Post # 1
Hi Bees! So I had a tough couple of days last week with wedding stuff, but as always, my Fiance saved the day and we are back on track. And, he just gave me the best gift I have ever received (other than his love, of course!). He booked our honeymoon…TO ITALY!!!!!! We’ll be staying in the hillside town of Assisi, Umbria, but making day trips to Florence and Rome as we are two hours in each direction. Plus, and this is where my heart flutters and I tear up, we’ll end our trip with two nights in Venice! I just cannot believe this is happening to me, as this is a dream I’ve had since girlhood and now to spend a romantic 10 days there with my soulmate! 🙂 I cried near hysterically when he told me last night. Anyone visit Italy, either honeymoon or other? We’re both so excited and want to take all these days trips, but I worry about being overbooked…any advice is welcomed and appreciated <3
Post # 3
I spent 2 weeks in Italy this past July/August and it was heaven. We stayed one week in Umbria (Eggi) and then 5 days in Praiano (on the Amalfi Coast), then our last 2 days were spent in Rome.
It is all so beautiful – I am so excited for you. The people in Italy are some of the nicest you will ever find. They love babies, and families, and people in general. And you will never have a bad meal. Even the simplest dishes are to die for.
While in Umbria we did day trips to Assisi and Gubbio. We also did a wine an olive oil tasting in Montefalco. So delicious. In Gubbio there’s this “Funivia”and it’s basically a steel cage that 2 people ride in and it goes up the mountainside. Not fir the faint of heart but totally worth it for the views.
You need to go to the Amalfi Coast at some point – Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, Ravello… Stunning. Absolutely stunning. But tons of stairs because everything’s built into the mountainsude. From Praiano I did a day trip to Pompei. Pretty cool, but it was realllly hot that day so only stayed for a couple of hours…
Rome – what can I say? Every corner you turn there is some amazing statue or monument or Gelatto store :). If you end up making it to Rome, my biggest piece of advice would be to go to the Vatican at 6:30/7am, and the air will still be cool and there will be no one in line. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
Anyway, that’s it for now – feel free to ask me any questions if you’d like. It was my first tine in Italy and now I’m obsessed. It’ll stick with you forever.
Post # 4
YAY! How exciting. My Fiance and I spent 3 weeks in Italy last May and loved it.
Rome: The art museums can get old (unless you are really into that). The Vatican is amazing whether or not you are religious. Its breathtaking. I agree that you should get there super early. The best times we had in Italy were just walking around and getting a cheap bottle of wine and drinking it in a square.
Florence: is also amazing. Make sure to walk around the cool shops on the bridges. (totally forget what they are called). I would take a day trip to chianti, if possible, if y’all like wine.
Cinque Terre was also amazing and is a day trip from Florence.
Post # 5
Oh wow, that sounds AMAZING! The wine and olive tasting in Moltefacto sounds perfect, and just the type of thing we’re into. Not so sure about the ride up the mountain, I get motion sickness very easily, lol.
I also heard about getting to Vatican very early in the moning, not knowing any better, just thought you could just go right in (albeit, having to wait in lines). That’s an excellent idea to get there super early, hmm, maybe we should think about an overnight in Rome? Any thoughts on prices for hotels? A B&B nearby is good enough for us, we are not into this for a luxury vacation, more to feel the history and culture, and to walk around holding hands 🙂
I am already obsessed with all things Italian so I’m pretty sure I’m going to fight to return home and plan on going back each year- good for us, but maybe not for our bank account! Thank you!!!
Post # 6
Thank you!!! This comes as no surprise to me how much everyone who’s visited loves it. We will not be leaving Italy without seeing the Vatican, or seeing David in Florence. I’m more into the museums than my Fiance, but he can’t wait either. Oh, and we LOVE wine! Never thought of going to Chianti, but that sounds really cool! So happy to be centrally located that we can take advantage of the Tuscan countryside, and yet be close to the major cities. Uhh, 20mos will not get here soon enough!!!
Post # 7
Yes, we went to the Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco Winery in Umbria. They were SO kind to us. I was with my huge family – 7 adults and 6 kids – and we were able to just walk right in without an appointment and start tasting. We sat at a long wooden table and they gave us crackers and just started pouring. One of the owners was the person leading the tasting, and he was really entertaining. Plus they had a few toys in the corner to distract the kids while we enjoyed ourselves. And the olive oil is seriously the best I’ve ever tasted. I bought some and brought it home, and I only use it for bread dipping (with some sea salt!) and salad dressings.
I’m not too familiar with hotels in Rome, as my sister booked the suite for us, but our hotel was fab! It was the Art Hotel on Via Margutta – yes, the very same street that Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) lives on in Roman Holiday! That was such a fluke because my sister has never seen the movie and it’s my all time favourite. It was serendipity! 🙂 They had an awesome continental breakfast, which included prosecco if you felt the need for a mimosa 🙂 The hotel was pretty pricey but we splurged (it was about $300 CAD a night), because its location was perfect – right down the street from the Spanish Steps. And it took me 25 mins to walk to the Vatican from there.
Maybe I’ll take a stroll on google to find some B&Bs in decent locations for you…
Post # 8
Congratulations! You are going to have the most wonderful time! I couldn’t really say about being overbooked or not…but as a seasoned wanderer of this Earth here are a few things that the travel agents just won’t tell you about Italy.
