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Just returned from a really wonderful two week honeymoon in Italy! Thanks to everyone who posted on this board to offer their advice....I wanted to do the same for those who might be planning a trip.

Just returned from a really wonderful two week honeymoon in Italy! Thanks to everyone who posted on this board to offer their advice....I wanted to do the same for those who might be planning a trip.

Oct 19th, 2003, 06:29 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Just returned from a really wonderful two week honeymoon in Italy! Thanks to everyone who posted on this board to offer their advice....I wanted to do the same for those who might be planning a trip.

Just returned from a really wonderful two week honeymoon in Italy! Thanks to everyone who posted on this board to offer their advice on hotels....I wanted to do the same for those who might be planning a trip.

We started with a 4 night stay in Rome at Residenza Canali ai Cornari in Piazza Navona area. We had a junior suite w/balcony for the first two nights, then had to switch to a smaller room. Would recommend the hotel particularly if you can get the junior suite w/balcony...it was a good size room, very comfortable with a modern bath, and a big balcony with a table and two chairs. Thought it was a good deal at 207 euros a night, which included breakfast. There is no elevator but this was not really an issue for us?just our first introduction to the many stairs we would climb during our stay in Italy.

I would highly recommend the Piazza Navona area for those who are visiting Rome for the first time. I was so glad we chose it for our hotel location?it was perfect. There were lots of little restaurants nearby, and we easily walked to the Pantheon, Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Coliseum....we never took public transportation. We liked the nearby rooftop bar at the Raphael hotel...a very romantic spot with nice views. It was expensive, but we stopped here for a few drinks before dinner one night and thought it was well worth it. We had some of the best meals of our stay in Rome at La Tartaruga on Via del Monte della Farina which was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. We enjoyed the restaurant so much we ate their twice during our 4 night stay. Tasted the best cheese of my life here (two goat cheeses from different regions of Italy), along with delicious homemade pastas, osso buco, panne cotta, etc., etc. Everything we ate was great, and we sampled a good portion of the menu here!

When leaving Rome, we took a taxi to pick up our rental car which we got through AutoEurope. I would highly recommend renting through them, the rate was reasonable and they were very easy to deal with. We drove to the Amalfi Coast and stayed two nights in Positano and two in Ravello.

In Positano we stayed at Villa Rosa....and yes, there were a lot of steps. It was not a problem for us, but I heard a lot of people huffing and puffing as they got to the top, but most were laughing and in good spirits about the climb. A staff member at the hotel brought our luggage up....threw our huge, heavy suitcase over his shoulder and climbed up which was very impressive! I would recommend a stay at the hotel...but do ask about the room number before booking. We were in room 22 (the only room available when we booked) which was right next to the reception area....it could get quite loud in this area and we could hear every word that was said which was really disruptive late at night and early in the morning. The hotel had beautiful views from the semi-private balcony, pretty room, modern bath, breakfast served in the room, the staff was friendly....a good value at 130 euros/night.

It poured the day we drove to Positano and on into the night, so we ate nearby the hotel at a restaurant called Café Positano which was the most disappointing restaurant of the trip. Second night food was much better at Il Ritrovo which is way up the hill. The restaurant had a driver pick us up and take us back to the hotel....food was very good and the staff made us feel very welcome here.

We rented a scooter in Positano which was a great way to explore the coast....it was also much easier to navigate around the narrow, curvy coastal roads on a scooter than a car. We enjoyed a day trip into Amalfi and had pizza for lunch there.

Ravello was next for two nights.....we really enjoyed it here....absolutely lovely views....different than Positano because you are much higher up....less of a touristy feel. We stayed at Hotel Parsifal which had really pretty terraces and common areas. Room was ok, one thing we didn?t like was the handheld shower in the bathroom. We had the best sleep of our vacation here as it was very quiet here! We paid 160 euro night which included breakfast and either lunch or dinner. We had dinner there our first night?.it was ok?..chose the next day not to eat meals there and see if we could do better elsewhere. In Ravello, one of the most fabulous views was at the gardens in Villa Rufulo. Being among the beds of beautiful flowers and seeing the most spectacular views at the same time was really a great experience. Also check out the gardens at Villa Cimbrone...equally stunning views there. If you like to walk, go to the information center in the center of town in Ravello and ask them for a brochure of walking tours. There are 9 different itineraries you can follow?.they are each quite long?.we were only able to do a portion of a walking tour one day which took us off the beaten path and allowed us to stroll along some trails and see views we probably never would have otherwise. Just be prepared to climb lots of steps! We were pros with the steps by the time we got to Tuscany!

We then drove to San Quirico d'Orcia and stayed at Palazzo del Capitano. This was our favorite hotel of the trip! They have a web site: palazzodelcapitano.com where you can view pictures of the hotel, including the inside of all the different rooms. We stayed in the room called Capricorno for 180 euros a night, it is called Junior Suite-Superior on their web site. The room was huge and really beautiful...looks even better in person than on the web site. Another plus is the hotel restaurant which was our second favorite restaurant of our stay?we ate their twice during our five night stay because we enjoyed the food so much. From San Quirico, we took day trips to Siena, Montepulciano, Montelcino, Pienza, and Cortona. Enjoyed all the hill towns we saw...they were all special in their own way. It was nice when we visited both Montepulciano and Cortona because on the days/times we went they were not at all crowded which made it a pleasure to wander around the streets. We also really enjoyed the views from the bell tower at the Piazza del Campo in Siena. We typically did not go to more than one town a day, which worked well for us.

