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California Wine Country vs Italy for Honeymoon

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Jul 10th, 2012, 01:54 PM
  #1
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California Wine Country vs Italy for Honeymoon

I'm planning my honeymoon for my fiancee and myself. I need some help. We either want to go California and experience the different wine regions, also San Francisco OR got to Italy and experience Rome, Venice and Florence.

I'm sure the easy choice is Italy but take into consideration that I've "guestimated" that Italy will cost about $8,000 and California will cost about $5,000.

Neither of us have gone to either place, but both place are on the top of our must travel list.

I'm a first time poster any help would be great, thanks!
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Jul 10th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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Oh, and either one we decide on will be for 10 days.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 02:10 PM
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I'd vote for Italy, if budget is not too big a concern. Other than airfare difference, CA wine country can be very expensive as well, whereas in Italy you maybe able to find less expensive lodging.

More varieties to see in Italy.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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For first timers to anywhere in Europe, Rick Steve's guidebooks are very helpful. He has great advice on less expensive but worthy options for lodging, food, sightseeings, etc.

Whenever I'm on a last minute trip to Europe and don't have time for prior research, I just grab a Rick Steve's book (from the library), and it feels like he's guiding me by the hand. Easy to use. But for longer stays, his books are not indepth enough, as they mostly hit the highlights.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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And, if it's wine you seekm you'll be hard pressed to beat the wine tasting/drinking opportunities in Tuscany. There are many wineries in Chianti region that welcome visitors and the enoteca offer more opportunities.
Having experienced both places, I'd take Italy if the airfare cost isnt't excessive
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Jul 10th, 2012, 03:30 PM
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Italy. How lovely to be able to say, "We honeymooned in Italia!"
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Jul 10th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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I'd also go with Italy. Damn the cost. You will look back on this trip for the rest of your life. Italy will be much more of an adventure than California.

One more piece of advice. Spend more time in smaller towns and the countryside than the big cities. Florence and towns in Tuscany/Umbria would make a wonderful honeymoon. Unless you think you'll never go back, leave Rome and Venice for another trip. We did Spain for ours - Barcelona, Menorca, Madrid and were sick of big, noisy cities by the time we got to big, noisy Madrid. Smaller towns provide a much more relaxing pace and are a lot cheaper.

Good luck.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 03:51 PM
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Totally agree with Brian. This is your only honeymoon-- go to Italy! You can always visit California in the future.

Ask detailed questions on the Europe board, and you will get great cost-cutting tips.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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I totally vote for Italy. We went last year to Italy and this year to wine country. I was very disappointed with California wine country. Italy is wonderful!
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Jul 10th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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I am a California native. I absolutely love California and am always encouraging people to come if they haven't been here yet, but even I vote for Italy for your honeymoon. Come to CA for your anniversary

llilley - I am curious what disappointed you about the CA wine country. I know it is off-topic, but we have pretty much decided that the OP should go to Italy, so I don't feel so bad about sidetracking the thread
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Jul 10th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Totally agree with november_moon (although I am not a California native, I have lived in the San Francisco area for nearly 40 years).
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Jul 10th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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For a 10 day honeymoon I would do CA. IMHO you can;t do justice to 3 major cities in Italy in that little time, you wold be rushed and not have a truly relaxing time - as you probably want for your honeymoon. Also - for a honeymoon in Italy I would want to stay in some special places - at a higher budget than that.

But - it's really what you are going to enjoy more - a relaxed time or a go-go all day whirl.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 06:13 PM
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Italy. 3 days Venice, 3 FlorenceTuscany, 4 Rome.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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nov moon : when we got back to Arkansas it was so much prettier than the wine country. also the wine tours were going to a room and sampling wines that you feel like you have to buy.
Italy was so different and so much more to see. Yosemite was great the coast was good but wine country was fair.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 07:04 PM
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We have been to Italy 6 or 7 times and california wine country 4 times. There really is no comparison in my opinion and they are really two different types of experiences. You can not beat Italy for the history and sights. The people are nice, communication is generally not difficult in the major areas, the wine and food superb. 3 days a city is fine including appx a 3 hour train ride between each. If Rome is at the back end of the trip, I might only spend 2 days and spend an extra one in Florence taking a day tour into Tuscany.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 07:30 PM
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llilley, Arkansas is not prettier than California. I know we are supposed to allow for differences of opinion, but I have to draw the line somewhere. And I live in fear now that some misguided traveler will put Arkansas on their list and scratch off California because of your views. And we can't let that happen.

I can't leave this alone, either:
< the wine tours were going to a room and sampling wines that you feel like you have to buy. >
Huh? What part didn't you like, the going to a room, the sampling of the wines, or the suggestion that you might buy wine at a place that sells wine? Were you expecting something very different from a visit to a winery?
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Jul 10th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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We honeymooned in Italy--LOVED it. We landed in Rome and spent 2.5 days there. Saw the Vatican etc one day, the Coliseum/forum etc the next day, saw some other churches and plazas on the half day and that was it. Spent 3 or 4 days in Florence seeing more art than I ever thought existed. Then based ourselves in Sienna--saw San Gigmano (sp?), Pienza, Montepulciano (or Montalcino??), wine tasted through Tuscany. Oh my, it was total heaven. I have been to CA. No comparison. I would cut Venice out of your itinerary and take more time in the Tuscan hill towns etc. That was 12 years ago and I still remember it very fondly. I would not have spent more time in Rome--we needed to relax after all that stress!!
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Jul 10th, 2012, 09:21 PM
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I live in Napa Valley and love it, but even I say go to Italy for the honeymoon! It will be such a memorable experience for the two of you to share. The history is awesome and beautiful. You won't regret it and will have an album full of memories to share forever.
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Jul 11th, 2012, 07:32 AM
  #19
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Thanks everyone! This was my first post, so I thought I would get an email alert. I just logged on, and saw all of these replies Great stuff, I was really on the fence and think this is what I needed to make a decision. My fiancee is going to be thrilled with everyones recommendation. Italy is is!

Any specific recommendations on places to stay, see or eat would be awesome?

nytraveler

Can you give me some ideas on "special places"?
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Jul 11th, 2012, 07:35 AM
  #20
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brian_in_charlotte



Is traveling to the smaller areas pretty easy? Do we need a car?
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