Real Honeymoon: Italy

I’m always excited to share Real Honeymoon posts about Italy because it is such a popular destination and every couple’s itinerary is different. This week we have Laura and Ryan’s Italian honeymoon from earlier this summer, and it sure is a good one. Rather than spending too much time in the major cities, they decided to mostly relax in wine country and on the beach. A pretty good strategy for a honeymoon if you ask me! Read all about their amazing honeymoon in Italy below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We spent our honeymoon in Italy in June [2015].  We flew into Rome, spent a few nights at a resort in Porto Ercole, then traveled to Tuscany and ended with a few nights in Praiano and Capri.

Italy honeymoon

Italy honeymoon


How long was your trip?

Two weeks (2 days total in Rome, 2 nights in Porto Ercole, 3 nights in Tuscany, 3 nights in Praiano, and 2 nights in Capri).

Italy honeymoon

Italy honeymoon


How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We had both been to Rome before but hadn’t traveled elsewhere in Italy.  We both love Italian food (and wine!) and thought spending some time in wine country and on the beach would be the perfect relaxing mix for us.

Italy honeymoon


The best part about our honeymoon was…

Il Pelicano, the resort we stayed at in Porto Ercole.  It has amazing old world charm and the service, food, views, everything is excellent.  It is just such a special place!  I recommend it to everyone!

Italy honeymoon

We also did a boat day in Capri that I really loved.  We rented a small wooden boat with our guide Tonino who took us around the island.  We drank his family’s wine and ate small snacks from his wife’s restaurant while he showed us the island’s grottos and beaches.  It was so much fun and great to see the views from someone who had lived on Capri his whole life and was so passionate about it!

Italy honeymoon


If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Our time in Tuscany — we didn’t plan our time there as much as elsewhere and it was more difficult to fit in everything we wanted to do.  I would love to go back and do more wine tasting, pizza making and general touring!  I also wish we could’ve planned time for Cinque Terra.  It looks so beautiful but we just didn’t have the chance to visit.

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Real Honeymoon: Italy

Nearly one year after their beautiful Los Angeles wedding, my friends Grace and Victor recently went on an incredible honeymoon in Italy. I absolutely love everything about their trip! Hope you like Italian food because they have tons of great restaurant recommendations below.

When and where did you honeymoon?

Italy in April/May 2015. We started in Venice and worked our way down to Southern Italy. From Venice, we took a train to Bologna and from there, we rented a car! Victor drove us to Portofino, Florence, Tuscany (Montalcino), the Amalfi Coast (Ravello, Positano, and Capri), and Rome. He did great, especially driving through the windy roads in Portofino and Ravello.

Italy Honeymoon

How long was your trip?

Three weeks.

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How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

Italy is known as one of the most romantic places in the world and we had never been! Plus, Italy offers picturesque villages, rich history and art, and amazing food and wine. Victor and I picked cities to satisfy both of our needs. I enjoy exploring cities while Victor appreciates a slow paced way of life to relax. Florence and Rome allowed me to marvel at inspiring art and architecture, while Tuscany allowed Victor to relax on the countryside after visiting bustling cities.

Italy Honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Portofino and Hotel Splendido are almost synonymous. Portofino is a pretty fishing village with pastel shaded villas on the coast of Liguria. The hotel is perched on a hillside overlooking the harbor below. From the moment we entered the reception area, we knew we were in for a treat. The views are incredible and you are surrounded by lush greens, hydrangeas, and pots of lemon trees. From the reception area, you walk past the Piano Bar and onto La Terrazza, where I had my favorite meal, Spaghetti alla Elizabeth Taylor, made with fresh tomatoes.

Italy Honeymoon

We also enjoyed breakfast each morning on the Terrace, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We spent a lot of time on our balcony, enjoying mystic views of the Portofino bay beneath and dancing to distant music from the piano bar. We also took a day trip to Cinque Terre, which was unforgettable. We both hope to return to Portofino one day.

