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Honeymoon Rome/Amalfi OR Florence/Cinque Terre???

Honeymoon Rome/Amalfi OR Florence/Cinque Terre???

Oct 26th, 2006, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801

you forgot to post the link!


Here's an article about Ponza from the Guardian:


I wouldn't mind not being among hordes of tourists, but if you prefer more company, than I revert to my suggestion of Lerici/Tellaro/Portovenere. They are not overrun with tourists, but if you start to feel lonely, you can be in Cinque Terre in no time.

As for the Amalfi, you'll find plenty, plenty, plenty of fellow tourists.

nessundorma is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
A few thoughts:

1. A friend's daughter (20 when she visited) hated Rome because it was "dirty." Once I visited, I understood why she said that, but I did not really agree. Here's the deal...There IS graffiti on lots of buildings. If you associate graffiti with slums/ghetto/dirt, then it takes a bit of getting used to. (After a day or so, you don't really notice it.) The other thing is that many of the streets are cobblestones. When people throw cigarette butts or very small trash on the street, it goes between the cobblestones and can't easily be swept up. So it's not as if there are piles of filth in the streets, but there is a bit of a "litter-y" feel because of that.

2. We found Rome to be very un-relaxing solely because of the traffic. I live in a fairly large American city and Roman traffic makes our streets look like a quaint country lane. The traffic isn't gridlocked; it's always moving, very fast. Sometimes traffic will pour out of a tiny little street, hardly wide enough for a car to go through...you can't just cross tiny streets...they, too are filled with traffic. And even the tiniest little streets are prone to fast Vespa traffic. Rome is an exciting city, but I found it by no means relaxing.

3. We all loved Florence. We spent 6 days in Rome, 3 in Florence and 3 in Venice, and Florence is the city that we'd all love to return to.
missypie is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 37
I'd like to cast my vote for Rome/Amalfi. My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Positano and Rome and it was an incredible trip. Although I had been to Italy before I had never been to Rome and was initially against it because of the comments regarding it being similar to NYC. Having lived in NYC and traveled to most of the larger European cities I can say that it was nothing of the sort.

The city side of Rome is more than offset by the incredible history and romance. That being said my wife did need a little time to collect her bearings upon arrival in Rome after the relaxation of Positano, but once acclimated we found the it incredible. I would definitely reccomend it.

We stayed at the hotel Poseidon in Positano and Residenza Canali ai Coronari in Rome. Because our honeymoon was in the end of October we were able to stay in the best rooms in both for reasonable prices. The HUGE private balcony on top of the Coronari that went with our room was a great place to unwind with a bottle of wine after a day of sight seeing.
knoxtraveler is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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Ponza looks gorgeous!!! My only concerns about this place, from reading the suggested article is:
A. can we get there by train? We don't really want to drive.
B. unfortunately, we don't speak Italian....I took a year in college but that was 10 years ago now! I plan to try to brush up a bit, but doubt I will really be able to converse fluently by any stretch of the imagination.
C. we would love "secluded", and non-touristy, that would be perfect! But will the weather be good for sunbathing at that time of year?
Oct 26th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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I think I should add here that both my fiance's and my interest in FLorence is definitely based on the idea that we would do a couple days in FLorence, and then try to see sights around there, such as Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, etc. That was one reason I thought maybe we should save the whole region for another trip.....
Oct 26th, 2006, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,420
Florence can make a good base to explore Tuscany but how do you plan to get around? If the idea of renting a car or using public transportation isn't what you want for a honeymoon, you could hire someone like Luca Garrapa of www.hillsandroads.com. to make day trips. He's fabulous. And so is Tuscany.
dcd is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 692
Hi Lover-

I think you captured an important point in your most recent reply - "save the whole region for another trip" - you WILL return, if for no other reason than there is simply too much to see and do in 10 days. As Ira says, Venice is incredible (maybe my favorite anywhere in the world so far), but if you're interested in Carravagio and some beach time, I'd be inclined to Rome and Positano.

We stayed in a beautiful "smallish" hotel in Positano at 150€ per night in high season - Villa Tartana - incredible views, nice balcony, wonderful staff, just below Sireneuse and just above the beach - actually next to the duomo. That should leave you plenty of cash for nice meals as well as money for side trips to Pompeii (maybe with a driver), Capri and Amalfi (by ferries). I wouldn't vote for Sorrento either.

You can get a very nice hotel in Rome for about the same - we stayed in a small B&B (Nicolas Inn) very close to the Forum and Colosseum. It was charming and inexpensive, but possibly not honeymoon material.

I've got pictures and a trip report (here) too but I think at this stage you probably have seen enough pictures of all these places (and more).

Happy marriage, happy honeymoon and have fun.

knoxvillecouple is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
As an art history minor, tell me what attracts you to Carravagio? I dutifully looked at lots of his paintings, because my guidebook told me how important they are. But I wasn't drawn to them...maybe because of the subject matter (martyrdom of various saints in various gruesome ways). What is it about those paintings that is drawing you to Rome?
missypie is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Missypie, honestly, it is more than just the Caravaggios that draw me to Rome, but to answer your question, the reason I love most of the artists I love is because of what they did with their enormous talent, given their place in history.

