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Honeymoon in Italy - need help narrowing down destinations

Honeymoon in Italy - need help narrowing down destinations

Feb 3rd, 2011, 02:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 38
Honeymoon in Italy - need help narrowing down destinations

I know there have been many past topics regarding honeymoons in Italy, and I've read through many of them and found them all very helpful. My problem is that I just can't seem to narrow down where I want to go! Some background: my fiance and I are getting married in August 2011, and we would like to go to Italy for our honeymoon. We would be in Italy from August 30th through September 7th. So, my first question is whether this would be a good time to go to Italy? I've read some places to avoid Italy in August.

Second, my fiance is looking for relaxation, beautiful scenery and a beach (for at least part of the trip). I'm looking for a bit of sightseeing and history. So, the ideal trip would involve a bit of both - sightseeing and relaxation. We have 10 days, so I'm hoping to hit 2 or maybe 3 destinations.

The places we're interested in (and I know we obviously can't go to all of them) are - in no particular order - the Amalfi Coast, Sardinia, Sicily, Florence/Tuscany and Rome. Based on what I've described regarding what we're looking for, what combination of these destinations would you all recommend? Any advice is much appreciated!
Whit825 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2011, 03:34 PM
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That is a very busy time for tourism in Italy--the tail end of many locals vacations. I would pick 2 romantic destinations---Lake Como and Venice. You pick the sequence based on flight connections--Venice can be tough for times.
South Italy will be really hot that time of year.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2011, 04:55 PM
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You need to understand that most beaches in europe are not broad pure white sand as you find in many places. They are usually in a town, often are gravel or pebbles versus sand and the water is flat and boring (at least to someone used to the north atlantic).

In the days you have I would 2 no more than 2 places (with possibly a day trip if you want) or you will spend a lot of time trekking from one place to another.

As for heat, the south/Sicily will be hottest - but every place except the lakes. mountains in the north can be expected to be crowded, hot and humid. Be sure you get hotels with AC (many don;t have any in modest price ranges) and american style AC you can control individually if you mind the heat. (European AC is often more a lessening of the heat versus actual cool.)
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 03:12 AM
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I agree with the advice to avoid Italy in August as it
is really the dog days of summer, crowded and hot. I do not go to Italy for the beaches and other then Sicily and Sardinia, IMO they are not comparable to the lovely beaches elsewhere in the world. I think there are much better options for a beach oriented honeymoon.

All of the places on your list will be very crowded in August so personally I would rethink these based on your dates of travel if you are really set on Italy.

I would take a look at the Ligurian coast, basing perhaps in Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure. It's a lovely part of Italy with great scenery and easy access by train and ferry to Portofino for a visit. The only other place I would go in August would be the Dolomites. For me, both of these places are more romantic and special than Venice - especially in August - but I am in the minority on this I know.
kfusto is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 05:01 AM
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In addition to the heat in August and early September, all of Europe is vacationing and many of them in Italy. Is it possible to defer your honeymoon for a few weeks and go to Italy in late September? We normally go the last week in September and the first week in October and the weather is lovely from north to south. Deferring for 3 or 4 weeks will give you more options and a more pleasant stay. With the amount of time your have, I would choose 2 destinations at most. Rome and Tuscany; Rome and the Amalfi Coast; or Florence and Tuscany. You can always find a lovely inn with a swimming pool instead of a beach.
mamcalice is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 06:20 AM
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Thank you for all the comments. The heat doesn't bother me; it's actually a plus. I live in St. Louis, so I'm used to 100+ degree temperatures coupled with high humidity in July & August. When I travel to places where the temperature dips into the 70s during that time of year, I usually find it to be uncomfortably cold.

To clarify: we're not looking for just a "beach vacation." I really don't want to do a beach vacation at all and would prefer Tuscany, but my fiance wants to go somewhere with a beach for at least part of it, so including somewhere with a beach is part of a compromise. We both know beaches in Italy aren't going to be the same as Hawaii. I've been to quite a few Caribbean destinations in the past 10 years with gorgeous white sand beaches and have no interest in that for my honeymoon. I'd rather see something new.

So, with that update, would you still advise against Italy? Thanks again for all the advice.
Whit825 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 07:09 AM
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Tuscany has beaches. Combining nature and culture is always good for a trip, and compromise is certainly a good way to begin a marriage!
As the high season does seem to extend into early September, do you have the option to wait a couple weeks between wedding and honeymoon? This is what I did and I really appreciated being able to get settled, write thank you cards and such, and then set off on the honeymoon.
The most important thing is for you to not try to do too much, pick 2 places and no more! Do not give in to the temptation to do too much because you can always go back. Let the flights you can get dictate, because you can scarcely go wrong anywhere in Italy, as long as you are prepared for crowds.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 07:17 AM
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Another suggestion is to go to a bookstore or library and flip through some of the coffee table type books such as "The 100 most beautiful Italian villages" etc. (there are lots). Then, just flip through until you identify with the region that most appeals to you both.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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Hello Whit, when you say you will be in Italy from August 30th until September 7th do you mean that you will arrive in Italy on August 30th and depart from Italy September 7th? If so you will only have seven full days in Italy as part of the day on the 30th when arriving will be taken up with arriving and on September 7th will be taken up with departing.

