(Closed) Italian Honeymoon Tips, Please!

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
Member
802 posts
Busy bee

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annb9:  I prob won’t be much help bc I’ve never Been but my SO has and we are planning on going someday. I’ve always wanted to go go Italy <3 my SO fam is from Italy. I love that

Post # 3
Member
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

This is almost exactly what we’re hoping to do, but in mid-April next year. Looking at similar length of time, but Florence instead of Venice (my best friend has been to both and thought I’d like Florence more πŸ™‚ ) Definitely interested to hear tips from others!

Post # 4
Member
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

On our 16 night honeymoon, we went to Venice –> Florence (wasn’t on the original itinerary, but when I mentioned it was on the way my friend told me we HAD to go there.  We were not disappointed!  Would totally recommend it) –> Cinque Terre (so beautiful; beaches, hiking, shopping, dining.  AMAZING) –> Paris.

We had great luck with AirBNB in Italy (and Paris) on our honeymoon. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a good recommendation for Venice (our only overlapping city, unless a stay in Florence is part of your time in Tuscany) because it was the ONE place we stayed that I really hated.

Venice is cool to see once, but I liken it to an M. Night Shyamalan movie:  if you’ve seen it once, that’s enough.  I wouldn’t stay in Venice more than 2-3 nights.

Post # 5
Member
7949 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

we honeymooned for 2 weeks in italy.  it was amazing.  we flew into venice.  spent 2 nights there, train to florence, 3 nights there, train to rome, 3 nights there, train to naples, 2 nights there.

from florence, we took a bus trip one day that we booked when the day before.  it was a full day to San Gimignano, Sienna, Monteriggioni, and Chianti for a food and wine tasting. 

We only slept in Naples.  We took 2 day trip.  1 day ferry to Capril, next day a full day bus tour, half day to Pompeii and half day driving the Amalfi Coast including stopping a a couple of towns.  This we also booked the day before, when we arrived in Naples.

In Rome, we went to Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.  Basilica we basically walked into since we got there so early.  The Vatican, we didn’t purchase advance tickets and got in a very long line.   The people trying to sell us junk and move to the head of line tickets kept telling us it was a 3 hour wait.  No one bought tickets, so neither did we.  Line ended up being 45 minutes. 

Collseum same thing, we got there before it opened and were about 20th in line.  Most of my pics don’t have people in the background.  So people joke that we had it to ourselves that day.

If I can find the email I sent to a friend, I have some restaurant suggestions.

Post # 6
Member
7949 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

Ok, the email wasn’t hard to find.  I love talking Italy so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.  Here are some food recomendations:

 

Venice:<br /> http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187870-d1314824-Reviews-Arte_Della_Pizza-Venice_Veneto.html<br /> hard to find but very good, owner doesn’t speak English

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187870-d1056096-Reviews-Ristorante_Al_Giardinetto_da_Severino-Venice_Veneto.html (recommended by our hotel when the place we wanted to go was closed on that particular day.  Very good meal.  Chris thinks he ate here also)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187870-d1034686-Reviews-Osteria_Ca_D_Oro_La_Vedova-Venice_Veneto.html<br /> (giada from the food network recommended, everything we had was delicious)

<br /> Florence:<br /> http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187895-d1008597-Reviews-Trattoria_4_Leoni-Florence_Tuscany.html<br /> get the pear ravioli, make a reservation (our favorite meal)  jason’s 4 friends have also eaten here

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187895-d1109457-Reviews-Trattoria_dei_13_Gobbi-Florence_Tuscany.html<br /> on the expensive side.  Was told we needed to get the steak Florentine in Florence.  We had gnocchi in lobster sauce which was delicious and I don’t even like seafood.  Jason thought the steak was the 2nd or 3rd best he ever had, I wasn’t as impressed.  I would still rank this in top 5 restaurants on our trip

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187895-d1155597-Reviews-Gusta_Pizza-Florence_Tuscany.html 

update since i’ve sent this email: guy fieri of diners, driveins, and dives went here in an episode we saw recently

<br /> http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187895-d195018-Reviews-Mercato_Centrale-Florence_Tuscany.html (like reading terminal market in philly)

<br /> Rome:<br /> http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d2085094-Reviews-Angelina_a_Trevi-Rome_Lazio.html (my second favorite meal)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d1016936-Reviews-La_Carbonara-Rome_Lazio.html  get the pasta carbonara

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d1011663-Reviews-Della_Palma-Rome_Lazio.html (best gelato)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d3611100-Reviews-Gelateria_Giolitti-Rome_Lazio.html ( second best gelato)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d2425217-Reviews-Antico_Forno_Marco_Roscioli-Rome_Lazio.html (try the potato pizza, but everything is delicious. We tried 2 different pizzas and 1 panini)<br /> <br /> Naples:<br /> We ate at the Eat Pray Love pizza place in Naples and I wasn’t impressed.  Jason loved it. Naples was where our hotel was, but from here, we took the ferry to Capri for the afternoon and the next day a day trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi coast.  Make sure you see Positano.

