Post # 1
My fiance and I agreed that I would plan the wedding and he would plan the honeymoon. When he was in college he went to Italy for about a month and absolutley loved it. A few weeks after we got engaged he decided that he wanted to take me to Italy. Because we got engaged in Paris, he said he had to top that for our honeymoon. He is seriously the sweetest man in the world.
We are getting married on June 13th 2015. The wedding is basically planned and now he wants to focus on the honeymoon. He showed me a rough draft last night of where he wants to go in Italy and the dates we would be in each place. We would leave on June 14th and arive in Rome on June 15th. I told him that I really wanted to go to the beach for our honeymoon so he found a place near Rome on a beach called Osha. We would stay there for three nights and travel into Rome on June 18th. He has us staying in Rome for 7 nights and leaving Rome on June 24th and taking a train to Florence. We would stay in Florence for 5 nights and then travel to Venice on June 29th. We would end the trip in Venice and stay there for 6 nights. We would leave on July 4th from the Venice airport to return home.
My Fiance travels a lot for work and has thousands and thousands of flyer miles so the flights are basically free (except fees). He has alreay found our flights. He is looking at booking them this week. He is also looking at rooms for us to stay on a website called airbnb.com (condos and apartments people rent out).
Is it too early to book all of this for next June? Do we necessarly need to see a travel agent or is just as easy to plan it all on our own? Also, to those of you who have honeymooned in Italy, does this sound like an ok plan? Any suggesstions/ideass about this trip are welcome!
Post # 2
You can plan all of this on your own without a travel agent. Italy is pretty easy to get around on your own and there are thousands of hotel reviews on Tripadvisor to check out. I think that you have way too much time in Rome. We were in Italy last year and stayed in Rome for 3 days and that was too much for me. Rome was actually my least favorite Italian city. With reward flights, you need to keep an eye out for the flights that you want, so starting to look now would be best to make sure you don’t miss a good flight and end up having a bunch of connections.
Post # 3
ansmith1530: I agree with MrsSaltWaterTaffy: that you do not need a travel agent, especially if your husband is an experienced enough traveler to accrue all those FF miles.
I think that securing the flights at the earliest available opportunity is a fine idea, but I would caution against securing apartments this early. While I have had lovely experiences with the many properties I have found in Italy via AirBNB, the fact remains that most people who offer apartments with that service are not professional hoteliers (though there are some BnB type places, of course). A lot can happen in a year: construction projects can make the location less appealing, there can be changes in ownership, you can decide that you want to be in a different part of the city, there can be a maintenance problem at the apartment (I lost a lovely apartment two weeks before arrival due to a gas leak problem). Personally I wouldn’t even think about lodging until the four month mark, at least. (I secured apartments for June 2013 travel two weeks out–that was cutting it close, but I only mention it to reassure you that properties won’t run out. Of all the places you’ve listed, Venice is the place where you will need to make reservations earliest–good locations at reasonable prices will go more quickly there than in Rome or Florence.)
This is especially true since you and your fiancé may not know what is most interesting to you in each city yet. Florence is compact, but location in Rome and Venice is very important. How much time you spend in each city also needs to be guided by your shared interests. For me, seven days is not nearly enough in Rome, but that is because I have both professional and amateur interest in archaeology, Catholicism, history, art, etc. If you are more of a beach person and/or prefer a laid-back atmosphere, then you may not find Rome to be all that charming. I have a lot of experience both traveling and leading academic groups in Rome, Venice, and Florence (among other cities in Italy) and am happy to make further suggestions if you tell us a little bit about what you and your fiancé are interested in.
Post # 4
Oh I also agree about not booking hotels yet, especially if it is renting someone’s room. We booked our rooms about 4-5 months before our trips to make sure we got good rates.
Post # 5
I adored Rome, we only spent three days and didnt see nearly as much as I wanted, you can easily spend a whole day in the Vatican alone. But I am a huuuggggeee history nerd and so there was lots I wanted to see. You can also day trip from Rome to Pompeii which is 1000% worth it. It is incredible. If you want to see stuff like the fourm, Vatican or several of the museums, book ahead or risk hours and hours of lines to get in.