Italy Honeymoon

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Real Honeymoon: Italy

That’s right, two weeks of new Real Honeymoon posts in a row! This week’s post comes from Caroline and Jeff who honeymooned in Italy earlier this summer. It’s no wonder that Italy is the most popular honeymoon destination on this blog — it has something for everyone! Whether you want your honeymoon to be all about great food and wine, sightseeing, shopping, or just soaking up some sun, you can do it all in Italy. Read all about Caroline and Jeff’s amazing trip below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Italy from June 30-July 17 [2015]. We flew non-stop from Los Angeles to Rome and spent our first few days there. Then we took a train to Florence, where we also did a day trip to Tuscany to visit some wineries. From Florence, we traveled to Venice, where we took a day trip to the Murano and Burano islands. From Venice, we travelled to Bologna. After Bologna, we spent 5 days and nights in Positano, which included a day trip to Capri. We then returned to Rome for another day and night before flying home.

italy honeymoon

italy honeymoon

How long was your trip?

2.5 weeks

italy honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

Neither of us had ever been to Italy and wanted to experience something new together so we picked Italy! Plus, there is so much history there and we wanted to see it all in person.

italy honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Relaxing with my new hubby, eating and drinking our way through Italy, and not having to think about wedding planning or work for almost 3 weeks! We also received some proofs of our wedding photos while on the trip and it was so much fun reliving our wedding day while sharing a bottle of delicious wine.

italy honeymoon

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Real Honeymoon: Ireland, France & Italy

Get excited because this week we finally have a great new Real Honeymoon post to share! This week’s post was sent from Caitlyn and Jason who recently honeymooned across three countries in Europe. Read all about their wonderful trip below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Jason and I adventured through Europe for our two-week honeymoon, visiting Dublin, Bordeaux, Paris, and Venice and taking many day trips from each city. We left June 19 and returned July 4. Small piece of advice: avoid the middle of the summer. It. Was. HOT.

How long was your trip?

Two weeks – Saturday to Saturday. We highly recommend returning on a Saturday – everyone can use a Sunday to unpack, do laundry, and brace yourself for Monday morning work emails.

How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations?

Jason and I took a long time to decide where to spend our honeymoon – when else do you get to take two weeks off work?! We definitely don’t consider ourselves “beach people” so a tropical location was quickly ruled out. Other places we considered were Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, but ultimately decided that we wanted our honeymoon to be a little more romantic than how we envisioned those destinations. What can I say? We’re newlyweds! Jason had never been to Europe and I knew the atmosphere was perfect for a romantic, semi-adventurous (but also relaxing!) trip. So, off to Europe we went.

We chose Dublin because Jason is a huge whiskey and beer enthusiast. From the Irish Whiskey Museum and the Jameson Factory to the endless amounts of ice cold Guinness (please note, my husband would like to specify the Guinness was not actually ice cold – I disagree…#marriage), we definitely had our fair share of cocktails. We stayed at The Arlington – located the perfect distance from pretty much anything you’d want to do – just a short walk to pubs, museums and everything else. If you don’t mind a slightly older hotel, we highly recommend The Arlington.

Ireland honeymoon

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While we were there, we took a day trip to the other side of the country to experience the insane beauty that is the Cliffs of Moher – and I mean INSANE. The most breathtaking scenery you can imagine. From the moment we hopped on the bus, we were hooked. Every nook and cranny of that country is a shade of green you’ve never seen … and never want to unsee.

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Our next stop was Bordeaux, a small town in the south of France known for its red wine and gorgeous châteaux. Jason and I love wine and absolutely couldn’t wait to get here. Every day we took a trip to a different region to learn about (read: drink) Bordeaux wines. While visiting château after château is definitely recommended during the day (our favorite regions were Saint-Émilion and Médoc), take some time to walk along the river and enjoy the view. The river walk was renovated from parking spots to beautiful gardens and bike paths – a great spot to enjoy an after dinner treat. This was my favorite hotel of the trip – La Maison du Lierre – a small bed and breakfast that was straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog. If you stay here, make sure to have breakfast on the patio – it’s so quaint you almost forget you’re in the middle of a city.

