Italian Honeymoon in late April

Nov 11th, 2009, 08:27 AM
  #1  
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Italian Honeymoon in late April

After exhausting pretty much every option for a honeymoon, my fiance and I have finally decided to go to Italy. We'll be leaving on Sunday, April 18th and staying for 2 weeks. We've traveled together many times domestically but for the both of us this will be our first time traveling overseas. I'm in my 30s and my fiance is in her 20s and we're a pretty adventurous couple but this is our honeymoon so we don't a trip that's too fast paced. Where do we start? Does anyone have any suggestions on an itinerary? Should we fly into one city and out another or fly out of the same city? Should we bring luggage or backpacks? Any suggestions will help. Thanks!
mattnliz is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Oh and one more question... How much should we budget for this trip?
mattnliz is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Italy is a great choice.

What sort of budget do you have in mind for this trip?

By "adventurous", do you mean you'd like a lot of hiking, biking, etc.?
WillTravel is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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Well being that we've both never planned a trip this large and this long. I guess a rough estimate for this trip would be $10,000. Is that sufficient enough or should be looking at spending more than that?

I suppose maybe "adventurous" was the wrong word. Although we do like to hike and bike we're not looking to do that on our honeymoon. I guess what I was trying to say was that we're young and spry.
mattnliz is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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You could spend more or less than that amount, depending on a lot of factors such as your actual destinations.

Yes, you should definitely fly into one city and out of another. It saves time and shouldn't be any more expensive than flying round trip.

Take rolling luggage; in the 22-24 inch range if what many people would advise. Or if you have backpacks and prefer to travel with those, then take a backpack.

Get some Italy guidebooks, preferably a type with lots of pictures, and start figuring out what appeals to you and your fiancee (your public library will be great for this). Also consider the kind of trips you've enjoyed domestically. If you vacation on the beaches of Florida drinking mai-tais, and hate going to large cities, you can tell that you're not going to necessarily enjoy an Italian trip that's focused on art and culture with no beach time. Or vice versa - if your trips "at home" are to big cities with lots of museums and fine dining, then your Italian focus will lean that way, as well.

Also consider how much time you want to spend in big cities (Rome, Florence), small cities (Lucca, Siena) and/or the countryside.
Lexma90 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Give us an idea of your interests and priorities. Big city or small town? Art/history or natural beauty or food/wine?
The highlights or off the beaten track?

In two weeks, you can choose either to concentrate on one area of Italy or to explore more widely. In the first case, fly into and out of the same airport. In the second, fly into one, out of another. If you don't want to rush, plan on staying in three or maximum four places.

Late April is generally a lovely time in Italy.

Backpack or suitcase depends on your personal style.

$8000 (deducting $1000 per person for airfare) is about 5500 Euro or somewhat less than 400 Euro per day. That is an ample budget
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Here is a good start. I would skip the lakes that early.
I also have a sample budget if you want it.

BOB the NAVIGATOR’S FAVORITE ITALY ITINERARIES
UPDATED AUGUST, 2006

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=3827

1. BELLA ITALIA: Five destinations in 15 days—car & train travel
* Arrive in Milan[MXP] & depart from Venice[VCE]or vice versa.
* Itinerary to include the Italian Lakes, Ligurian coast, rural
Tuscany, Florence, & Venice. Suggested timing is 3-2-4-2-4.
* Option: Drop the coast & rent a villa in Tuscany[ 3-7-2-3].
* Best time to go: May & June or Sept. & Oct.

2. LA DOLCE VITA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome[ FCO] or arrival in Naples
* Itinerary to include Rome, the Amalfi coast, and Tuscany
* Best time to go: Easter to end of October
* Option: Fly into Naples & stay at 2 locations on the coast

3. CLASSIC ITALIA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome—may start trip in Florence
* Destinations to include Florence, Rome & Tuscany/Umbria
* Best time to go: Anytime, but May & Oct. are my favorites
* Option: Consider a weekly rental in Tuscany/Umbria

4. SICILIAN CHARMS: Five destinations in 15 days—car travel
* Connections to Catania & Palermo via Rome or gateway city.
* Itinerary to include Taormina, Siracusa, Palermo & more.
* Best time to go: March to November—May is best for flowers
* See: http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=634

5. THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: My favorite venues for those who enjoy natural beauty and quaint, small villages. Arranged north to south.
* Arrive Milan & depart Rome—car travel-- 3 nites per location
* Itinerary to include Lago Orta, Castelrotto/ Ortisei[Dolomites],
Portovenere[Liguria], Montalcino[Tuscany], & Spello[Umbria].
* Best time to go: May to October for the lakes and Dolomites
* Option: Pick 3 out of 5 and stay longer in Tuscany/Umbria.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Ooops...

... an ample budget. It won't get you five-star hotels and restaurants, but it is ample, and you could manage with less.
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:28 AM
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BTW, My first chocie for a honeymoon is LA DOLCE VITA above.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:28 AM
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My husband and I went to Italy and Paris for our honeymoon. We spent about $4000 for everything for 10 days. How long are you going for and where exactly in Italy do you plan on going?
krystle0819 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:31 AM
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I'm sorry I just saw that you were going for 2 weeks.

