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Planning a Honeymoon in Italy!

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Hi there,

My fiancé and I are planning to head to Italy for our honeymoon this coming June. We're looking to spend about 18 days there, and we'd like to cover 3-4 main cities during our stay. We vacation very differently - I prefer to relax, drink and soak in the sun while he likes adventure & learning (i.e. tours and historical landmarks). That being said, we are both huge foodies - we love to eat! - and we really like immersing ourselves in culture...striking up conversations in local pubs, trying new things, learning the language and customs. So, our ideal vacation incorporates both of our vacation "styles", with an emphasis on what we both love.

We'll likely be flying into Venice and out 18-19 days later through Rome. With the little research we've done to date we think we'd like to hit Venice, Tuscany, Positano (or somewhere on the Amalfi coast for some beach time) and Rome. We're looking to stick to a $10K-$15K budget. (I'd love any feedback on our budget, since we have no idea if we've allocated enough or if we're underestimating costs.)

My biggest question is ... for a trip this long, and one that will likely be full of excursions, tours and tastings ... should we be using a travel agent? I've seen strong arguments for both sides, and while we'd obviously like to save the extra money that would go to a TA, there will be a lot of moving pieces to our itinerary. How feasible is it for us to do it ourselves?

Secondly, what are some little known gems in these areas that we should be sure to hit? Any favorite restaurants, little towns or festivals we should be aware of?

Thirdly, if we do decide to do this on our own, what's the best way for us get from place to place? Should we rent a car / hire a driver? Is there a nicer public transportation option?

And finally, one stop we know we'd like to hit is a small town called Raimondo, which is a part of Teramo, Abruzzo. Raimondo is my fiancé's last name, and so we'd really like to try and get here. Has anyone ever been? Can anyone share any insights into what we can expect there?

Thanks to you all!

CSR

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