Post # 7
Member
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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annb9:  Amalfi Coast DEFINITELY Hotel Posa Posa in Positano. Lake Como Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Venice Hotel Marconi. If you are around Florence, Vis a Vis was gorgeous…can’t remember where we stayed in Tuscany but it was some castle. Watch out for that time of year because it’s around grape harvest time or after it. Whe we went in mid-August, the grapes were gone and Tuscany was nothing but rolling hills of dirt LOL not the best thing to remember about it.

Post # 8
Member
2002 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

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annb9:  Yay! We did our Destination Wedding and honeymoon in Italy. We did a similar trip, but in reverse πŸ™‚ I’m going to write about stuff in the order we did it so I don’t get confused.

Rome- if you want to see the Vatican and the Coliseum,  I would suggest signing up with a tour company that has timed entry, otherwise you could spend all day waiting in line! 

Naples/Amalfi Coast area- We weren’t big fans of Naples itself. It was much dirtier and more graffitti-covered than all the other cities we went to. Graffitti is just part of being in urban Europe, but they kept from tagging historical buildings and art. Not in Naples! It was on statues, etc- so much less respect for their city. We did an awesome winery tour nearby at Vino Sibilla, which I recommend. The guide, Vicenzo (who speaks english very well), is on the DOC/DOCG committee in the area, so he knows a lot about wine, and his mom cooked us some nibbles to have while we sampled wine. We didn’t go east to the true Amalfi coast area.

Tuscany/Florence- We were driving to Florence from Naples, so we stopped in Siena for lunch. It’s a really cute historical little town, and I can recommend the restaurant we had lunch at if you like. We also stopped at one of the hill towns along our route to get out and stretch our legs. Florence was lovely, but the most touristy of the cities we went to. Unless you are on the outskirts of town, all the restaurants, etc in town (within the walled area) are catered to tourists and have questionable food. However, we liked our hotel, as it was close to the duomo. If you want to see the Statue of David, make an appointment. We decided against it and found a nice replica in one of the town squares πŸ˜€ Good enough for me!

Bologna- we stayed in Bologna on the way to Venice. We took a cooking class here, which was “just okay”, but we liked Bologna in general for being laid back and having great food. It was my favorite city on the trip after Milan. The market (produce, meats, pasta) in Bologna is awesome! It was hard to not buy everything! If you stay in bologna, I might reccommend some place with a little kitchenette so you can buy and sample some foods that might not survive a plane ride home.

Venice- On the drive to Venice, we stopped in Padua (Padova) for lunch. Apparently if you buy a bottle of wine, it’s common to also receive little sandwhiches, olives, chips, etc. So, for the price of the wine, we got a good lunch, too! I believe this is common in Northern Italy (perhaps over the whole country, but no confirmation on that). Anyway, on to Venice. It’s very hard to find a hotle in Venice, because there are tons of them and they are all so small (10 rooms or less), so digging through online reviews can be a toss-up. This is one city I would reccommend paying a bit more than you would otherwise for your room, because you’ll get what you pay for. Warning- Venice stinks. It has that fishy, seaside smell, especially in July and August, so be prepared. We did a cool kayak tour in Venice, which I reccommend, but only if you are fit (we did the half day tour, the shortest, and we were so wiped out). Make time to get lost in Venice, because you will. Maps are useless. It took us about 2 hours to get from the bus station to our hotel (was only supposed to be about 25 minutes) because my maps app on my phone showed we could pass through areas which were actually full canals- LOL! So taking a water taxi is a good idea.

Milan- We ddn’t do Como (didn’t have time!), but I loved Milan. It’s small enough that you can walk just about anywhere, which is nice, because who wants to spend their vacation looking at the walls in the Metro? Obviously the duomo is to die for, but be sure to visit the castle, too. 

 

We did all that in 1 week (well, rome was the week before), so I think with 15 days, you have plenty of time. Just be aware that it will be very hot during your trip, and it’s the height of the tourist season, so it’ll be packed. If I were you, I would try to stay outside the cities and make day trips in. 

Italy has a great rail system, so you don’t need to rent a car, but if you do, BE CAREFUL. We ended up getting 2 speeding tickets and 3 restricted zone tickets. They mail them to you after the fatc, and have a year to do so, so we may not be done, yet. Don’t go the same speed as everyone else, they’re all speeding, too. You don’t get pulled over, you just get your photo snapped. Watch out for those restricted zones- don’t just blindly follow the GPS.

I think that’s all I have for now, I’ll come back later or PM you with hotel reccommendations, etc.

