently close to some of the best places in Genoa.

Sognando Villa EderaImage via Sognando Villa Edera

5 Places to Visit:

The surreal views of Genoa are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. With a maze of historical sites (some of which are credited as UNESCO sites) and incredible architecture, Genoa has some amazing places to visit.

Europe’s Medieval City Centre

The best way to embrace the historical beauty of Genoa is to look at its most spectacular architecture, like the 800 year old Lanterna lighthouse. Genoa’s cityscape is hidden within the labyrinth of beautiful buildings and alleys with winding cobblestone streets – you never know what surprise lies around the next corner!

Old TownImage via Visit Genoa

Spianata Castelletto

For one of the most stunning views in Genoa you absolutely must consider visiting the Spianata Castelletto! The hilly area offers incredibly gorgeous sights, including that of the belvedere and the churches and castles of Genoa.

Piazza De Ferrari

Surrounding one of Genoa’s most ornate fountains, this piazza is not only shadowed by magnificent buildings and remarkable history but is also full of the magic of Genoa. Several important buildings are located in this square, linked by the heart of the modern commercial centre. The Piazza De Ferrari is simply spectacular.

Piazza de FerrariImage via Visit Genoa

Cathedral San Lorenzo

This beautiful cathedral was built in an area where archaeological excavations have revealed historic Roman structures – only one of the many hints of exquisite history, spanning over centuries of beauty. It is a very romantic destination in Genoa to visit during your European honeymoon.

Old Port

The bustling tourism centre allows visitors to stroll through the harbour and stop in at any number of museums and tourist attractions. The Old Harbour is also the place in which to visit Genoa’s famous aquarium and water features. This destination is such a popular spot to visit whilst in Genoa, and we can see why!

Old Town GenoaImage via Visit Genoa

5 Things to Do:

Art Tours & Private Visits

Genoa has some of the most beautiful and important art and culture collections in the world. The best way to view them is via private and exclusive visits, which are available through Art Tours. Consider taking a day to immerse yourself in the beauty of Genoa’s arts and culture.

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Walking Tours

Genoa is spectacular – it’s really quite hard to do it justice. The entire city is incredibly perfect for newlywed couples. For the best way to explore the city, consider taking any number of their walking tours, such as those offered by Genova Guide Tours. Discover the alluring charm of the city and the traditional shops and restaurants on a walking tour of the city.

Explore Castles and Palaces

For the most enjoyable romantic honeymoon, it is a must to stop in at any number of Genoa’s historical castles and palaces, including the Mackenzie Castle manor. Take an exclusive and private tour with Tuscany Pass to get the best experience on your honeymoon.

rolli_31Image via Visit Genoa

Trip to Portofino

Portofino is located on the eastern stretch of the Italian Riviera, and easily accessible from Genoa – plus, on the way, you can enjoy some spectacular views of Italy! The Italian fishing village and vacation resort is famous for its picturesque harbour and historical villages. Take a day and explore – and if you need help, check out Get Your Guide for the perfect tour.

Day Trip to Cinque Terre

The five incredibly gorgeous villages that make up the Cinque Terre is definitely worth the visit. Consider taking a day trip, either with a tourism company like Viator and their Private Day Trip Cinque Terre, or a self-guided tour. The peaceful fishing villages and friendly crowds are easily accessible by train, and very easy to visit all in the one trip. Take a day and have fun exploring!

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Cinque Terre Tourism

Images via Cinque Terre Tourism

If you’re considering a European honeymoon, or looking to immerse yourself in history and incredible architecture during your honeymoon, Genoa in Italy is an incredibly wonderful option. Take a stroll through the ancient cities, explore the gorgeous coastal towns, and bask in the sunlight by day and the candlelight by night. Enjoy everything that lovely Genoa has to offer.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Follow the twisting maze of laneways to discover Genoa’s pure beauty – a memorable honeymoon destination overflowing with an enriched history and stunning architecture.

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Image via On the Beach

If you’re looking to book a honeymoon that revolves around relaxation, rest and a spa treat or three, I have the place for you! Black rock beaches, volcanoes and a luxury hotel will provide you with all the ingredients for the perfectly romantic holiday.

