Post # 16
For a first visit to Italy, especially on a honeymoon, I would give preference to Venice and Florence over Milan (though, as a previous poster suggested, if you’re not super into art/culture/museums, you might want to consider staying out in the Tuscan countryside, or in one of the hill towns like Siena, San Gimignano, or Assisi). Milan’s fun if you’re lucky enough to visit Italy frequently, but if you’re on a first visit and looking for historical charm (which is present in Milan, but just harder to find), then the other two are a better bet.
Vienna is lovely, and although WWII obviously altered the city that was one of the intellectual and aesthetic splendors of Europe it’s still not very hard to get a little taste of the Kaffekultur and things like that. If you visit the city in the period between (roughly) New Year’s and Mardi Gras, that’s Ball season, and even if you don’t attend one of the dances, just watching the build up for some of the major ones is pretty cool. I do generally dig the Austrian/Southern German vibe though–again, I can see how some people wouldn’t find it romantic.
If the Italians were serious about protecting Venice, the first thing they would do is not let those awful cruise ships anywhere near
her. That would be the first of about a zillion things they need to do; the ships aren’t causing the city to sink, but they do create additional environmental and structural challenges (UNESCO agrees: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/unesco-pressures-italy-to-ban-cruise-ships-from-venice-133878
). Seeing the cruise ships near the city sends me into pretty much irrational rage.
Post # 17
For a honeymoon, I would say Florence, Vienna, Zurich, Munich, Amsterdam, Venice, Milan.
Maybe I’m being unfair to Venice. I know it’s supposed to be super romantic, but last time my Fiance and I were there, it poured the entire time and everything smelled really bad as a result, and it was claustrophobic and touristy and generally anything but. I’m not crazy about the “adult Disneyland” vibe. The seafood was amazing, though. Admittedly, Florence is equally touristy, but I’m in love with it anyway….so much art and architecture and history and beauty. Sigh.
Are you thinking about Prague? It’s a beautiful and incredibly romantic city, and it’s in the same vicinity as some of the other cities on your list.
Post # 18
In winter: Venice, Munich, Amsterdam, Vienna
In summer: Munich, Vienna, Florence, Amsterdam. Venice is rubbish in summer, insanely crowded and smelly.
Munich is one of my favourite cities, but I love southern Germany. Florence is gorgeous and you can visit Tuscany or Cinque Terre depending on the season. I love Vienna – if you like horses, opera, art or cake it’s a great place.
Zurich is uniformly dull and very, very expensive. Lucerne was much more interesting & prettier. Milan is fine but doesn’t hold much for tourists.
Post # 19
I’ve visited all of them and they’re all great. I might nudge Venice to the top since it’s rather romantic strolling the streets and hearing the water lap against the buildings and such. Great pedestrian access everywhere if you stay in a hotel there. That would lend itself to a low-key/low logistics honeymoon city.
But you can’t really go wrong with others, either.
What types of activities or sights do you value most?
Post # 20
I went to Italy for my honeymoon. We did Venice, Florence (my favorite), Rome, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Capri.
We decided to do Naples/Capri/Amalfi instead of Milan.
Venice is a little tousity. We were there 2 nights and plenty of time to do everything.
Florence is amazing. We were there 4 nights and I could have stayed a lot longer.
Post # 21
When people say check out “Tuscany” what do they mean exactly? I thought Florence is in Tuscany so what areas would I go for the countryside?
Post # 22
Florence is indeed the regional capital of Tuscany, but for a number of reasons the city underwent a series of renovations that replaced some of its older, medieval, typically Tuscan architectural features with Renaissance (and later) buildings and public squares that adopted classical forms in imitation of the Romans. Then there was a later, smaller wave of renovation when Florence became capital of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century that attempted to bring in architectural elements of cities like Paris–with a resounding lack of success, IMO.
These renovations give Florence a much different feel than most of the other historic cities in Tuscany, like Lucca or Siena. So, when people suggest going into the Tuscan countryside or into Tuscan hill towns, they are suggesting going to places in the region that have a more consistent and typical Tuscan character. If you investigate agriturismos in Tuscany you can find plenty of country villas offering accomodation for visitors (though this may involve some driving, which presents its own challenges). Also, a city like Siena or San Gimignano would also give you a different and–unless you are in Siena during the July or August Palio–probably slightly less crowded/hectic take on the Tuscan region than Florence would. Neither is exactly an undiscovered gem, but both are, in my experience, less insane than Florence during the height of summer tourist season.
