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Going on our dream honeymoon to Italy in Mid-August.

Going on our dream honeymoon to Italy in Mid-August.

Jun 5th, 2009, 07:48 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Going on our dream honeymoon to Italy in Mid-August.

We are planning to spend 9 nights in Italy but don't know where to begin..... We love good food, wine, and shopping. However, we would still like to get a little roman culture and sightseeing(a day or two), maybe a day in Venice and the rest in a nice mainly locals spot in Florence or Siena. (eating, drinking wine, and observng the locals.)

Any advice - sites to help us plan - or other pertinent information. We have never been out of the U.S. and feel a little worried that this will not be as romantic and relaxing as we hope.

Thank you for your insight.....
dreamhoneymoon is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 08:07 PM
  #2  
 
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Um - you are a little late to start planning in my humble opinion. If you fly into venice and spend three nights there, take the train to florence, spend three nights there and then drive down to Montalcino or Sienna for two nights before flying back from either florence or vienna, your time is consumed. First, get your flights set up and then decide on the places you want to vist, then book the hotels and look into trains between the locations if possible (tuscany is not very accessible via train). Set a budget on hotels for sure - if that is not an issue, book the danieli in venice, hotel lunarngo in florence and a nice 4Star in siena. buy either the rick steves or fodors books on venice and florence/tuscany to get started. one bit of advice - don't try to cram too much into this trip - you'll be tired from the wedding and transatlantic flight - three locations may be too much. maybe just venice/verona or florence/tuscany this time.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 08:18 PM
  #3  
 
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Mid August is not the time for relaxing and romantic in Italy. I would suggest 5 or so nights on the Amalfi Coast (most relaxing at that time of year) and the rest of the time in Rome.

I would not suggest Rick Steves as a guide book for planning a relaxing and romantic stay in Italy. Fodors is fine. Go to the library today and get some guide books for your chosen destinations. Read, plan, come back and ask more specific questions.

I guess Venice and Verona would be good, too, but you will have to plan to see Venice and avoid the crushing crowds. Also, if it is an opera week in Verona, rooms are probably close to booked up.

What's your budget? August '09? or '10?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 08:21 PM
  #4  
 
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I forgot to add: Florence and Siena are NOT mainly locals places in mid August. Florence will be swarming with tourist hordes. Siena can be a little better in terms of "mainly locals" but these towns are heavily, heavily visited.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 08:21 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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August 15 is Ferragosto, the Assumption of Mary, and a big holiday everywhere in Italy. The last two weeks in August, Italians take their vacations, and abandon the cities for the seaside or the mountains. A lot of restaurants and regular businesses will be closed for the whole two weeks.

It will be hot, but what you may not realize is that it may also be quite humid.

Given your time limits, just pick two destinations: Rome and the Amalfi Coast or Sorrento, Florence and the Cinque Terre, Rome and Florence, Venice and Florence, or Venice and Rome; Venice and the Dolomites.

You can find out information searching in the "Destinations" sections of both the Frommers and Fodors websites. Tripadvisor is a good source for hotel reviews. Read Bob the Navigator's European trip planning advice:

http://www.slowtrav.com/europe/bob_planning.htm

Unless you plan to stay in the countryside, you do not want to rent a car, as cars are a huge hassle in Italian cities.
lovisa is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 08:43 PM
  #6  
 
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I agree with lovisa. Pick two destinations: I would suggest one city and one countryside: Rome and the Amalfi, Florence and the Cinque Terre, Venice and one of the lakes (Como, Garda, Orto, Maggiore). Personally, I like Florence best in December or January when you can walk into the museum and it is not body to body tourists. Rome is big enough to hold crowds gracefully (and many Romans will have fled the city for cooler parts), Venice is lovely and not crowded (though I've never been there in August) outside the thoroughfare of Piazza San Marco-Rialto bridge. Make hotel reservations now! I'd suggest the Due Torre in Rome, the Accademia in Venice, Il Principe in Florence--these are upscale three star hotels (except the Principe which is four). If you can go for the Daniele, though,, carpe diem.

Buon viaggio! Try to get up early for walks, then shift to airconditioned museums, airconditioned restaurants for lunch, followed by long siestas in airconditioned hotel rooms. We were married in Italy; I can't think of a better place to honeymoon.
cmstraf is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 08:41 AM
  #7  
 
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Boy, that is tough--you have picked a less than optimum time to go. Rome and the AC is a good option if you can take heat.
Call me crazy, but I would consider the Swiss Alps and Lake Como that time of year. We are going back to north Italy in Sep but it will not be a honeymoon exactly. We will celebrating our 50th--I wish you the same.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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THIS COMING AUGUST? Yikes! This is not such a great idea, first because you are SO late in making arrangements and second because it's the worst possible time to visit Italy for a host of reasons.