Post # 9
Member
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We had a great experience on our recent vacation using Air BNB – cheaper than a hotel and allowed us to stay in the more local areas away from the touristy spots. We started in Napoli (4 nights), then went to Tuscany (2 nights in Greve in Chianti), 2 nights in Firenze and 3 nights in Rome. Naples is a great place to stay to be well located for the Amalfi coast and Pompeii (highly recommended!) – we felt totally safe there. In Tuscany, we enjoyed the Barone Ricasoli estate (32 generation family) tour and wine tasting; don’t miss visiting Montepulciano and Siena while in Tuscany. Firenze is packed with tourists and museums so there is a ton of stuff to see. In Rome, the Vatican museum is totally worth it – buy tickets ahead of time to skip the lines. Do not miss the restaurant: NOI Nuova Osteria Italiana – best meal and service we’ve ever had; yes it’s totally tucked away and 1000% worth it. The trains run on time when they are not on strike…you should buy your tickets ahead of time as the machines only accept credit cards with chip and pin, so you will have to stand in line otherwise. We found the Rick Steves guidebook to be a great resource!

Post # 10
Member
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Rossino Castle

Italian here.I wouldn’t try to visit too many places.Rome in 2 days is not realistic,unless you want to see only an handful of places,and that would be a shame…Rome is beautiful and full of things to see.Venice can be easily done in 2 days,1 night.Tuscany,well,what do you mean Tuscany?Tuscany is FULL of amazing places,from the famous towns to the smallest,most unknown villages,and most deserve a good visit.I was born in Tuscany,and my honest advice is pick a town and give it a couple of days. (Florence needs about 3 days,Lucca can be done in a full day and Pisa takes about half a day;Colonnata  is a bit out and a very small village,but the food is unreal.)Amalfi is a pretty place,very relaxing.Cinque Terre is beautiful too.

Lake Como…well…I have to be honest,I lived there 10 years and I’ve always found it to be overrated.Como is a pretty town,but at most it takes a day to visit.The towns around the lake are cute,but if you see one,you’ve seen them all,imho.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Comealongpond. Reason: I hate typing on the phone
Post # 11
Member
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

I can only really help you with the Amalfi Coast…but you should stay in Positano for at least a night! It was amazing and my Fiance and I loved it. There are a ton of local restaurants and we found it a lot less touristy than the other places we went. If you’re into hiking they have a ton of places that are absolutely beautiful to hike!

 

that is a picture of the house we stayed at that we took on a hike Behind the house. It was so romantic/amazing!

Post # 12
Member
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I second Florence while you’re in Tuscany – I would not want to miss it! Had good experiences with the tour operator florencetown, particularly the cooking class with central market tour. I travel extensively internationally and that was a highlight when I was in that area. They also have Vespa tours in places like San Gimignano – so many beautiful, cloistered medieval towns to explore in Tuscany, it’s hard to choose one. Finding a central base camp from which you can explore several is good, with a rental car. 1 day in Rome is really little if your husband hasn’t been. If art/history sightseeing is important, there is sooooo much ground to cover as you know, and it’s a shame to miss. But at that time of year of course you have to factor in ALOT of time for lines/crowds at places like Vatican City. If you do a Vatican tour of any kind, you go straight into Saint Peter’s without having to wait in the square for hours on end. The Borghese in Rome is wonderful also and many people don’t have time for it – a calm, less crowded experience with inportant Bernini and other works, tickets done in reservation waves so you can enjoy the art without being plowed down by aggressive summer tourists. Piazza Navona is my favorite spot in Rome. The Trevi may still be under renovation when you are there (?). Rick Steves’ guides are super touristy and not my top pick but his Italian phrase book is perfect and worth picking up. Because of the time of year you are going, you should definitely plan extra carefully and reserve your tours, tickets and everything in advance. You’ll have an amazing luna di miele, guaranteed. Enjoy!!!!!

Post # 13
Member
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Winery

I’d highly recommend Rome in Limo if you’re looking to take private tours. I used them for Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Florence and they were fabulous. They take you around in air-conditioned Mercedes vehicles, which is really helpful if you’re visiting in August (like I did!)

Post # 14
Member
2002 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

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DomesticDiva:  I agree. We were in Venice for 2 nights, and that was about enough. It’s pretty, and it’s interesting from an engineering standpoint, but there’s really not much to do besides walk, shop, and eat. I don’t know about your DH, but mine was starting to get a little bored of just “hanging out” and wanted some activities after the first few days.

Post # 15
Member
237 posts
Helper bee

While it wasn’t a honeymoon, I visited Rome, Florence, Siena, and Venice. Siena was easily my favorite place. Tuscany is just so gorgeous, romantic, and relaxing. A winery tour is a must IMO and it was so much more interactive than US wineries. We booked ours through the hotel- super easy. 

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