(Closed) Has anyone gone to Italy? Recommendations?

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 17
Member
5540 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

Florance, Rome, Sorrento/Capri  and somewhere out in the Tuscan Countryside are musts. I found Venice to be just kind of a dirty city. 

Post # 18
Member
3038 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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@sanjessica: +1, I love Sorrento! Went there as a teenager & was dead set that I would return for my honeymoon one day. As it turns out, we’re going to France, but that place is amazing. If you do go, make sure to take a trip to Carpi. It’s probably one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been.

 

As for the northern parts, I spent a week in a small mountain village called Arco back in 2010. If you’re sporty/outdoorsy – that’s a great area! We were there climbing, but lots of people go there to windsurf/bike/hike. I’ve also been to a place called Urbino, while the city was cute – that entire part of Italy felt very “farmy”. Relatively flat & without the spectacular views the other places offered.

 

Post # 19
Member
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@everyheart: I lived in Milan for a year. Visited Florence, Venice, Siena, Capri, Rome, Torino, cinque terre, and a bunch of other little cities. 

 

It is all gorgeous and full of history. Every step you take, everywhere you look there is something to take in. I think i was like a little kid at a sweets shop. 

 

As far as honeymoon vacations go, I would go to the Amalfi coast and/or Sardinia. In fact, that is what we plan on doing next summer – for our honeymoon – go in and around  ionian sea. 

 

As for the oogling, rip offs, pick pocketers – it’s a different culture, and everyone everywhere FOREIGN to you tries to rip you off, and as a general rule of thumb you should always watch your back. 

 

Post # 20
Member
4494 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@Mimoza:  +1. Sardinia, yes!

Post # 21
Member
1112 posts
Bumble bee

$5k for 2 people seems a little restricted, but you could make it work if you’re smart about eating, sleeping, and activities. DO shop in local grocery stores instead of dining out all the time. It’s fun and cheap.

DO get lost in cities. Italy is so fun when you just…go. Let yourself be immersed in culture.

Another tip…be VERY cautious of where your passport and money are at all times. Even a cross-body bag can be easy for a good pickpocket to get into. Use an around the neck pouch that you put UNDER your shirt. This is the safest option for your money/passport.

Post # 22
Member
3371 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Florence is one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s amazing for food, art, architecture, history, and for soaking up the Italian culture. You don’t have to be an art history nut to enjoy and appreciate it. Great shopping too, especially if you love leathergoods.

Verona is also really pretty, and quite perfect for a honeymoon. I was there on business unfortunately, but I really enjoyed wandering the narrow cobblestoned streets and exploring all the cute boutiques. We did a hike up to the hill as well, it’s a beautiful view. Try to catch an opera while you’re there as well. Juliet’s balcony is fairly overrated, even for a Shakespeare buff like me.

I was one of those take-it-or-leave-it people when it comes to Venice. In all honesty (and I was a teenager when I visited) I found it overwhelmingly touristy and a bit like an Italian Disneyland. The square is maddeningly busy, so much so I have no recollection of its beauty. Vendors there – from hotels to gondoliers to shopowners – are some of the most ruthless in Italy! Quite a few tried to take advantage of us and that left a bad memory of the city.  

Post # 24
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We’re doing 2 weeks and 3 countries for $6K coming up in April (and not slumming it either!) so I think $5K would easiy be doable. :p Research, research, research!

We’re hitting up Florence for 2 nights and Rome for 4 and my only suggestion at this point considering I haven’t gone yet is to check out sites like AirBNB to dramatically cut lodging costs. We’re staying in a beautiful apartment in Rome for 4 nights for about $500 total while hotels in the same area are going for over $200 per night. And we’ll have access to a washer/dryer, our own kitchen, and the whole place to ourselves. CANNOT WAIT.

Post # 25
Member
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Oh yeah avoid Naples.. maybe other bees had a good experience but Naples was the only place in Italy where I didn’t really feel safe. We stayed there one night and that was plenty.

Post # 26
Member
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have been to Italy a couple of times and my advice would be NOT to go to Naples. The whole place didn’t live up to our expectations: it was dirty, food wasn’t all that great and there was really not that much to do besides going to Pompeii (which was amazing by the way). I would recommend going to Sorrento or Capri or Amalfi coast, which was breathtaking. Also, if the sole reason of going to Naples is to visit Pompeii ( which I know is the case for a lot of people), I would just suggest a bus tour from Rome. Rome, Venice, Florence and Tuscany is a must for me, so I would definitely recommend that! 