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Real Honeymoon: Italy & Spain

I’m so excited to share this week’s Real Honeymoon blog post written by my good friends Ashley and Tom. After their beautiful wedding weekend in Pebble Beach, they spend the first part of their honeymoon Italy and ended their trip with a few days in Barcelona. Read all about their honeymoon in Italy and Spain below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Italy and Spain from May 26-June 7 [2014]. (Sestri Levante, Cinque Terre, Rome, Venice, and Barcelona)

italy honeymoon

How long was your trip?

Just about two weeks.

barcelona honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations?

We wanted to take the opportunity to go somewhere far away since we both took off a full two weeks from work. We had both been to Europe but to different places and back when we were in college. We wanted to have a combination of relaxing beach time and sightseeing, and obviously with good food and wine! I also really wanted to see Venice so we spent one day/night there in between Sestri Levante and Rome.

honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

We absolutely loved out time in Sestri Levante and Cinque Terra. We spent one afternoon hiking between Vernazza and Monterosso. It was about two hours, with lots of stairs and uneven paths through the mountains but it had absolutely breathtaking views of the coast. We both agree that if we could go back to one part of our honeymoon it would be to that day! I also have to mention the food, Italian pasta and the fixed course meals we had in Spain were among the best meals we’ve ever had.

italian food

italian food   italian food

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

… how much time we gave ourselves in Spain. We had Wednesday night through Saturday morning, but we would have liked another couple of days to explore other beaches and small towns. We really only had enough time to do one full beach day and one touristy day (the hop on hop off bus was great).

italy honeymoon

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Real Honeymoon: Italy

Yep, it’s time for some more Italy honeymoon posts! This week we have Kristina and Sean, who got married in beautiful Napa Valley earlier this summer. Read all about their amazing Italian honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

On May 27th [2014] we left to begin our honeymoon in Positano, off the Amalfi Coast in Italy. We spent 5 relaxing days there, and then took a train up to Florence for the remaining 5 days. While staying in Florence, we wound up taking two spontaneous day trips to the Cinque Terre and a tour of Tuscany that included Siena, San Gimegnano, and Pisa.

florence honeymoon

How long was your trip?

12 days total. 10 days of fun, 2 days of travel.

Chianti Countryside

How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations?

I (Kristina) had always dreamed of going to Italy on my honeymoon—even more than I dreamed of my wedding. But my husband had always envisioned a “beachy” honeymoon destination, so we compromised that we would go to Italy but spend a good portion of our time in a coastal town.

positano honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Spending a day by the Mediterranean at Le Sirene restaurant at Spiaggia Laurito in Positano. This beach is known for the restaurant next door, Da Adolfo, but by happy accident we wound up on Le Sirene’s water taxi and were thrilled to lounge on the far less crowded side of the beach. The food was incredibly fresh, I’m talking they brought the live fish to our table before they cooked it fresh. You could rent chairs and towels for 7 Euros, the drinks were reasonably priced, and the service was great.

Le Sirene

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Knowing what we know now, it would have been awesome to spend more time in either the Cinque Terre, or a small village in Tuscany like San Gimegnano, as opposed to staying in Florence for the full 5 days. We did day trips to these places and they were so beautiful and relaxing, we would have loved more time. Though we both loved Florence, 2 days there would have been more than enough for us, as we really didn’t have an interest in spending a lot of time in museums on our honeymoon.

Duomo lunch

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Real Honeymoon: Greece & Italy

In search of gorgeous scenery and delicious food, Sarah and Charlie honeymooned in two of the most popular European destinations: Santorini and the Amalfi Coast. Read all about their amazing honeymoon in Greece and Italy below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

For our honeymoon, we went to Santorini, Greece and the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

SantoriniHotel

How long was your trip?

We were gone for 12 days. We arrived in Santorini in the morning, stayed there for 5 nights, and then we flew directly into Naples and split our time in Italy: 3 nights in Ravello, 3 nights in Positano and 1 night in Naples (we had a super early flight).