Our last day in Italy...we drove down to Saturnia and soaked a bit in the falls....would have enjoyed this more if there was not as much of a crowd here. The water made us quite smelly however for our arrival at the last hotel of our stay...Villa Grazioli in Grottaferrata. Staying here was a nice, relaxing ending to our stay in Italy. The villa is quite impressive when driving up to it. We had booked a room outside the villa because it was less expensive, but when we got there they offered us a room in the Villa at the same price. The room overlooked Rome which was stunning at night (didn't get to see the view in the day since we left early the next morning for our flight home). We also enjoyed wandering around the villa and admiring the 17th century frescoes...the place has so much history. We arrived at the hotel fairly late, so we decided to just eat at the hotel....had an enjoyable final meal in Italy here.

Drive to the airport from Grottaferrata took a little over an hour because of traffic, normally about a 30 minutes drive. We dropped off the rental car at the airport which only took a minute, and had plenty of time before our flight home.

If anyone has questions about the hotels, restaurants, driving, etc. I would be more than happy to answer them!

Now back to the real world and already wishing I was back....we're already talking about our next Italy visit

travel3773 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 07:20 AM
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Sounds like a fabulous honeymoon. Welcome home and good luck!
mclaurie is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Congratulations and thanks for reporting back with a wonderful honeymoon report. It was a joy to read!

Mille Grazie!!!
bluefan is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 08:36 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Trav,

>We rented a scooter in Positano which was a great way to explore the coast....<

Excellent. Glad you got the chance.
ira is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 09:58 AM
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feliciaa
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Congratulations on your recent nuptials! I read your post about your wonderful honeymoon trip with great interest. I will be traveling to Italy late next month and was wondering if you could provide a bit more detail on Rome. I too am thinking of staying at Residenza Canali. How was the smaller room? What was the difference in price (if you don't mind saying)? Besides drinks at Hotel Raphael and wonderful food at La Tartaruga, any other comments/suggestions on places (good or bad)? Did you explore Rome on your own or with a guide? What did you most enjoy in Rome? Thanks for your comments.
 
Oct 19th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Congratulations on your wedding, and YAY on the wonderful honeymoon!!! Great trip report!
BrimhamRocks is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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Great report travel3773!!!Congratulation,and what a honeymoon you had..years from now , when you will celebrate your golden anniversary , the memories of your beautiful Italian honeymoon will be always embedded in your heart.
Ciao,
kismet
kismetchimera is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 11:40 AM
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Great trip report. Glad you enjoyed yourselves. Reading trip reports like yours, makes me feel like I'm back in Italy.
jmb67 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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What a wonderful trip report. Thank you for sharing! I have just now begun the process of researching Italy to plan a trip for my husband and I in the spring. The hotel - Residenza Canali - sounds perfect. How wonderful to be located so conveniently to everything you wish to see in Rome. Does the hotel have a website? Also, if you were to do the whole trip over again, would you stay at the same hotels and visit the same cities. Once again, thank you!
Kimi is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Oh, I can't wait to go back! Thank you for the wonderful report and the tip about La Tartaruga. We'll be in Rome in February, staying near the Piazza Navona, and will definitely give it a try.

Best of luck as you begin your life together. You had a wonderful start -- may you have a long, happy, and healthy future! Buona fortuna!
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Oct 20th, 2003, 04:13 AM
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I will post a reply later to answer more of your questions....but for now....the web site address for the Rome hotel is http://www.residenzacanali.com/inglese/

The junior suite with the balcony was substantially bigger than the double room and well worth the price difference. We were really missing our old room once we switched. It was nice to come back to the hotel after a hectic day in Rome and enjoy the relatively peaceful balcony at night. The junior suite was 207 euro/night, the double was 186 euro/night I believe. Looks like the junior suite we stayed in is pictured on their web site, but it is bigger than it appears there, as is the balcony.

-Michelle
travel3773 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 11:02 AM
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To answer more of your questions.....

I can't really recommend any other restaurants in Rome...there aren't any others I would be anxious to return to. That's not to say we ate badly, just nothing else exceptional there. On several occasions, we considered stopping at an Internet Point to check out this board to get more dining suggestions! I would recommend you have a few ideas in mind before you go. Chowhound.com is another site that has an international board with dining recommendations.

We explored Italy on our own, without any tours. I didn't like the idea of needing to be at a particular place at a certain time while on vacation...that seemed like work to me. We didn't have an itinerary before we went....just decided day to day where we wanted to visit. This all worked out very well. The only problem we really had while sightseeing was at the Vatican. It was fairly hot the day we went....I was wearing cap sleeves and a long skirt....and they would not let me in because my upper arm was showing. I had told my husband he had to change into pants before we went and then they didn't let me in! It was a little disapponiting when it happened but we joked about it later and were able to go back the next day when I was properly dressed! I wore long sleeves and pants the next day...did not want to take any chances since this was our last full day in Rome.

I really enjoyed seeing all the ruins...it's just amazing to walk along the streets and see that all untouched...so different than here. I also was impressed when seeing the inside of the Vatican and the view from the top of Saint Peters for the first time. We were not really impressed with the Spanish Steps...but everyone is different....one person's disappointment could be another's trip highlight. 4 days in Rome was the perfect amount of time for us....at the end of our stay we were ready to move on. That's not to say we didn't enjoy Rome...there is plenty we did not see and we would both be interested in returning.

I think the towns we selected were a great introduction to Italy. All of the regions we visited were so different. I'm continually asked which was my favorite, and it's really hard to say because they are each special in their own way. As for hotels, I probably would not stay at Villa Rosa (Positano) or Hotel Parsifal (Ravello) again. That's not saying I wouldn't recommend them...I would....but if I were to return to the coast I would check out other hotels in the area.

Hope this information is helpful!
travel3773 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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Great report, Travel. Congratulations!
Statia is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 03:11 PM
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Wonderful report! You make me start dreaming of my next trip to Italy!
Congratulations on your marriage. Good Luck!
LindyE is offline  

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