Post # 27
Member
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@sanjessica:  Well, you were fortunate enough to stay for only one night. We stayed 3! The moment we got there our hotel manager told us not to wear jewelry, watches, purses or cameras and hide cash in shoes because apparently there are many instances when robbers on scooters grab purses or whatever other stuff and just drive away. In fact, the weekend we got to Naples, some tourist from America died from head trauma due to falling when someone tried to snatch his Rolex off his wrist…. Pretty sad

Post # 28
Member
2152 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I went to Italy for 2 weeks in July of 2006. TBH-I was thoroughly disgusted with their treatment of Americans. We were flat out told “You F-ing American” a bunch of times. This might have been because I was traveling with a college tour, but my group was 6 young, cute and sweet 21 year olds…and we were all treated like shit almost everywhere. We went to 7 different cities: Palermo, Taormina, Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice, & Pompeii, I think. Venice & Taormina were my absolute favorites and had the most friendly people out of our whole trip.

I want to make it very, very clear that you must be on high alert at all times for pick-pocketers and people trying to swindle you. I really felt like I needed a vacation after my trip and I’d never had to be on the defensive so much. Rome made NYC seem clean and safe… I know many people who’ve been there and had excellent experiences, but I feel like I’d do anyone a disservice if I didn’t share my own because I really don’t know if I’d ever go back..and my whole family is from Palermo.

Anywho-should you go to Naples, do yourself the biggest favor ever and see if you can take a hydrofoil or ferry to Capri, and then ask about going to the Blue Grotto. Even though I had a rough experience, the Blue Grotto is the single most awe-inspiring, magical places I’ve ever seen. You simply cannot be in the vicinity and miss out on this…It’s a hole in the side of a mountain and you hope from a boat to a little canoe, lay down as you go through the entrance, and then the cave is limestone on the bottom so the water reflects electric blue, and the paddlers sing in Italian. You can also jump in and swim…Breath taking:

If you go to Naples, I recommend the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. Many hotels we stayed at were listed as 3-4 stars but their rating system is SOOOO different than in the US…I felt like the standards were much lower and was very skeezed out by lots of places we stayed. Overall, be careful and aware of everywhere you are. Best to wear or bring a crossbody style bag, and don’t fall for any kids trying to sell you roses….sounds weird but that was a huge scam everywhere we went. 

Post # 29
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I went on my honeymoon to Italy last July. What an amazing trip. I have three big pieces of advice, if you want to do a lot with a tiny budget.

The first is GET SOME REWARDS CREDIT CARDS. Seriously. My husband and I each got an AAdvantage Citi card and I got a Thankyou card. Both had crazy deals where if you spent $x in the first few months you have the card, you get 30,000 – 50,000 bonus miles/points. While these points were NOT enough for us to purchase our flights (I didn’t start far enough in advance, sigh), they WERE enough for me to purchase all of our tours and activities. I saved around $1500 doing this.

My second huge piece of advice, if you are planning on traveling around the country, is buy your train tickets in advance online. The fares will be extremely discounted. Just don’t miss your train, because the fares are non-negotiable.

The third piece of advice is not for everyone. For my husband and me, our primary goal in our honeymoon was to see as much and do as much in Italy as possible because (as you noted!) the flights are insane. Even though it was our honeymoon, we did NOT spring for expensive hotel accomodations. In fact, we stayed exclusively in hostels and B&Bs. I can’t recommend this route enough. We had a private room in every place we stayed (some were extremely private with their own bathroom and stunning views) and we got to meet some lovely people. Like I said, this advice is not for everyone… but, we spent our final night in Italy in a “honeymoon suite” in Sicily with a jacuzzi tub and everything and it was 90 euro, instead of the 500 euro a similar room would have cost in Rome.

I don’t know what the final total was for our trip, but $5000 for that span is DEFINITELY doable, depending on your priorities. My personal must see places would be Venice (you can totally see Venice in just one day, btw, that’s what we did!), Florence, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento and Capri).

Feel free to PM me if you want advice, and good luck! Italy is bar none my favorite place, I can’t wait to go back again someday.

 

Post # 30
Member
1936 posts
Buzzing bee

My husband and I are planning an Italy trip too! Not for our honeymoon – we went to mexico, but we intentionally spent little money on our honeymoon so we could do a Europe Trip. We are going in August – which i know will be crazy insane busy and hot, but it’s hte only time we can go.

We are renting an apartment in Rome for 9 nights. This is seriously the cheapest option. Even cheaper than hostels. For hostels the price is per person, so you end up spending minimum 50 euro a night! We are getting an entire apartment, with our own kitchen so we can prepare some of our own meals for 50 euro a night. For 9 nights is comes up to $611 canadian.

Our plan is to use Rome as our base and do day trips out – we want to do a  tuscany tour, go to florence, spend a day at the beach (sperlogna is an hour outside of Rome and apparenty a gorgeous and clean beach), and go a day to pompeii/herculaneum.

Post # 31
Member
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@SnoopDog:  Yikes! Yeah we didn’t venture far that evening.. it really did scare me a bit!

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