(Closed) PARIS / ITALY: HONEYMOON – DIY

posted 9 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

My friend and I did Italy on our own! It’s doable….don’t stress. I liked doing it on our own because we got to follow our own schedule.  Didn’t have to worry about meeting up at a certain time or getting on a bus with a bunch of other people. We would visit places as long or as short as we wanted.

While in Italy we went to Venice, Rome and Sienna.  All beautiful! It seems that you have some beautiful places planed. I’ve seen pics of Cinque Terre and it looks amazing.

Good luck!

Post # 5
Member
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We just went to the local book store and got a book on Italy.  It will have all the basics.  Most guide books will give you an itinerary of “must do’s” based on how many days you plan to stay there: one day, two days, three days.  When you go to Rome you pretty much have an idea of what to see, right?

The Colleseum, Trevi fountain, the Vatican, Sistene chapel…etc.  Once we got to the colleseum we found an English guide that gave us a tour.  I had a lot of questions so she was really helpful!  I know most places have tour guides at the location. I know the Vatican did and so did the Vatican museum.  (if you want to see the Sistene chapel, you must enter through the museum.)

Post # 6
Member
554 posts
Busy bee

Two words: Rick Steves! You can do it on your own with his help. Also on his website he has free audio tours for most of Italy. I have done most of it on our own thanks to RS.

Post # 7
Member
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

We’re staying Venice and Paris, on our own, next month. We will take a sidetrip to Florence also. I’ll let you know the scoops but for now, we’ve checked out audio language lessons and travel books, read/watched everything Rick Steves and researched online.

Be careful about choosing Rome tours. YOu want to get a reputable one b/c i heard there are anykind people giving tours. Let’s be in touch if you find any good finds. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
Member
173 posts
Blushing bee

We’re going on a Globus tour called Monograms to all the Italian cities you mentioed. It’s basically traveling on your own, but they arrange the train travel and give a private guided mini tour on the first day in each city.   Have fun!

Post # 9
Member
614 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

WONDERFUL idea. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We went to Paris and Italy for our honeymoon. Both of us had been to france/italy a few times and we went together in 2008 for a 3 week trip. 

 

For our honeymoon, we went for 2 weeks. Our first time we went to way too many cities and wore ourselves out, so we limited our trip to Paris, Angers(small town in France where I studied abroad), Venice, Siena, a tour of the Chianti valley and Florence. Last time we went to Paris, Angers, Sorrento, Rome, Venice, the Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Milan, Lake Como, London and Bath. I do not recommend going to so many places in one trip. 

 

My best advice to you is get a Rick Steves book and pore over it. Pick a few cities to see– I suggest staying at least 2 nights each city. Plan your travel to/from each city along the times of when you check out of your hotel, so you don’t have to carry luggage everywhere. Our first trip together we backpacked. great idea, but we didn’t have a plan for stowing luggage, so we did things like going to Versailles with backpacks. SUCK. This time, we had our wedding clothes w/us because we took photos with our photographer in Venice and Paris, so we had a lot of luggage and planned accordingly.

Plan your trip with the mindset that you will come back someday. Otherwise you’ll try to see everything and you won’t enjoy just BEING there. Give yourself some days where you do hardly anything but rest. Rick steves books are wonderful for choosing inexpensive hotels, finding random restaurants and a book-led tour. We found fabulous tours through the book as well. If you have any questions about any of these cities I would be happy to share more info!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck and HAVE FUN!

 

PS I see you are getting married in January. So did we! Europe in January was exquisite– I enjoyed it SO much more than when we went in July. it’s WONDERFUL!

Post # 10
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Working with a travel agent is nice…we went for three weeks, visiting Venice, Florence, Rome, & Santa Margherita (near Cinque Terre) & it was easy.  No rush, no fuss, seeing only what we wanted to…a TA makes it stress free. 

Good Luck!

Post # 11
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Don’t stress too much, your honeymoon sounds wonderful and will be relatively easy to plan on your own. My favorite guidebooks are called DK Eyewitness Guides and you can get them at any bookstore. They are heavy but they have wonderful illustrations and photos so you know what you are supposed to be looking for. There are also walking tours in the book that are great. I would not book any guided tours myself because typically you can do it on your own. My biggest advice would be to plan to get up early and go to the popular attractions as early in the morning as possible because the tourist lines tend to get VERY long if you wait.

Oh – and one fun free thing to do is to sit outside the cathedrals and play a game of trying to find all the mistakes in the building! They were built before measurements were standard so many of the carved stone pieces didn’t fit when they arrived at the construction site. Often the workers would just cut it down to make it fit, so if you look carefully you will see saints that are cut in half, angels missing their feet, etc. It is quite funny! It’s a fun activity for after lunch when you need to take a break.

Post # 12
Member
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I prefer on your own to a tour group because you have a lot more freedom in how you spend your time. Italy is completely manageable without being part of a tour. I second (third?) the suggestion to check out Rick Steves guidebooks. I also really like Lonely Planet guides. Trip Advisor is helpful for hotel reviews.

We planned our own 2 week honeymoon in Italy, and it was fantastic. We did Cinque Terre, Florence, Tuscan countryside and Venice, and we did a combination of relaxing and sightseeing. I agree with a pp’s suggestion to spend at least a couple nights in each spot you choose. If you end up going to the Cinque Terre, our favorite hotel from our trip was La Torreta in Manarola – delightful! Feel free to pm me if you want a list of our favorite things we did in each city ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re going to have such a wonderful time!

Post # 13
Member
1565 posts
Bumble bee

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed about planning a trip – I love planning and I still get overwhelmed at the beginning. I planned a 10-day trip to Italy with my parents last Spring, and it was very manageable on our own. My parents even stayed by themselves a couple of days and they have no international travel experience. 

I love the Fodor’s guides – they suggest good walks to take, divide each city into neighborhoods so you can plan what to see on the same day, and give you all the useful info like opening hours, fees, whether you need to make a reservation, etc. But you can’t go wrong with any of them – Rick Steves and Lonely Planet are also great. Try the Fodor’s travel forums for specific questions you have while planning – they were really helpful for me. 

My biggest piece of advice is: DONT DO TOO MANY CITIES! I can’t stress this enough. You don’t want to be running around and not have time to relax. We did Rome and Florence over 10 days with a couple of day trips and it was perfect. 

 

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