But if you are arriving in Italy on August 29th and departing Italy on September 8th you will have nine full days in Italy.

If you two, employment wise, could wait and take your honeymoon say the second week of September there would be two pluses. One is that you would not be exhuasted from your wedding (assuming that at this point you are leaving on your honeymoon immediately after your wedding) and the second reason is most Italians will be back to work.

I too would suggest just two places but as to which places I never seem to be able to suggest many as most people have such different ideas as to what they will enjoy. Doing research, which you sure have time to do is the best idea in my book.

And congratulations on your upcoming marriage. May you two have a long life together full of love, good health and many joys and of course many beautiful trips!
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 08:14 AM
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LoveItaly - Thanks for the nice reply! To clear up confusion regarding dates, I accidentally put the 30th, but actually we are flying out of STL on the 28th and would arrive in Rome at about 8 a.m. on August 29th. And then Sept. 7th would be a travel day as well, so we would have 9 full days total, not counting the 2 days of air travel. I accidentally said 10 days because we were thinking of flying back the 8th at one point. Unfortunately, we can't change the dates to go later in September, though I know that would be ideal. We're both young attorneys with very rigid work schedules and are lucky to even be able to take this much time off!
Whit825 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 08:37 AM
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I would recommend renting a villa in gorgeous Positano on the Amalfi Coast. I've had great experiences with www.summerinitaly.com for villa rentals. We stayed in Villa Jessica last time--eye popping views overlooking the water. You can enjoy the water, beaches, and also enjoy the sights at nearby Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Capri, to name a few. Make no mistake about it, it will be crowded at that time. The good thing about Villa Jessica is that it's near public transportation--don't bother renting a car. The area is as romantic as it gets, and don't even get me started about the food!
judyjayp is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 08:39 AM
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I think you will be fine in Tuscany on those dates and you could stay somewhere with a pool instead of doing the beach. While it may be a bit hot in some of the hill towns, I don't think you will see much crowds unless you stay on the coast. I traveled this area from mid-August to Sept. 7 this past fall as it was the only time my travel companion could go. We found the smaller hill towns throughout Tuscany and Umbria quite deserted. Some towns we were the only tourists. We did not go into Florence this trip, but it is always crowded as is Rome. You will need a car for Tuscany. If you decide Amalfi instead, you can get by without a car.
kybourbon is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 04:09 PM
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The beaches in August are going to be jammed, cheek by jowl, with Europeans, including Italians. Really crammed. if your future husband can give up beaches, and concentrate on lakes or hotels with pools, you will be better off.
charnees is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Look into Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole (on a small island in Tuscany). Beautiful, beautiful resort - so romantic. It doesn't have a beach per se, but there are lounge chairs by the pool overlooking the sea. You'll love the photos on the site. Great food, tennis courts - golf nearby on the island. We went there for tennis and lunch on our trip last year and wished we could have stayed for several days. Their sister hotel is La Posta Vecchia, very near Rome and is amazing. Go for lunch or dinner anyway. Check the website. We also loved Rome, and the Hassler Hotel just at the top of the Spanish Steps is beautiful, luxurious and romantic. Pricey, but worth it. Walking distance to everywhere; we started every morning off with a run in the Borghese Gardens and the Pincio .. so beautiful. Congratulations on your marriage!
laurela is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 06:44 PM
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Since it is the very tail end of August and most of your trip is in September and you are heat tolerant, I think you will be alright. I would recommend limiting your geographic distance though because that is not much time for Italy. I would fly into Rome and do 4 days there, then head south to the Amalfi coast. Try to do 2 nights in Capri; when I was there I thought it would be a perfect honeymoon destination. You could do another 2 nights elsewhere along the coast, like in Positano.

I was in the Amalfi coast in early September when I was there and the weather was perfect.
ncounty is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for all the responses! Right now we're still thinking Rome & Amalfi Coast, but I'm definitely going to look into the other suggestions as well. I really, really appreciate all the input!
Whit825 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 05:52 PM
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I think Rome and the Amalfi Coast would work well for your timeframe and respective interests. I might visit AC first and then Rome, though, on the (very) off chance Rome might be a bit cooler a few days later.

I was only in the AC once briefly when I was young, and I wasn't particularly interested. However, many people love it, and I do think it would make a nice honeymoon spot.

For what it's worth, I hate heat and humidity but I have a good friend and he, like you, loves that kind of weather. So although we both enjoy traveling in Italy, we have never managed to take a trip together. He likes when he goes, and I like when I go.

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!
Leely2 is offline  

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