Rome is overrun with stray cats, just watch out for it, and don’t expect the locals to care much about them, they’re like furry pigeons to them…and don’t pet them…MANGE!
If your going into any of the churches or anything like that, remember to have your shoulders covered, it’s respectful, carrying a little sweater or shrug is a good idea because you just never know where your going to end up.
Look out for the gangs of little children running around the busier parts of the cities, they’re adept pickpockets and will sneak in and steal anything that isn’t tied to your body.
The food is amazing anywhere you go! Espresso is an anytime drink! Don’t be afraid to hop hotels in Venice, you’ll just never know whose booked and who isn’t! They are all beautiful! Make sure to take a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs…it’s legend that kissing under the bridge while the bells tolls means a couple will be together forever!
Post # 9
Ahh we are going to Italy too! I spent some time in Milan, Rome and Venice after college. Rome is my all time favorite city and place to explore, I’ve been there twice now. You have to go, I would definitely recommend staying a night there. Definitely go to the Vatican as soon as it opens AND make sure you go THROUGH the Sistine chapel to get to St. Peter’s Basilica, we made the mistake of exiting the chapel through the museum (which causes you to be ushered outside eventually) and the wait for the basilica was over 3 hours! We could have just walked right through, whoops. I climbed to the top of the basilica with my family when I was young and it’s totally worth the intense amount of stairs, I wish we could have done it again on my last trip! Check out the Jewish Ghetto while you are in Rome as well, it’s amazing to see the different architecture and the destruction that occurred there.
Venice is unbelievable, spring for a gondola ride on your honeymoon. They are pretty pricey so I didn’t do it when I was with my friends, but we will when we go. It’s cheesy but quintessentially Venetian and romantic! The pigeons in San Marco square are really fun to see, so I hope they are around when you go. Also, if you are wine drinkers, a store called Nave de Oro sells great wine for about 2 euro per liter!! They fill up water bottles (provided by you or you can buy one of theirs) from the wine barrels. The locations are in Castello (Calle Mondo Nuovo 5786) and in Cannaregio (Rio Terra S.S. Apostoli 4657).
For any of the cities, look on Homeaway.com for private rooms, apartments and condos, that’s what we are doing when we go. The prices are better than most hotels and they are usually in non-tourist areas so you get a real taste of the local life. Plus because they are usually managed by private, local owners the managers can really give you good tips on places to go and things to do.
Venice and Rome are packed in the summer, so be very, very mindful of your belongings. I have a friend who even had someone climb into their room through the balcony to steal their stuff in Venice! Also, if someone tries to tell you that you have something on your purse or bag (like you spilled sauce or something) ignore them. They are working with someone to pickpocket your group. I had a friend have this happen to her as well! Just a heads up :0)
Don’t book too many things ahead of time to avoid feeling overbooked, Italy is a very relaxed and go with the flow kind of place. Check out the catacombs if you have time (and you’re not too claustrophobic!) and book any tours that you think may be interesting, but otherwise try to stay open to suggestions when you get there! Locals are the best source for must-see spots.
Post # 10
Ohh! Roman Holiday?!? That is A-MAZING! Audrey Hepburn is one of my idols so that is DEFINITELY something to check out! We are looking for more around $100-120 Euro a night, whereas we will just be there for some sleep to get up early in the morning, but that IS a place we’d have to check out if time allows. Jeesh, I just noticed you are Golightly! So of course you would love Roman Holiday! Thanks for the info on the tour, that’s a definite 🙂
Post # 11
Thank you! SO good to know…never heard about the cat thing, I’m a dog person, so good looking out! lol. I would expect it to be like that in the churches, I’m Catholic myself so sounds like things are not so different 🙂 I will not be leaving Venice without a ride in a gondola, don’t care how much it costs!!! I told my Fiance we could do our whole honeymoon in Venice, but he really wants to be central, and I’m fine with just being there! Ohh, just one more reason that I can’t wait to marry him!!!
Post # 12
Highly recommend doing a private tour of Rome so you will be able to see everything you need to see there. We did it and it was the best money we spent. http://www.easyitalytours.com We also did a food tour in Florence- http://www.florenceforfoodies.com. It’s a “Nude and Food” tour and starts with the statue of David and then all sorts of amazing eateries!
Post # 13
Again, thank you all so much for the awesome advice!!! What a great idea about skipping the museum shop and going through the Chapel- who would have ever thought of that??? We will only be in Rome a day and a half, so all these time savers are crucial. I am a list/planning junkie, so will def incorporate all these tips into our itinerary. We are planning all travelers cheques, because if you get robbed, you can cancel them and get new ones at any bank- anyone have suggestions about getting cheques here first, or there? My head starts spinning when I think of exchange rates, lol.
You know, my biggest fear is over-booking and stressing out…we want the long meals eaten on terraces, cafes for desserts, romantic walks through hillsides, vineyards…so I don’t want to be looking at my watch saying ‘okay we’ve got to go here next because we’ll miss the rail if we don’t’ so trying to keep that in mind when finalizing the plans.
Post # 14
OMG, I going to check out both those sites!!! Starting a tour of Florence with seeing David is literally a dream come true! My Fiance is all about the Sistine Chapel, and I have almost my entire life dreaming of seeing David in person…oh my word, I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it! Bless you Bees, for all your help!!