I would focus on the north, the lakes region, and maybe include some of Switzerland or Austria.

You really need to get going, though. Go to a library or bookstore today and nail down some concrete plans. I'd stay away from Rome and the coast and the south as well as Tuscany.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 11:22 AM
  #9  
 
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I recast my vote with StCirq for Venice and the lakes. Venice is the most romantic of the three cities and the Lakes are spectacular. He/she is probably right to suggest avoiding the coast which will be full of Italians fleeing their cities. Is there any chance that you would consider going only one place and resting. After our wedding (which did involve flying from San Francisco to Genoa) we were exhausted and wishing somewhat that we had planned our honeymoon at a resort (now we are glad we went to Venice).
cmstraf is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 11:28 AM
  #10  
 
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I would really consider. August in Italy is hot as hell - and usually very humid. And MANY places - including a lot of hotels - do not have AC at all - or the european version that reduces the heat slightly but gets the temp nowhere near comfortable IMHO. We usually go to italy in May for decent weather and fewer crowds. Have been to Venice in midSeptember - and it was still WAY too hot. I was there for work and in a 5* hotel - with real AC, the Convention Center, a few upscale restaurants and our private launch. Other then when absolutely necessary went out only after dinner - and it was somewhat cooler.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 11:32 AM
  #11  
 
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No matter what... dont go in August.
Wait a month and go in Sept. It will be well woth the change.
jetsetj is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 08:32 AM
  #12  
 
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We've been to italy twice in August and not had huge problems - yes, it was hot but we had hotels with A/C. Our last trip was in September - venice and a loop through the dolomites, lakes, milan and back. It was a great time to be there. September is harvest time so if you are near any vineyards (and its hard not to be), you'll see some really great things. You could look at Venice, Asolo, Cortina, Verona, etc in September and not have the humidity or crowds. Hotel rooms are also more reasonable - be aware, however, that the venice film festival is in September - rates shoot up like crazy for that time period.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 08:50 AM
  #13  
 
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Assuming that you've already bought your air tickets and can't change the dates, here's what I would do as a first timer (both to Italy and to international travel in general):

Assuming you have already bought tickets and are flying into and out of Rome, I would immediately train to Florence after landing (1.5 hours, and a much easier introduction to Italy than Rome) and spend 5 nights there. You can do a day trip to Venice from Florence if you really want, or take easy day trips into Tuscany as well.

Then train back to Rome for your final 4 nights before heading home.

If you keep it to 2 destinations and factor in that the heat will mean a slower pace, your trip will be wonderful. August is very hot but you will love Italy nonetheless.

Make sure you start booking hotels immediately because many places will be booked. Once you decide where you're going and for how many nights in each place, post on here with your budget and people can give you ideas of where to try.

Good luck!
Amanda
Amanda23 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 04:36 PM
  #14  
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You all are so wonderful! Hot & Humid in August is not a problem it is the same in Cincinnati. I would really like to see Rome for 2 days - I have a great uncle still there it could be the last 2 days. I really want to spend a couple of days in Venice so the other 5 somewhere where we can wine taste - eat good - shop and enjoy the scenery. Flying in and out of Rome. 3 star hotels - maybe 4 if it warrants. Hotels in Rome and Venice maybe a B&B for the other 5 nights.
dreamhoneymoon is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 05:49 PM
  #15  
 
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So you'll have 9 days on the ground with 2 to travel? If you stay in florence for a couple of the nights, I'd look at Hotel Accademia - very convenient to the train station (like a 5 minute walk) and to most sites you'll want to see; make reservations for David and Uffizi gallery well in advance or risk standing in very long lines. Your hotel can do that for you or you can do it online; We somewhat splurged on hotels in Rome and Venice using hotel points during our stays there. For a good overview and selection of hotels, try venere.com, you can plug in your price range and/or star rating and get a list. I know some folks on this board have had issues using them but we've been 100% satisfied - I do, however, print every confirmation out and also email the hotels 2 weeks and 1 week in advance just to make sure. Best wishes on your upcoming wedding and enjoy Italy!
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 06:24 PM
  #16  
 
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Cincinnati has air conditioning everywhere. Italy does not.
StCirq is offline  
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