Italia, Stiamo Arrivando!

(That’s what Google Translate says equals “Italy, here we come” so if it’s wrong”¦my apologies!)

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(St. Peter’s Basicilica via National Geographic / by Toyohiro Yamada)

So, after looking over our honeymoon short list, Wolfman and I finally chose an Italian adventure, covering two cities—Rome and Florence. We booked our flights last night and I am SO pumped.

First off, here’s why the other options got the axe:

Mount Kilamanjaro

”¦yeah, I was never too into this idea. In life, yes—for a honeymoon, no.

Maldives/Seychelles

This idea ended up being super expensive. Compared to flight costs for Italy (somewhere around the $1,000 range), flights to both places were several times as pricey and really long—if they existed at all. We also finally admitted to ourselves that we’re not really “lounge around on the beach” types of people. Don’t get me wrong—I like some relaxing beach time—but we started worrying that we were considering this option because it was traditionally “honeymooney” and we’d be paying a premium to be kinda bored.

Switzerland

Almost as soon as I hit publish on that honeymoon post, this idea started to fall by the wayside. Wolfman had been to both Zurich and Geneva, and although he liked both, he finally admitted that he didn’t really want to repeat when there was so much of the world to see. No problem.

A mini-moon somewhere close by

This almost won. We were about to book a 4 day trip to Aspen, figuring that would be (relatively) inexpensive and romantic. But then flights were just a little less than the Italy ones (!) and we realized the cold weather really doesn’t bother us.

So, Italy!

Rome is a no-brainer—we both love the history and it seems like a requirement if you’re visiting the country. For me, Florence is a must. As you may recall, I’m a museum nerd, and finally visiting the Uffizi is something I’ve dreamed about ever since I took Italian Renaissance art history courses. We considered traveling to some other areas, but decided to wait until a warmer weather vacation (and when we had more time off of work) to visit some of the more outdoorsy places in the country.

I just ordered these books:

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(Frommers Day by Day series, images via Amazon, 1, 2)

This series of travel guides is our favorite, but do you have any recs for us? What are our must sees and dos? I’d love any advice for hotels and restaurants too!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Gray Wolf

Location:
Washington DC
Wedding Date:
February 2013
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  1. Member
    dcgirl655 113 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:50 pm

    Ahhhh so exciting!

  2. Member
    dancingriss 305 posts, Helper bee @ 4:04 pm

    St. Peter’s is beautiful! Pictures just under the skylight turn out so great

  3. Member
    sarahcool 224 posts, Helper bee @ 4:29 pm

    Yay! We did 2 weeks in Italy for our honeymoon – Venice, Amalfi Coast & Rome! I’ve been to Italy 7 or 8 times, and I actually highly recommend Rick Steve’s guidebooks. His restaurant suggestions are almost always spot-on, and he offers some time saving tips that literally paid for the book in usefulness – for instance, the quickest way to skirt a lot of lines into major sites.

  4. Member
    sarahcool 224 posts, Helper bee @ 4:32 pm

    Also, the Scavi tour of the Vatican (a tour of the crypts below the Vatican) was one of the absolute coolest things we did, overall. Request tickets early – it is 100000% worth it.

    Send them an email (instructions on this page cited below) and offer which dates you have available for a tour. They will choose one and assign you a time.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connected/uffscavi/documents/rc_ic_uffscavi_doc_gen-information_20090216_en.html

    http://www.saintpetersbasilica.org/Necropolis/ScaviTour.htm

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Rose, Guest @ 5:16 pm

    I went to Rome and Florence with my fiance in 2010 and we used those exact same two Frommer’s. They are really the best.
    We went to Andalusia (Spain) this April and I had two travel guides a Frommer and something else. Once again, the Frommer was great.
    Enjoy your honeymoon

  6. Member
    mkelove 666 posts, Busy bee @ 5:43 pm

    I am so jealous! Italy is on my list too since I have yet to make it there, enjoy!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Sara, Guest @ 7:20 pm

    Oh Miss Gray Wolf, my list is long an extensive for you, but I’ll give you two things you HAVETODO for Florence right now. ;)

    -You MUST have a honeymoon dinner at the Golden View. Make reservations for a table by the window (http://www.goldenviewopenbar.com/)
    -You MUST hike up to the Piazza Michelangelo and watch the sunset over the city and see the same colors in the sky that the Renaissance painters did.

  8. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 7:40 pm

    I studied abroad in college and went to both cities and the focus of the trip was art, so you’ve made great choices! The Uffizi is lovely. Florence…gelato (try some of the more exotic flavors!), the outdoor markets, Piazza Michelangelo as someone else mentioned. I had amazing pizza right at the base of the Campanile. Try to catch a sunrise…that was always on my list. Rome…Sistine Chapel/Vatican City, Coliseum, wine! You seriously won’t struggle with things to do.