Also, as crumpets:
suggested, Venice can be a bit of a trial in the summer, especially if you’ve never been and you feel obligated to struggle against the masses of people to see the basic sites like San Marco. (And I say this even though Venice is my absolute favorite city on this planet.) The crowds and the heat during my visit this summer were appalling, and I was very fortunate that I know the city well enough to avoid the very worst of the crowds and that I didn’t have a super structured schedule and could thus spend a lot of time out at night, because Venice is very different during the night than it is during the day.
But yes, if you do decide to go to Italy, try and go from mid-September to mid-November or perhaps in March or early April if at all possible!
Post # 23
Kind of reviving this one… thanks for all the great opnions! We have confirmed we will go after our wedding in September!
I’ve narrowed it down to Florence, Vienna, Switzerland (Zurich airport) . Venice sounds cool but I”m not sure the Fiance will like it much more than Vegas (plus we are a tad claustrophobic). Munich is off the list as it did not sound too interesting, same with Milan.
Post # 24
LOVE Florence and Venice, Milan was average. We’re doing Tuscany and Munich (we think) for our honeymoon
Post # 25
I agree with Nomster
on Cinque Terre (though I am pretty sure woithout renting a car your not going to be able to get around) But it is gorgeous. It has the best of all worlds: bustling little towns (and mini cities) and breathtaking views to the ocean with quaint seeside villages. Ah.mazing.
Last time I heard theatrejulia
they were making progress. It’s a pretty dire situation (as in really expensive and really slow going. That project looks completely like it could never work, lol) but I don’t think Venice is disappearing soon.(not in our lifetime) Although stay tuned for the news in the next weeks. Usually it floods pretty dramatically around springtime, so keep your eyes peeled…sad/impressive spectacle. 🙁
Post # 26
Are you planning on going to just one place? One of the best trips we’ve done was a big road trip through France and Italy. If you’re driving from Florence to Switzerland, you can go through the Italian Alps and over the Great Saint Bernard Pass (one of the best drives in the world). Just an idea.
Post # 27
wasn’t really planning on driving since it is international and all… will have to look into it now though.
Post # 28
Florence/Venice tie! I really think that Florence is an architectual e lovely city that is easy to get around and has such beautiful things that you can see at every turn the Duomo in Florence is my personal favorite and all of Italy. Venice itself a lot of people feel is very romantic getting lost in the canals and eating is a must however personally I feel that the island near Venice that are very easy to get to with a boat are much more romantic (Burano is so beautiful and quaint Murano great shopping)
Amsterdam fun city! I really enjoyed my stay here however I was single. There’s a lot to see and there are few spots that can be very beautiful The Flower Market is something that would make for beautiful honeymoon photos.
Milano the cathedral is gothic style and gorgeous to see. However if you are like me and thought it would be a good idea to see the Opera in Milan which is one of the most famous opera houses in the world, please. Be warned that an Italian opera last for 6 hours!!!
Munich this is a historical City and super fun during Oktoberfest. There are a number of times that they are very particular we dry and some can be a little bit depressing. They are definitely worth the visit but will not get you in the mood if you know what I mean
Sorry I can’t speak to Zurich or Vienna
Personally, I think Spain is by far the most romantic…
Post # 29
A European honeymoon sounds amazing! I know that you said that Munich was now off the list, but I must just throw one tidbit of advice in there. I am biased and lived in Munich for a year and a half with my husband and it is an amazing city. If there is any interest and it is a bucket list item at all for you or your Fiance, Oktoberfest is held at the end of September for 2 weeks. It is absolutely amazing! I went the two years that I lived in Munich and again this past year (I flew in from the US for the weekend ) to go see friends and experience it again.
Also, I want to let you know that Europe (within the EU) is very drivable and driving through the Alps is one of the best drives ever! You could request a car with navigation in the dash and any rental place will put the navigation into English for you. None of the roads are opposite side of the street driving. All very easy to manage .
Post # 30
dont be too worried. I’m Australian so driving in Europe and the US is on the wrong side of the road for us but it was so worth it. You could even get to Lake Como too which I really want to see. If you do end up driving the Navigon offline Gps app for ipad is great and well worth the expense.