Just off the coast of Morocco is a group of Spanish islands called the Canary Isles, including Lanzarote, on which lies the magnificent Hotel Hesperia Lanzarote and Spa. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and with the volcanic scenery behind, it is a location that guarantees a holiday you will remember.

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Image via nH Hotel Group

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Image via venere.com

The hotel itself boasts a balcony for every room, a quiet location, several pools and stunning scenery. It is located on the edge of the ocean and surrounds a large outdoor area with white walls and stunning succulent gardens. There are outdoor showers and sun beds aplenty, perfect for a day by the pool. Although the wider islands are known for party life, this hotel is distinctly different, and provides its guests with a grown up and stylish design. The rooms are large and all over look the sea, allowing relaxation to permeate through every aspect of your stay.

There is a fully equipped gym which is available to all guests of the hotel, three restaurants with a variety of different cuisines plus several poolside bars, and of course one can not forget – the magnificent spa! Collect your glorious terry towelling robe at reception and get ready to relax.

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Image via nH Hotel Group

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Image by Nicola Goring

A weekly pass to the spa is a wonderful idea as it allows access at any time (unless it is very busy, in which case you may be asked to wait), and is very reasonably priced for the experience. The heated pool with jets was a firm favourite very quickly, as well as the steam room. However one could easily while away hours hopping between the jacuzzi, sauna, circulation baths, foot scrubs, showers and more. Complimentary cool drinks and fruit are served regularly, and the reclining chairs provide a heavenly spot for reading or snoozing in the scented spa atmosphere.

If you’re looking to book in for a treatment, best to get in early! I enjoyed a Swedish massage in a treatment room more luxurious than any I have experienced before and it was wonderful. Grooms, if you’re looking to spoil your new wife (even further!), may I suggest a treatment from the extensive list – she will love it!

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Image via nH Hotel Group

If you have breakfast included in your stay, you will not be disappointed. I would suggest this is an excellent idea, as the daily spread delivered pure delight to my husband who had approximately five courses every morning, finished with chocolate churros. The perfect breakfast food! The buffet needs to be seen to be believed, and it may even get you through until dinner time!

When on the hunt for an evening meal, the hotel provides some exceptional options. As well as frequenting these lovely spots, the town of Puerto Calero is reached by a ten minute walk along the waterfront, and leads to a quaint street of restaurants perfect for an evening out. The choice of cuisine ranges from Argentinian steak to a classic pub meal, and the view of the marina is beautiful.

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Image via Truly Holidays

For those that are looking for a little more action on their holiday, do not despair! There are several beaches nearby that can be reached within 30 minutes to an hour. The landscape of Lanzarote lends itself to 4 wheel driving and cycling, and hiking the volcanic mountains will capture some magical views. There is a stunning coastal walk which passes directly in front of the hotel, and there are also loads of water sports available including sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving.

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Image by Nicola Goring

Whether you decide to spend your time by the pool, adventuring around the island, in the spa, or watching the sunrise from your balcony, relaxing at the Hotel Hesperia Lanzarote will be a honeymoon to remember!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: The spa sounds just amazing! And what beautiful views of the ocean – such an idyllic spot to watch the sunrise!

About Nicola Goring – I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric loving, mint tea drinking, brownie baking, book obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).

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Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, just two hours from Sydney, Peppers Convent is a luxurious and striking venue that looks like something out of a fairytale. Set at the end of tree-lined driveway, the colonial blue palatial convent is a unique offering in the Hunter Valley and sets a very special tone for all your occasions.

As you enter the convent, the lounge area is finished with black, gold and cream art deco accents while the 17 guest rooms are contemporary in a light colour palette. Recently refurbished with striking Art Deco pieces, the convent now shows off a prestigious ‘European Luxe meets Hamptons Long Island’ vibe that is stunning for any romantic getaway or wedding.