Ravello Honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We had a hard time picking our honeymoon. It was between Greece/Italy or Africa. I know- huge difference. We decided on Italy/Greece because we really wanted to use the time to relax, go to the beach, and eat good food. We had both been to Italy but not the coast, and neither of us had been to Greece so we were excited to visit these places for the first time together. We both love to cook and learn about food, so we felt like this was perfect for our hobby. We decided we would save Africa for some time down the road when we’re not coming off the heels of a whirlwind wedding weekend!

Santorini honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

This is hard since we went to two different places!

– The best part of our honeymoon in Greece was a day on a catamaran sailing around the island. We used Santorini Sailing to set up our trip. We were on a catamaran with a few other couples and one couple with their college-aged son. Not only was it a beautiful day at sea, but it was so fun to meet people from different countries. Everyone on the boat came from somewhere different: Canada, New York, England, and France. On the boat they grilled up some fresh calamari, served some amazing fresh salads, pastas, and meat dishes- all authentic greek food.

Santorini Honeymoon

– Our favorite part of our Italy portion was our cooking class. We went to Mamma Agata’s Cooking School, definitely a highlight of our trip!! We spent the day learning to cook the best eggplant parmesan I’d ever had, lemon cake, pastas, and other dishes that were so delicious. In between breaks, we were able to take our wine and walk around their gardens where they grew all their fresh vegetables. It didn’t hurt that they view looked over the Amalfi Coast. The class was full of other honeymooners which made it really fun. Afterwards, we went as a group to visit the Terrace of Infinity — the view was astounding.

Ravello honeymoon

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

We spent our last night in Naples because we flew out of Naples, connected in Rome. We had a car pick us up at our Positano hotel at 5:30pm to bring us to Naples because we didn’t want to leave! Our driver told us he often brings people from Positano directly to Rome. We realized that we could have had one more night in Positano, and left really early to make the same flight. I wish we could have had the extra night there because I got sick on that portion of the trip, so we missed out on a couple restaurants I was looking forward to trying.

Positano Honeymoon

How much planning did you do in advance?

We did a good amount of planning in advance. I knew a few people who had done Amalfi or Santorini for their honeymoons or vacations, so my first step was to reach out to people I knew. I always like getting an opinion from someone I know/trust rather than hitting trip advisor. I also looked at Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, etc. for suggestions. We did find out about the cooking class through trip advisor- the reviews were insane, it was a no brainer. We found out about the sailing trip through a girl from college. I saw her honeymoon pics on Facebook and immediately emailed her for all Santorini suggestions, same with my boss who had just visited that previous summer. Word of mouth was really important to me because I know how I trust. (I wish I had this website to turn to–I love hearing about people’s trips!)

Santorini Windmills

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Where to Stay During Your Honeymoon in Italy

I’m excited to share a new series of posts about where real honeymooners have enjoyed staying in some of the most popular destinations.  First up, Italy!

honeymoon in italy

As mentioned in my first anniversary post, Italy was the most popular honeymoon destination on the blog last year.  I’ve aggregated the notes from all of those honeymoons and compiled the following list of hotel recommendations.*

For couples who have never been to Italy before, visiting Rome and/or Florence is a must.  The history, art, food, and architecture are unparalleled.  Below are some of the hotels that real honeymooners enjoyed staying in last year.

Rome:

Florence:

As amazing as Rome and Florence are though, you’ll probably want to get out of the big cities at some point to relax along the coast or to (literally) drink in the beauty of wine country.  Luckily the train system within Italy is convenient and efficient, so you can easily check out multiple regions within the country.  Below are some of the other cities that real honeymooners recommended, and the hotels that they liked best.

Tuscany:

Positano:

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Real Honeymoon: Italy & Greece (Part 2)

Yesterday’s blog post was the first half of Jenny and Tyler’s amazing honeymoon in Italy and Greece, and when we left off Jenny was talking about three of her favorite parts of the trip.  Number three is below:

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#3 Staying at Ikies and watching the sunset

We arrived in Santorini in the late afternoon and took a 20 minute shuttle to our hotel in Oia, which is where the amazing sunset takes place. We thought it would be fun to explore Oia for 3 nights and then head down to Kumari Beach for the remaining 3 nights before flying to Athens. Our hotel, Ikies, is nothing short of spectacular and couldn’t imagine a more breathtaking view and private terrace. This room and view has been our inspiration to get us through work and school!

