Italian/Croatian honeymoon

May 31st, 2017, 04:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 61
Italian/Croatian honeymoon

Hi all! I had a lot of great advice on this forum when planning our European trip in 2016. Incidentally, my bf proposed in Paris, and we are now in the midst of wedding/honeymoon planning.

The main idea we are tossing around is three weeks in Italy/Croatia. Neither of us has been to either, but after doing a hang of a lot of research we have figured out a rough plan of what we would like to do. For those that have been to Italy and Croatia, your input on our proposed itinerary below would be so helpful. One thing we aren't sure of is how much time to dedicate to each place. Also if anyone has stayed in the hotels we are looking at too, a review would be amazing/feel free to recommend any other romantic hotels too!

Fly NZ - Rome.
Rome (4n) - The Spanish Suite Piazza di Spagna
Florence (3n) - Hotel Pendini
Tuscany base (5n) - Relais Poggio Borgoni
Venice (4n) - Hotel Ala Venice
Dubrovnik (5n) - Bed and Breakfast Dominus Little Palace
Rome (1n) - The Spanish Suite Piazza di Spagna
Fly Rome - NZ

I would also love to see San Marino, but not sure how to fit this into the plan.

Thanks in advance for any advice
kiwiabroad3000 is offline  
May 31st, 2017, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I would probably go from the airport directly to Florence, saving all your days in Rome for the end of the trip. 5 nights in Rome is better than 4 + 1, especially when you'll likely be pretty tired in arrival which would make the first day in Rome a waste. I think two full days (three nights) in Florence is perfect for a first visit. You'll need to take the train from FCO into Rome and then on to Florence, but it should be a pretty easy trip.

I've not been to Dubrovnik yet but it's on my list thanks to Maitaitom's description of the Buza Bar! Be sure to go there and report back.
tracilee is offline  
May 31st, 2017, 06:23 PM
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A contrary opinion: I wouldn't try to head to Florence when you land as you are likely to be exhausted from your long flight.
KTtravel is offline  
May 31st, 2017, 06:32 PM
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I guess it depends on your travel style. Not all of us need a day or two to recover from jet lag before continuing to another city. In fact, I almost always train, bus, or fly somewhere the same day I land in Europe. The first time I flew to Italy, I landed in Rome and took a train to Venice. I preferred doing that than spending a night in Rome then spending time in Rome again later.
Andrew is offline  
May 31st, 2017, 07:27 PM
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For me, it would also depend on what time I arrived at Rome and the logistics of the travel from NZ. Are you going through Dubai or London and/or somewhere else? How long is the layover? More than one connection?

If it was a morning arrival and the trip from NZ wasn't too arduous, I might head to Florence. Trains are frequent and the journey takes about 2.5 hours. But if that would mean getting to Florence on a Saturday, I'd stay in Rome to start. Many of the main sights in Florence are not open every Sunday and Monday, so if your 3 nights there were Saturday/Sunday/Monday, you might have a hard time seeing everything you want to see.
Jean is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 12:30 AM
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If you do decide to stay in Rome I would consider picking up a car and driving to Tuscany first, then drop your car in Florence (watch out for ZTL zones) and then take the train to Venice after your time in Rome.
jamikins is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:09 AM
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I assume you're flying to Dubrovnik in which case flight availability may also influence your itinerary. Flights there do tend to vary by season, with many of the budget airlines only providing services in the summer time.

I agree with aggregating your time in Rome into one stay. It does depend a bit though on your flight arrival time. That flight from NZ is a killer - but worth it!
dreamon is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 03:46 AM
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I think it might get a bit tiresome to stay in the Spanish Steps area. Not sure of the price point of your chosen hotel there, but you might find it more romantic to be around the other side of town nearer the Ponte Sisto or the piazza Farnese. I would also point out that a great many of the rooms I glanced at in pictures for your hotel don't appear to have windows. Might be nice for keeping out noise, but it's also nice to wake up to a view of Rome. I appreciate the clean look of the hotel rooms, but I think you can find the same (with windows) in an upscale b&b or small boutique hotel at an affordable price.

Hotel Pending in Florence looks lovely & I like that location.

Given the location of your Tuscan idyll, I would go to Florence first and rent the car there.
massimop is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 12:55 PM
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The flight time from NZ to europe is really really long (think 30 hours at the minimum) so i don't think we will be wanting to travel to florence the same day as landing in Rome. We will most likely be travelling through Dubai, however the stop over will only be a few hours.

Yes we are going to fly to Dubrovnik from Venice - We are looking at going May/beginning of June, so will there be ample flights around that time.

@massimop - thanks for your recommendations about where to stay in rome. Honestly neither of us were really sure where we should be basing ourselves, so it's great to have some advice

Is the drive from Rome to Florence easy? Neither of us have driven in Europe yet (it is on the other side of the road for us)
kiwiabroad3000 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 01:23 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't start my first ever driving experience in Italy in Rome. I would train to Chiusi, rent the car, and then meander on secondary roads to the Tuscany lodging.

If you were planning to see Florence before exploring Tuscany, just go by train from Rome and rent the car when you leave Florence. You don't want to have a car while you're staying in Florence.
Jean is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 11:17 PM
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I sympathise with the flight time as I live in Australia and have taken many 28-30hour flights to Europe and I can never sleep on flights so feel pretty exhausted on arrival. I think I would be influenced by your arrival time into Rome. If it is early in the day, it may be a good move to travel from Rome airport to Florence. I always find it suits me best to stay awake until a reasonably normal bed time to get into the local time zone. But if your arrival is in the afternoon, then perhaps not, as you'll have immediate access to your hotel room.

I definitely wouldn't drive Rome to Florence when the train is quick, cheap (book in advance) and convenient.

I've only been to northern Croatia but have read quite a few blogs about Dubrovnik and the consensus seems to be that 5 days in Dubrovnik itself would be quite a long time. I don't enjoy flying so personally, I'd swap Dubrovnik for somewhere within easy distance of your other destinations and leave Dubrovnik for another time when you could explore Croatia more fully. But that's a purely subjective personal opinion.
dreamon is offline  

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