(Closed) Italy Honeymoon, Never been and need advice!

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
  • poll: Would you go to Italy with the tour group or independently?

    Independent trip


  • Post # 3
    12 posts
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @Miss_AshNicole:  I would do an independent tour.  It will take a bit of planning but it’s well worth it.  You have the ability to pick all your own restaurants and stay where you want to.  Trains are SO cheap in italy, you could easily visit anywhere you wanted.

    Post # 4
    2959 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

    I am also Ashley Nicole, and went to Italy on my honeymoon a few weeks ago hehe. Small world. 

    Anyway, I would plan your trip independent of a tour. I saw a lot of tour groups, and I just kept thinking how much I would hate to be on their schedule. 

    We went to Rome, Venice and Florence. I would say you need no more than 2 days in Venice. Florence we had 3 and that was fine for us, but more in Rome! We only had 3 days and we were so rushed and tired.

    My inlaws have told me that the Amalfi coast is absolutely their favorite part of Italy, I wish we could have gone there. 

    Hotel rec: The Spagna Suites in Rome. AMAZING service and cool vibe. Right by the Spanish steps, so good location. 3 stars and just perfect. 


    Post # 5
    10355 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I hate tours because you lose spontonaity and don’t truly experience the culture. SKIP the crazy expensive hotels! Get a fabulous Air BnB or similar apartment in each city, and truly get out there are explore independently. With sites like Trip Advisor, it’s easier than ever to do it all yourself! Sometimes, an a la carte tour of a specific monument, or say a boat tour of a river, etc is a nice add on, but I think completely guided tours are a poor option in general.

    Post # 8
    925 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I went to Italy for a month with my late mother. She and I planned excessively from the good ol’ USA, but still had daily opportunities to change our minds/be spontaneous/pick our own itinerary, all that. It was a life-changing trip. (It actually inspired me to study abroad which led to some other life-changing things later on!)

    But I digress…

    I would definitely recommend doing a solo trip, just you and the man. When I would suggest a tour is at the Coliseum. It is so delapidated, it’s hard to appreciate the history. Mom and I “hired” a tour guide and he really brought it to life. 

    Post # 9
    346 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

     Okay so I voted for independent trip but I think this depends on you. Italy is totally doable on your own but some people prefer a guided trip. Fiance and I like to explore more on our own.  I would definitely say that Tuscany (Florence and maybe some Chianti) and Rome are must for any trip so it’s good to see those in both options. 

    1) Would you go on a tour or do the trip independent of a tour? Independent

    2) For those that have been to Italy is $5000-$6000(+ $1800 in flights) for two people with 4 star hotels, meals and tours reasonable or is that high priced? I think it’s reasonable. Fiance and I did Florence, Siena and Rome for 12 days when we were both students. I think our costs with food, souvenirs, flights, hotel was about that. We pricelined all our hotels and ate reasonably priced meals for most of the time. But everything was delicious there! You can get amazing meals for not too much money. Wealso did most of the major sights in Rome, museums and wine tasting in Tuscany. It’s really a beautiful trip to go on! Super romantic and historic. We were in Rome for 4 days and it didn’t feel like enough. For me, it’s hard to see such cities in a short period of time. Again, this will depend on what you like, if you want several stops then guided might be good so you can make sure to hit the highlights. 

    3) If you’ve been to Italy and would go on the tour, which one of the above would you recommend? Of the two you have, I like the second itinerary. 

    4) Do you have any other travel or tour companies you recommend I look at instead? Not sure, we don’t usuall book tour company vacation. 

    Post # 10
    2959 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

    This is terrible, but honestly I don’t know how much it was. DH planned the entire thing and most of it was quickly payed back to us in wedding money. I have an idea of how much things cost individually let me think : 

    Venice hotel was around 500$ for 2 nights. Very old hotel, but good location. We got a personal water taxi from the airport, that was 100$ but really cool and much faster than the water bus.

    Florence hotel was about 600$ for two nights. If I learned one thing in lookin at hotels in these areas iits that they are not cheap. 

    Rome hotel was about 580$ I believe, 2 nights. 

    We flew to London first and then took budget airlines to Italy, but going straight from CA will be totally different on that front. 

    We spent about 3000 Euros while we were there on food, tours, train, souvenirs, etc.

    Another tip: For visiting places like the Vatican or the museum where David is you should pre-purchase your ticket and buy front of the line tickets. Its an extra 5 euros about, but SO WORTH IT.

    Post # 11
    2959 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

    View original reply
    @jwdesiree:  I agree that an actual guided tour for the Colloseum is worth it. We had only audio guide and it was a bit confusing.

    Post # 12
    133 posts
    Blushing bee

    Granted I lived in Italy more than two decades ago, but if my folks could tote two kids under ten across Europe without knowing the language before the days of smartphones, you can do your own exploring.  I highly recommend more time in Venice.  Florence left a bad taste in my mouth cuz of crime and weird rules about towing cars on Thursdays.  Rome is worth it.  I also recommend Milan.  Don’t be afraid to have an adventure.  The things that go wrong make the best stories and memories!  

    Post # 13
    850 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Miss_AshNicole:  We visited Italy independently and stayed in an apartment in Florence for 5 nights and a small rooming house in Vernazza in Cinque Terre for 2 nights with 1 night in Milan for our flight home. We wanted to focus on Florence specifically and plan to return to Italy a few more times to see Rome and Sicily. Even though we had all that time in Florence, I feel like we still didn’t get to see it all! We chose Vernazza because we wanted to hike on the coast and experience a tiny town. We’re not usually the type to enjoy organized tours and prefer “live like a local” experience which is why we chose to go independently. We like renting an apartment over a hotel in most places we visit, so we have access to laundry and could cook our own breakfast/lunches (saves money!). In Florence an apartment was much actually much cheaper than a hotel at $120/night. Our apt in Florence was really luxurious with a balcony, 2 bathrooms, full-kitchen, laundry and in a great location at the Piazza Della Liberta, a beautiful 15 minute walk to the Duomo.

    I thought Florence was actually very easy to get around (it’s really not very big!) and on a few days we traveled to other parts of Tuscany for the day. The city is extremely walkable and it was easy to ride the train to Florence from Cinque Terre and then onto Milan at the end of our trip. We rode the bus to see other parts of Tuscany (Pisa, Chianti). We used Rick Steves’ guidebooks to go on our own walking tours. We found his guidebooks not only have the major sites, but also include some very cool, off-the-beaten path tips for dining and sightseeing. Maybe buy a guidebook or two and see if it sounds worth it to go with a tour group?

    That said, it took us several months to research and plan and I think if you want to relax and have it mostly planned for you while seeing a bunch of different places, covering a lot of ground, a tour company is DEFINITELY the way to go. I think the price you listed is pretty reasonable for what you’d be getting!

    Post # 16
    2959 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

    I think you will have enough time to spend in Rome even if you go to London first (you have 14 days right?). I am biased, because London is my favorite place in the world, but we had 10 days in Italy. If you do 2 nights in Venice, 2 in Florence, and 4 or 5 in Rome you can totally fill the rest with London. 

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