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Another gorgeous Santorini sunset

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santorini breakfast

That Greek breakfast looks delicious!

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

We probably didn’t need to stay as long in Santorini and could have gotten away with either an extra day or two in Rome or Athens. We absolutely loved the week there; however, by the end of the week, we had really seen everything there was to see on the island.

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The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

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Tyler posing on the way up to the Acropolis in Athens

How much planning did you do in advance?

We booked all of our flights and hotels prior and had done a decent amount of research on all of the activities there were in each city. We did book the cooking school months before as it’s extremely popular and we wanted to make sure we got a spot.

Beautiful Positano

Beautiful Positano

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Real Honeymoon: Italy & Greece (Part 1)

Jenny and Tyler’s Mediterranean honeymoon was so great that I didn’t want to confine their stories and photos to one blog post.  Read the first part about their honeymoon in Italy and Greece today, and then make sure to check back to the blog tomorrow to read Part 2!  Oh, and prepare to drool over their Italian cooking class photos ; )

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Positano and Rome in Italy, and then Santorini (Oia and Kamari Beach) and Athens in Greece.

Positano honeymoon

How long was your trip?

We opted for an extended honeymoon of 2.5 weeks, which was the perfect amount as we were able to truly unplug, relax, and not feel like we needed to rush around.

Amalfi Coast

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We didn’t go on our honeymoon until our one year anniversary as my husband started business school at Columbia the week after we got married. We moved to NYC three days after we got married, which was quite the whirlwind. We were initially going to take our honeymoon to Thailand in January during his Christmas break; however, he found out that first year students complete their recruiting during the break :( So, we were back to the drawing board and decided to take two weeks in August just before school started up. We both had wanted to go to Italy and Greece and thought it would be perfect timing, which it was!

The best part about our honeymoon was…

#1 Mamma Agata Cooking School

There was so much anticipation with this day as we had booked this activity in January! We got the recommendation to try this cooking school from my good friend’s older sister who had attended a cooking class with her husband. The reviews on Trip Advisor were nothing short of amazing and we were really excited to go.

mamma

Tyler and Jenny with Mamma Agata

Upon arriving, her daughter Chiara greeted us with a huge hug and welcomed us into her family’s home. We took 10 steps down to the terrace and were overwhelmed by the most beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast. We were introduced to the other guests participating in the cooking class and enjoyed a cup of coffee and Mamma Agata’s famous lemon cake. It was the perfect way to kick off a cooking class….by eating!

lemon cake

The infamous lemon cake

Promptly at 11am, we were guided into the kitchen by Chiara where we met Mamma Agata and began the cooking class. We learned so many tips and tricks and got to sample everything! It isn’t your typical hands-on class, but rather is all about understanding the techniques and art of selecting the right food and preparing it perfectly. We cooked until about 1:30pm (and took several wine and food breaks in between) before taking a longer break to explore the family’s garden. The coolest part of the cooking school is that Mamma Agata and her family grow all their own vegetables and raise their own animals on the hillside. The garden was so impressive and really made us want to garden one day! After our break, Chiara, her husband Gennaro, and their son Mario (11 years old and precious), served us the lunch we had cooked: the most amazing Eggplant Parmigiana, Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta, Farmer’s Spaghetti, Lemon Chicken, and Coccolis (fritters). It was seriously the best Italian meal we have ever had!!!!

pasta spaghetti eggplant

After a long meal, we ended the day with one last slice of lemon cake, said our goodbyes, and walked down the 1,000 feet (stairs) to Amalfi. We walked around Amalfi for about one hour before taking the ferry (8 Euro per person each way) back to Positano. It was the perfect way to end the most AMAZING day.

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