I love Caravaggio, for one reason, because he was a radical in his time, and refused to portray Christianity (which was really the only "acceptable" art subject of that time) in the beautified manner of his forebears (think Raphael's cherubs, etc). He wanted to "bring the church down to the level of the people", per se, so that the viewer could feel the enormity of the subject matter, and not stay at arms-length.

I love his style of chiaroscuro (the use of light and shadow), and how the viewer is experiencing this dramatic scene as though it were a movie, stopped in time at a crucial moment. I'm always wondering - what comes next??? Most painters of the time painted serene, composed portraits or scenery, but not him. As with most of my favorites, he was a rebel, and started a whole new movement towards Realism.
Oct 26th, 2006, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801

Yes, you can go from Roma to Ponza by public transportation (train plus ferry). You take the train from Roma to Anzio -- one hour -- and then take the ferry to Ponza. (A hydrofoil takes another hour.) I don't think your lack of Italian would cramp your visit. Just take a menu translator. However, do read the article that Eloise gave linked to. There are other possibilities for island getaways (like off the Tuscan coast) that might suit you as well, with a bit more English spoken.

Where are you coming from? Meaning, how long will you spend getting to Italy? Are you leaving right after your wedding?

The reason I ask is that if you want to just collapse after you get off the plane, you could spend your first night/day in Fregene, a lovely little hip beach town just minutes from Roma airport. You could zone out there for a day before proceeding with your trip. If you discovered you had some energy, you could visit the fabulous antique ruins of Ostia Antica, which is just about 20 minutes from Fregene and the airport.

On your second day, you could take the train to Anzio and then ferry to Ponza for two nights, or train to Orbetello (in Tuscany) and take a ferry to an island there.

I would expect it to be warm enough in May to sunbathe and even swim, but one thing you need to consider is whether you will be catasrophically disappointed if you go to an island and it rains. Not all that likely in May, but it could happen. If you fear rain would really make you feel silly for booking yourself onto an island, then consider going to a coastal location where you can hop on a train and visit someplace else. The coastal area between Pisa and Genova has that possibility. So does some of the Tuscan coast (Monte Argentario). So does Sorrento.

With only 10 days in Italy, it is really hard to fit in Firenze AND Pisa, Siena, San Gimigiano, etc., plus other places.

Why does your husband want to go to Firenze? Or is it Pisa or Siena or Tuscany that attracts him? Since you are in rural Vermont, do you feel a need to make cities part of your Italian stay? But your husband wants it to be a relaxing, romantic city? Is that it?

nessundorma is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
Thank you for the art lesson.

One more bit of advice...we were in Italy this year at exactly the same time you will be next year. You will be very busy getting ready for the wedding but do remember to check the weather forecast before you pack. I had been told it would be hot hot hot. I shopped for all kinds of light weight tops with very short sleeves (no tanks or camisoles in the churches); brought only sweaters. We FROZE most of the trip. We had lots of days in the mid to high 60s, which would have been terrific had we been dressed for it. (We also had our share of rain.)
missypie is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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We are coming from Vermont, so I expect we will leave from New York. We are getting married on the Sunday, May 27, and then plan to leave for the honeymoon on Tuesday, the 29th. We are planning to leave Italy on the 8th of June.

I can't explain why exactly we want to go to the places we want to go. It also isn't like I don't want to go to Firenze. I would absolutely love to see the Uffizi, and the David, as well as the Ponte Vecchio. But, it is not as important to me as Rome, and I don't know WHY, really.
Oct 26th, 2006, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
If you are dying to go to Rome...GO! Its fabulous.

I vote Rome and Amalfi Coast. My husband and I spent our honeymoon there and we loved every minute.
We spent 3 nights in Rome, 2 on Capri and 4 in Positano, then 1 in Naples on our way out of the country. It was perfect, wonderful, romantic, historic, and everything we could have asked for.
The combination of a city and beach/resort area was great. A wonderful mix of history, sight-seeing, scenery, and romance.
Rome was bustling, with so much to do. We love be busy on a vacation,,, so we walked all through the historic center - and saw a lot! We especially enjoyed the Vatican for its art/sculpture (sistene chapel amazing!!)
Then Capri was fantastic - especially staying overnight. One of the highlights of the trip for sure.
Positano was great. Romantic and lovely. It made a great base for daytrips to Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello and Pompeii.
steviegene is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 93
Positano is gorgeous and easy to get around to all the other places like Pompeii.
WE used a great company at benvenutolimos.com and they took us everywhere on the Amalfi coast and we had a brill time. There's a great Hotel Miramare, which I would recommend. At E240/night and it's about half way down the hill. There's a few steps around town so be prepared. Good luck
emmalee_71 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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As I count it, you will be "on the ground" in Italy for nine days, and on the first day you will probably be feeling jet-lagged.