  9. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:10 pm

    That’s going to be such a fun honeymoon! Eat some gelato for me! As far as travel guide recommendations, I love Rick Steves’ guides.

  10. Member
    Klindner124 1 posts, Wannabee @ 8:11 pm

    I studied abroad in Florence and absolutely loved it! A great restaurant is the Golden View right next to the Ponte Vecchio and has an amazing view of the Arno. Best gelato is Grom just one block south of the Duomo. My parents stayed at the Hotel La Residenza when they visited and loved the location and price. Also a great museum if you like sculpture is the Bargello, it was my absolute favorite. Hope this helps!

    Just saw that Sara recommended the Golden View too, that is how great it is, it’s a must!

  11. Member
    pigment80 201 posts, Helper bee @ 8:35 pm

    Just had my wedding in Italy in September…If you need any other recommendations, let me know! It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

    Our wedding was in a tiny tuscan town, easily reachable by train from Florence – great if you need a little break from the cities!

  12. Member
    mswallaby 2061 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:42 pm

    Awwww have fun!!! I second Mrs. Treasure’s recommendation of Rick Steves – his books always have really good walking tours, restaurant recs, and little write-ups about history. The Uffizi is amazing, get there early because there WILL be a line. In Rome, get some time away from the touristy places and hang out in Trastevere, Rome’s “left bank.” It has many more bars, cafes, restaurants, etc. and is fab for people watching. Oh, and splurge a little on a guided tour of the Roman Forum – I took a Greek & roman history class in college and I still needed help identifying places inside the Forum. There is very very little signage inside the Forum and the guided tour is really fun, I promise. Eat lot of gelato for me!!!

  13. Member
    archer 551 posts, Busy bee @ 9:52 pm

    Jealoussssss! Eat gelato and lots of pasta for me!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    replica watches, Guest @ 12:49 am

    thanks for share!

  15. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:42 am

    You will love Florence! I loved it! So much to do and see! Rome I wasn’t a huge fan of but thats just me!

  16. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:45 am

    aah! You have to tell me how this goes! It’s close to what we were thinking for our honeymoon!

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    我们总有太多的来不及, Guest @ 5:07 am

    我们总有太多的来不及。 我们总以为 时间 会等我们,容许我们从头再来,弥补缺憾。 岂不知“一日无常到,方知梦中人,万般将不去,唯有业随身。” 灾难永远在我们猝不及防的时候当头砸下,你无从躲避,无能怯惧,心胆俱碎,招架无力。我们唯一能做的,只不过在还来得及

  18. Member
    kmarie719 795 posts, Busy bee @ 6:12 am

    I received the Frommer’s day by day for Rome when we traveled last year, and the detachable map was perfect to carry around all day.

    I highly recommend looking into renting apartments in each city, rather than staying at hotels. It is significantly cheaper than a hotel and you can find them throughout the city, near the attractions. For Rome, there is a group of apartments rented out by a company called Apartments Apart, check them out!

  19. Member
    MrsCov 50 posts, Worker bee @ 6:39 am

    We honeymooned in Rome (and Sorrento too). Tips for Rome:
    - Pre book your Vatican Museums / St Peter’s Basilica tickets. Saves lots of time in queues and you can do it direct through the Vatican’s own web site. We had a great guide on the tour.
    - Be really really careful if you use the metro. There are loads of pick pockets.
    - The colosseum guided tour that takes you down under the arena and up to the top level is a must, and can also be pre-booked. Again, our guide was fantastic.

  20. Member
    pretzel 670 posts, Busy bee @ 9:11 am

    If you are going to Rome, the Amalfi coast is close- I highly recommend it. Also, I would pick up Rick Steves Italy. I also agree with the comment about renting an apartment. We rented a condo and loved it. As far as order. I would do Rome first. Our friends who visited Florence first said that everything paled in comparison to Florence. I have a couple Italy planning posts that I can PM you later.

  21. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:11 pm

    This sounds amazing! Italy is way up there on my to-visit list, so I already can’t wait for your recaps!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Jeip, Guest @ 12:55 pm

    My family really loves the Rick Steve’s guidebooks. I haven’t used his Italy books, but his Europe, France, and Scandinavian ones as well as his website are great.

  23. Member
    coyote 1547 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:26 pm

    I went to Rome and Florence back in 2007 and it was seriously the trip of a lifetime. You guys are going to have the most wonderful, romantic honeymoon!!

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