I think six days in Venice is going to be a lot, and expensive. You see the Doge Palace and the jail, ride a gondala, visit some old shops and churches and leave. No where near six days of stuff to do and everything is expensive because keeping up with maintance is killing busniesses in the lagoon. Like $4 water bottle expensive. And just kind of a dirty big city that happens to not have paved streets.
Florance is beautiful and you can go out into Tuscany which is what you think of when you think “Italy”. Lots of art and history, and there are some amazing ild walled cities not that far which are worth a trip. Lots of vineyards and cool farms that frequently can give a real homecooked Italian meal experince. Delicious.
Though we didnt get to go, I have heard great things about Assisi, a quaint town. Pisa is supposed to be very overrated and a crowded tourist trap.
I wouldnt book this early but just kind of keep an eye out for what yall want, And look into what you want to do so you can find where you want to stay. We had a super nice hotel in Rome…. On the opposite side of the city from everything we wanted to see and anywhere but the hotel resturant to eat.
Post # 6
MarriedToMyWork: My Fiance is really really into history. When he went to Italy in college, Rome was his favorite part of the trip. I am really excited about the art and wineries so he said I will really like Florence.
chasesgirl: I want to go to Pompeii!!!! We originally had Naples as one of our stops and Pompeii is pretty close to there. I will have to check and see how far it is from Rome!
Post # 7
chasesgirl: I agree that Pisa is a place that will disappoint those who are not specialists in religion or history. Assisi is lovely, but like many Tuscan towns, it is very hilly, so anyone with health or mobility issues should keep that in mind. Venice definitely is a love it or hate it city–I obviously love it, but that’s because I enjoy its decadence and find the experience of simply walking around in a city that doesn’t have the sound of cars to be really wonderful. I agree that the experience of dealing with the hordes of daytrippers in San Marco or at the Rialto is a miserable experience and that a gondola ride is really expensive.
However, I have to defend Venice from the charge that she must always be expensive. One can stay at a very good hotel with an excellent location convenient for both the vaporetto and the Alilaguna in the height of summer for about 60 EUR/night, as I have done for the last three summers. I can think of countless things (churches, museums, beaches, outlying islands reachable on a vaporetto pass, etc.) to do that are either free or less than 10 euros. As for food and drink: you can get a coffee for a euro as long as you’re not trying to buy it in the zone between the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop and the Rialto Bridge. There is a grocery store that is a three minute walk from St. Mark’s Basilica that has 1.5L bottles of water for about 60 eurocents (or find one of the free fountains and fill up, just like in Rome). You can eat truly exemplary cicchetti–enough for lunch–and have a small glass of wine for under 10 euros. As for dinner, the general, but not ironclad, guideline in Venice is that unless you are spending the big bucks you can pick two of the following: famous location, staff that speaks English really well and is used to catering to Americans/Brits/Aussies/NZlanders/etc., good food. However, if you’re willing to compromise on location or the language skills of the staff, you can find lots of good food at reasonable prices.
ansmith1530: I agree that if your combined interests are in art and history that the Tuscany region will be highly agreeable for you both. Despite my personal love for Venice, you might even want to consider cutting a day or two from Venice and giving yourself more time to explore the Tuscany region, or even to venture into the Emilia-Romagna, another classic food region of Italy. And if you want to spend six days in Venice, I would recommend at least one daytrip into a mainland Veneto city like Verona or Padova in order to enjoy the wines of the Veneto region. Would your fiancé be open to considering the Piedmont region as a potential stop on the trip? That’s the home of the prestigious Barolo and Barbaresco wines, among other culinary highlights, and the city of Torino has much to recommend in terms of museums and other sites if you and your fiancé’s interests in art and history extend up to the 19th century and the period of Italian unification.
Also, you and your fiancé may want to look into a visit to Ostia Antica from Rome, in addition to a trip to Pompeii.