My suggestion - wherever you decide to go - would be to choose a maximum of two places where you take a hotel. You can then, if you like, take day trips, but you also save yourselves the time and effort inevitably involved in packing, getting from one place to another (first to the station, then on the train, then with some form of transportation or another, even if it's only a taxi) and unpacking. Believe me, all of this takes more time and effort than you might think.

Also, only two or three days in one city is only going to make you feel frustrated and unhappy. It takes more than that, in particular in Rome, to attune yourselves to the rhythm of the city, to find your place in it.

Your most important decision, evidently, is going to be where to go, and only you and your fiance can decide that. There are beach-and-sun possibilities close to both Florence and Rome, where you can go to relax. Buy or borrow from your library detailed guidebooks to both Rome and Florence (the richly illustrated Eyewitness guides are probably the best for this purpose). Look through them with your fiance. Make lists of what you each must see in each city. Go over them together. And decide. I honestly think that a decision for one or the other is more likely to satisfy you both than a compromise of seeing a little bit of both.

Nessundorma has hinted (and I will not deny) that I vastly favor Rome over Florence. I'm not a historian and cannot recommend specific books, but perhaps your fiance can read up on the history of both cities.

As I (as a non-historian) see it, Florence - although an Etruscan foundation of which nothing remains and a Roman town of which nothing that can be visited remains - was a medieval city, became a mercantile and banking center, fell under the influence of the Medicis and, except for a few years when the Medici were exiled, remained under their thrall until the 18th century.

Rome was a small republic (of which nothing remains), became an empire that covered a great deal of the known world (of which powerful ruins remain), fell to the barbarians, went through the Dark Ages during which it continued to absorb the influence of the Byzantine empire (to which many churches testify), revived - after the Avignon papacy - under the power of the popes, was sacked by Charles V in 1527, recovered and was the site of some of the greatest creations of the Baroque (which are on every corner in Rome). Surely a remarkable history.

Between the 18th century and the unification of Italy in the late 19th century, not very much happened in either Florence or Rome that I can see.

There you have it, one person's argument for Rome; this thread includes many arguments, some for Florence, some for Rome.

As I said, only you and your fiance can decide.
Eloise is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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It is NOT easy to get around from Positano, unless of course you hire a private limousine. I used beneventuo limos, too, when I was in the Amalfi. They charged me 500 dollars to tour Pompeii, etc. one day. I absolutely adored them. They are a luxury I doubt our honeymooners can afford.


OK, so you will have a fairly long trip from Vermont to the airport (check out flights from Boston, too), and you have to get to the airport 3 hours early, so that means a very long travel day by the time you arrive in Italy.

Sounds like you will be unhappy if you don't get to Rome, so we've got to figure out (a) how to ease the FH into it and (b) how to make sure he gets equal time satisfying his curiousity and cravings as he imagines the Italy of HIS dreams. In your shoes, I would consider flying to Roma and spending 4 nights there, but reassuring the FH that if he doesn't like it, you will take a day trip to Orvieto and Ostia Antica during that time to relieve him of the "bustle" of the city.

We know is that you BOTH need to relax by the sea, so that's at least 3 more nights. Shouldn't he get to pick the remaining time?

nessundorma is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,021
Hi loverofbeauty, (me too, btw )

First, congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

I must say it would not be an easy choice for me, but with the assumption that you will be coming back and probably more than once, I would vote for Rome and Positano.

Historic Rome is fairly compact in the center, and while the traffic is formidable, I think what you can get out of Rome, overall, will far outweigh this bit of nuisance.

When and if you do come back though, you should, IMO at least give Venice a chance to change your mind ... I am also curious why you haven't considered the Lakes area (Como, etc.) as a romantic alternative... not to make it anymore difficult than it is...

Enjoy you honeymoon!

enroute is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I wouldn;t bother with being so analytical about where you should want to go based on your pre-determined interests. I would go wherever you think you will enjoy most.

Don't know if your fiance has ever been to NYC - to dislike it so much - but he should be aware that Rome is tiny in comparison to New York. And especially the tourist area - which is fairly small and quite manageable on foot.

Have not been to CT (just haven't gotten there yet) but have been to AC several times and love it.

You have only one honeymoon - if you can afford the AC go for it - it is VERY romantic. And the time you're going is perfect - beautiful weather, warm water, beautiful gardens - but not too crowded yet.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Eloise - yay!!! Your historical argument has convinced my FH that Rome is a good idea! (Plus he said he just wants me to be happy - awww) He agrees that Tuscany can wait for next time, when maybe we can devote the trip to touring the whole area.

Now we have ONE down. FH mentioned, and I suppose I agree, that Amalfi Coast may be a bit too expensive for us. We really wanted to keep hotels to about $200 per night - less would be wonderful, but I'm sure very unlikely. Somewhere cheaper might allow us to stay at a nicer place...?

Thank you SOOOO much, everyone on here - as FH mentioned when I had him look at this tonight - this is an amazing place, where people take so much time to give so much information to strangers freely. It IS awesome!

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