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Image via Peppers Convent Hunter Valley

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Dining & the Experience

There are two restaurants at Peppers Convent, ‘Circa 1876’ and ‘Restaurant Eighty Eight’. Circa 1876 is an award-winning restaurant set on the far end of the property and overlooks a large scale kitchen garden as well as the vineyard. I had the pleasure of being shown through the kitchen garden, which is home to seasonal vegetables and vibrant flavours, by the Executive Chef Trent Barrett. It was so wonderful hearing Trent’s passion for sustainable and beautifully fresh produce.

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Images via Peppers Convent Hunter Valley

Dinner at Circa 1876 is a wonderful experience which I could gush over for weeks (actually I have been!) The night started with a glass of champagne in the lounge sitting by the open fire and looking through the wedding photography books that are placed upon the side table. Moving into the main restaurant room, the whole experience is exceptional and it is easy to see why this is one of the Hunter Valley’s most iconic restaurants. With options for a two, three or five course chef’s menu, each meal is artfully presented with exquisite flavours. I would not hesitate to recommend this restaurant to anyone – it is perfect from the moment you first walk through the door.

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Image via Peppers Convent Hunter Valley

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Back at the Convent, Restaurant Eighty Eight is on the ground floor and opens out onto the Wisteria Terrace which is flooded with natural light. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and High Tea, most of which have a strong focus on organic and local produce. This space is perfect for a group breakfast the morning after your wedding or for a rehearsal afternoon celebration. If you’re choosing the Hunter Valley for a destination girl’s weekend, the High Tea in the convent lounge is also a truly decadent experience all year round.

I had the pleasure of experiencing Peppers Convent in the Autumn and while the Hunter Valley is renowned for its Spring time leafy greenery, there is an old world beauty to the stark vineyards and trees. This allows the natural beauty of the area and your wedding styling to shine through.

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Image via Peppers Convent Hunter Valley

Your wedding at Peppers Convent

Peppers Convent is home to two restaurants and six different areas for your ceremony or reception. Whether you choose for your ceremony to be held around the fountain with the convent as a backdrop, in the White Chapel or under the tree canopy on the grounds of Circa 1876, there is something to suit every style and ceremony size. Then when it comes to your reception, there is the beautiful Circa 1876 restaurant, Restaurant Eighty Eight in the convent, the Chapel or the permanent marquee. Each space is rich in character and creates a stunning backdrop for your special day.

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Image by Jac and Heath Photography

The inclusions at Peppers Convent go above and beyond standard with options to personalise every aspect of your stay and special day. Throughout the planning process, you have meetings with the Chef and wedding co-ordinator to ensure your day will be everything you want. You will also have a functions coordinator on the day to make sure everything runs like clockwork. The team at Peppers Convent are highly experienced and will create an exceptional once in a lifetime occasion for you and your guests. With all the stresses that can come with planning a wedding, you can rest assured knowing that the team and their recommended vendors will transform your dreams into a picturesque reality.

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Image by Popcorn Photography

Complete your wedding by staying at Peppers Convent for the night after your special day. If you’re looking for pre or post wedding celebrations as well, the 17 rooms at the convent can be booked for your bridal party, friends and family (pending availability). This is perfect for those wedding parties wanting to have some time to explore all that the estate offers or the surrounding Hunter Valley area. On the estate nestled between the convent and Circa 1876, you’ll also find the Pepper Tree Wines Cellar Door which is perfect for an afternoon wine tasting while overlooking the beautiful grounds. There really is something for everyone!

Two Night Escape

If you’re wanting to experience the beautiful luxury of Peppers Convent yourself, enjoy a Two Night Escape from in a Deluxe Room. The offer includes daily breakfast for two and delightful afternoon canapés for you and your partner. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your partner to experience all that the estate offers before you finalise your wedding plans or it is also a wonderful chance for you to get away for a relaxing short stay in the lead up to your big day.

This little piece of heaven is a magical place that will set the tone for an elegant and glamorous wedding. If you’re a romantic at heart, I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!

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Images via Peppers Convent Hunter Valley

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a beautiful romantic escape – such a fairytale, I don’t think I’d ever want to leave!