2nd stage of honeymoon planning

Old Oct 24th, 2002, 11:31 AM
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In TravelPage.com go to "our favorites" for information on Lucerne and Hotel Guetsch.
Old Oct 24th, 2002, 11:42 AM
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From a woman's point of view, I'd rather stay in one place, maybe two. Because honestly, your honeymoon is for, well, you know! Get a good hotel, don't plan too much, maybe one fun thing a day thats flexible. Ideally you two should be having too much fun with each other to want to go out that much! And packing up all your stuff and sitting in the car every other day wouldn't be very fun. Pick one good spot and relaaaaaax!
Old Oct 24th, 2002, 12:16 PM
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I agree with the concept of not doing too much in any one day, but if I just wanted to pick one place and not do much of anything, we probably would have gone to Hawaii or Puerto Rico. We are going to do 3 or 4 places in 14-16 days, and its going to be the Lakes to start, Venice to end and probably Cinque Terre and Tuscany in the middle.

I honestly don't know the prices, but we are not on a shoestring. We have some money and want to spend it when we needed. What sort of trip can I get for around $7,000?

From what I understand, you can't use the stars of a hotel to really give you a good idea of what sort of hotel, so I'll just ask.

Is Lake Como the best option?
Which towns, hotels?

My biggest question is Tuscany. I'm having trouble figuring out where I'd want to be in Tuscany. I'd like to settle in there for 5 days and get into a very Italian area where we can eat relax, drink great wine, etc... Yet somewhere people speak some English, as we don't speak any Italian.

Thanks for the continued help. I never thought this would be as valuable a source of information as it is.

Old Oct 24th, 2002, 12:39 PM
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George, Read my article and get a feel for a 3 star or 4 star experience. We travel at about $200/day for food and lodging--you may want 4 star hotels, and that will add about $50/day. Do not worry about Tuscany yet--I know it well and you will have tons of good options.
Give me price first--$7000 is generous.
Also, the Lakes choice will be key. Como is hard to beat for a first timer, but go to www.orta.net for my favorite off-the-path romantic destination. One step at a time--this is old hat to me.
Old Oct 24th, 2002, 01:07 PM
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I am a first timer and will be at the Lakes the first 3-4 days of June. While I'm looking for a very romantic and relaxing experience, I don't want to too far off the beaten path just so I'm the only American. Sometimes, the most popular places are most popular for a reason. I visited orta.net and it looks great, although it looks pretty similar to Como to my untrained eye.

I think if I'm going to go to the Lakes for my honeymoon, I'd like to go to Lake Como.

I think I'd rather spend money on a better hotel at the Lakes and in Venice. I think we'll want the 'extra star' after the wedding to settle down and settle in.

Old Oct 24th, 2002, 02:07 PM
Diane Mac
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Here are some specific hotel recommendations. Go to their web sites and see what you think.
Bellagio, Lake Como - Villa d'Este
or Belvedere www.belvederebellagio.com
Cinqueterre -Monterrosso The PortoRoca www.portoroca.it
Venice - Pallazzo Sant Angelo www.santangelo.hotelinvenice.com
Good Luck.
Old Oct 24th, 2002, 02:34 PM
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You've gotten tons of great advice, but not much on Tuscany. One piece of advice (I'm surprise you haven't heard it sooner!) is to get a good guide book, preferably from the library. Read up on all the smaller towns/hill towns of Tuscany, to see which feels right to you. Here are some of my favorites:

San Gimignano: It's the picture-perfect town with lots of towers. FULL of tourists during the day, but pretty empty at night, and oh so beautiful. La Cisterna is a great hotel & restaurant. If your hotel doesn't have parking (I don't remember that they do), doing day trips is a little challenging, but not too bad. Great for scenery and sitting at a cafe drinking wine.

Siena - This is actually a city, but not as big as Florence, and definitely walkable. Couple of museums, that kind of stuff, otherwise also good for food and wine. Because it's bigger, also more difficult for getting the car in and out for day trips, unless you stay outside of the city. But since we love walking around the towns/cities in the evening, we always stay in the middle of towns.

Volterra - Known for alabaster, which is in every gift shop. More austere than the first two, but some historic stuff & a great Etruscan museum. We had a memorable meal in a former palazzo. A thunderstorm struck during dinner, killing the electricity, but dinner continued in candlelight.

Then there's the wine areas of Chianti, and all the little towns there. And Montepulciano, also known for wine, Montalcino, Pienza (little jewel of a town), and Monteriggioni just north of Siena. Further afield, there's Cortona (technically in Umbria?), Orvieto, Lucca, and on and on.

Mostly what you'll get in Tuscany is beautiful scenery, great (though not Michelin-rated) food, nice people. All the wine tasting you want in Chianti and Montepulciano (and other places too). Some historic/cultural stuff, but not like in Florence! I find the terrain more varied and interesting than the Loire or Provence (though I like those places too).

There are country inns all over (if you don't want to wander through the towns at night) with restaurants, a pool, sometimes a working vineyard, that you can stay at, if you're looking for that sort of thing.

For the Cinque Terre, though Rick Steves swears by Vernazza, we prefer Monterossa. There's more selection of restaurants, and hotels. The Porta Roca is the only 4-star in the Cinque Terre (or at least in Monterossa). If you don't need 4 stars there, the Villa Steno has a good location and great views of the ocean. The owners are very nice, too.
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 07:25 AM
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George, If you want Como--and why not--then look at these 4 stars on the west shore opposite Bellagio. There are no 4 stars in Bellagio--some great 3 stars and one overpriced 5 star. The Hotel Belvedere is you best shot there. However, look at these 2 in the $200 range: Grand Hotel Tremezzo--Grand Hotel Mennagio. Both have web site. Staying there will also avoid the car ferry to Bellagio--check it out. Also, great Tuscany advice from Lexma above.
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 08:06 AM
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Dear George,

Your plan sounds trip sounds great! Last June we did Italy & Switzerland and it was too much.

Starting in Como (we loved Varenna) is great, next to the CT - we walked by the Porto Roco in Monterossa and it looks great - very romantic and a secluded beach to walk down to - and it puts you right on the difficult trail to Vernazza. Loved Vernazza - great day trip!

Ending in Venice is fabulous - we could've spent a week there.

By staying more than 2 days in one place - the locals will love you - and you'll get more friendly exchanges.

All the best,

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