Try and pack lightly - we carried 2 carryons and 1 large luggage for both of us which is great. One of the carry ons was fairly empty (not including our guidebooks) so we used that one to store our souveniers in.

Get good walking shoes.

Study up on where you want to go, what type of passes might be suitable for your trip (ie museums, transit, etc such as the Roma Pass if you go to Rome).

Learn a bit of the language.

If you have any more questions, let me know as we just got back a few weeks ago!
krystle0819 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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hi mattnliz,

congrats on your wedding, AND for coming here for advice about your honeymoon!

as this is going to be a honeymoon, I'm amazed that no-one has mentioned Venice! ok it's kitsch and touristy but it is also beautiful and romantic. for 14 nights in April this is what I would do:

fly into venice, stay 4 nights [gives you time to recover from jetlag, get your "Italy feet"].

rent a car, drive to an agriturismo/small hotel in Tuscany. sty 4 nights]. [if you're feeling very brave, you could just pick up the car and take off; in April you would find accommodation pretty easily].

end up in Orvieto - return your car, stay 1-2 nights.

get train to Rome, stay 5 nights, fly home.

i would strongly advise NOT starting off in Rome - it is such a "full-on" place that you might just turn round and go home. but after 10 days or so you'll be old hands and ready for anything, especially the shopping! I also think that as first-timers, you'll find this northern itinerary easier than Naples and amalfi.

finally, easter falls on the first weekend in april in 2010, so you should miss the worst of the tourist madness of the easter season.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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PS - there is a thread on Italian hotels at the moment which you might find useful too.
annhig is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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*Include a mix of villages, coastline and cities.
*Limit change of accomodations to 3 or 4.
*Start with a slow pace in a village with lots of ambiance but not alot of "must sees" where you can sleep in, be lazy and recover from jetlag before moving to a city with lots to see and do.
*Consider a 3 day b&b stay in a village (fodorites can recommend some known for personal attention from helpful owners), then a 7 day stay along the coast (explore by rental car) in an apartment(you can take less luggage when you have a washer in your apt.)finishing with a 4 night hotel stay in a city.
amwosu is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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I think annhig's plan is a good one, although she seems to have 14-15 nights, and I would assume with 2 weeks, after travel overnight to get there, you probably have 13. Starting in Venice with 4 is a great idea, and I also like the 5 in Rome at the end, so that leaves you 4 in between for Tuscany. A small town is nice unless you prefer cities and/or are really into Renaissance art, in which case I would stay in Florence instead of a Tuscan town and do a couple of daytrips to smaller towns. This way, you wouldn't have to rent a car if you don't want to. These could be done by bus, or if you want a private driver to do daytrips out of Florence, I can highly recommend Luca Garrapa of www.hillsandroads.com. Other people here have also used him and all have praised him. If you know where you want to go, he can tell you if it's feasible in a day. If you don't know where you want to go, tell him your interests and he will suggest an itinerary.
SusanP is online now  
Nov 11th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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Nice that you have decided to keep a reasonable pace and not try to cram so much into your trip that you cannot relax and enjoy!

If two weeks includes travel days then you actually have 12 nights. I would base in a maximum of 3 places. Personally, I did not care for my driving experiences in Italy so we stick to public transport but if you are up for it, then why not? I prefer not to have to worry about directions, drinking too much wine with dinner or at tastings, or having to book hotels with parking options onsite or nearby.

What drew you to Italy in the first place? Do you have visions of Venice with it's canals and gondola's; are you dreaming of nights tucked into a small inn in the countryside with wonderful views and lots of privacy; are you anxious to explore the great art of Florence or the amazing history of Rome?

I would first decide what kind of an experience you are seeking and then read and research the areas/cities that most appeal.

Most folks like the Big 3 approach of Venice, Florence and Rome and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. I have been to all of those places quite a few times. But if you have visions of picturesque countryside or wild coastline, you will need to expand your search to areas like the Tuscan countryside or Ligurian coast, two of my personal favorites.

Of bobthenavigotor's posted itineraries #5 would be my choice but what is appealing to you and your fiance might be entirely different.

Any way you do it, Italy is a wonderful choice for a honeymoon!
kfusto is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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Tuscany without a doubt - maybe mix in a couple of days on say Elba. Most of us that have been (many times) begin to take it for granted. For a first visit and for a honeymoon look no further.

If you want a slow pace avoid Rome for a long stay and definitely avoid Sicily it's Africa not Europe.

For a first night hotel drive from Rome - 1.5 hours north to Argentario - Il Pelicano - home to the stars in the 1950s and revamped to the highest standards of service. Argentario has retained much of its 1950 charm and style.

Then complete a circuit of Tuscany basing yourself in say 3 nights in Lucca, 3 nights in Florence, 5 nights in Siena (for Southern Tuscany) then get the Ferry for 2 nights on a very relaxing Elba. Ferry back to Rome and home.

One mistake we sometimes make is leaving the madness until last. Spending 10 days on a relaxing Mallorca then 3 nights in the madness of Barcelona then home left us needing another holiday and Mallorca a distant memory.
markrosy is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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A good initial step is to take a look at all of the Show Me Your Italy contest photos on the Fodors Forums site to see the places that "speak" the most to you both.
basingstoke2 is online now  
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