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2015 - Calamigos Ranch
My fiance and I have decided on an Italy honeymoon as well. We also have enough points for our flights and will likely have enough Starwood points by the honeymoon to book most of our hotels as well! If any Bees have a lot of time before their honeymoon I recommend building up points! Anyway, my recommendations for you are:
1. Italy is HOT and PACKED with tourists in June. If you’re open to delaying your honeymoon, I recommend early September. That’s what we’re doing.
2. You’re only seeing a fraction of the beauty Italy has to offer. I suggest shortening your stay in each city by a couple days and seeing more.
3. If you can, spend a few days down in the Amalfi Coast. We’re likely spending a few days in Positano. That will get you an ahhhhmazing beach experience rather than settling on a beach near Rome. You can even hop on a boat and check out Capri.
4. You might get more bang for your points if you fly into Milan. It’s the fashion capitol of Italy and very cosmopolitan. Might be worth a day and then taking the train to Venice.
5. I absolutely LOVE AirBnB, but staying in AirBnB rentals will give you more of a “vacation like a local” experience. If that’s the experience you want, then go for it. But if you want a honeymoon feel, I recommend hotels.
6. You absolutely do not need to book rooms now. 3 months out should be fine–maybe even later for AirBnBs.
Post # 9
esaints2: I wish we could take our honeymoon in September or October but I am a teacher so I can’t take the time off in the fall. We would have actually gotten married this October if my fiance hadn’t wanted a 3 week honeymoon to Italy.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2015 - Dreams Las Mareas - Costa Rica
esaints2: please tell me more about points and how to get them… im clueless! I have some time on my hands….
Post # 11
- Wedding: Cottage on the Creek
we just booked our flights in and out of rome for april! I am actually thinking that we might add a flight to venice (~$70pp) and start there and work our way south. I want to do venice, lake como, cinq terre, and rome! 🙂 So excited!
Post # 12
Even though June is hot in Italy, it’s totally manageable. If you can squeeze it in, I would recommend booking an agriturismo in Tuscany! The landscape out there is gorgeous and the location is perfect for day trips out to Siena, Florence, Pisa, designer outlets (hehe), etc. The agriturismo I stayed at in 2011 was run by a lovely family with the best homecooked meals. I definitely plan to go back one day!
Post # 13
I did not honeymoon in Italy but I did spend a week in Italy at the beginning of this July.
Unless you are VERY interested in art I would strongly suggest cutting out some of that time in Florence. It was hot… smelly… and absolutely mobbed with tourists. I specifically did not go to Venice because I have heard that it is even worse there.
I agree with the person who mentioned a day trip to Verona. Verona was ADORABLE and not too crowded comparatively.
My favorite place by far was Cinque Terre. I could’ve stayed there for a month. We stayed at the B&B Parco in Monterosso and it was SO FREAKING ADORABLE. Way up in the hills away from the crowds…. amaaazing view… a pool. Super romantic.
Post # 14
Oh also… one saving grace of Florence in the summer is they run a program where a lot of the hotels let the public visit their rooftop bars/balconies during certain hours. The Hotel Medici lets you go up and you get the PERFECT up close view of the Duomo without the crowd. The Hotel Continentale has a rooftop bar with a nice view of the Arno.
Post # 15
I’ve travelled the whole country and these are my tid bits that I observed:
Went on Aug 25th – Sep 19.
Venice – A very neat city, def worth seeing, I stayed in a converted monestary (beware of the 7am bells that all ring every morning lol) but it’s amazing. I didn’t find it overly expensive.
Florence – is very pretty, cobblestone roads, day trip out to Siena and San Gimignano was (SO WORTH IT!) and you get to see the rolling hills of vineyards and olive trees. But you dont need too many nights here.
Rome – My least favorite. The people are quite cold and rude (maybe just bad luck)…I stayed 3 nights and it was enough. The colluseum was cool to see! That was my highlight. And have lunch in the square the Pantheon is in…cool view. Vatican was also an experience (be ready for a line up!)
Sorrento – My Favorite!! Stayed here the longest…because I did a day trip to Positano (took a bus along the Amalfi coast)…a boat to Capri for the afternoon. A small train to Naples and Herculaneum (Pompeii’s sister city) and the city itself is beautifully set on a cliff.
Good luck!! You will LOVE it whatever you choose doing.