Italy has long been seen as one of the world’s most romantic nations, so it is no surprise to find that it is also one of the most popular destinations to both get married in, and visit for a honeymoon. As a Travel Counsellor I am able to help organise both the wedding abroad and the honeymoon itself, so I have great experience in understanding what makes this beautiful country so popular. The food, wine, culture, terrain and even the language itself provide a stunning backdrop for the most romantic of retreats for any couple.
Italy has so much variation to offer travellers that the hardest part in my experience is deciding on where to go. From the soaring, spectacular Amalfi Coast to the rolling, vineyard-blanketed hills of Tuscany. Perhaps you would prefer to be inspired by the culture and history in the Eternal City, Rome, or the meandering waterways of Venice? Maybe it is the glistening Lakes and golden sand beaches of Sardinia that evoke your passion, but in any case, Italy really does have everything to melt even the least romantic of hearts.
So with so much on offer, where do you start with planning your honeymoon there? I have booked a number of trips there for my clients, and personally I believe that Italy is a fantastic destination for a multi-centre trip. Whether you opt for a self-drive option, which is relatively inexpensive and easy to navigate, allowing you that extra freedom to manage your own trip, or whether you use the excellent public transport available. There are a number of specific twin or multi-centre trips that I would particularly recommend.
One such perfect marriage is that of the Amalfi Coast and a stay in the nation’s capital, Rome. This allows the perfect balance of stunning scenery, coastal sunshine and the fascinating history, culture and unrivalled splendour of one of the world’s most amazing cities.
If you are not the kind of couple who would like the more fast-paced city side of a honeymoon then why not combine a trip to Sardinia, with all of its breath-taking scenery, with a visit to Lake Como. I guarantee a feat for the senses, and the unending gratitude of your loved one when you are sipping wine overlooking these magnificent destinations.
One recent honeymoon I booked was for a client who was getting married not far from Perugia. They wanted to do a 10 day tour of Italy, by hiring a car and seeing as much as possible in the timeframe, without spending day after day on the road, while still balancing a cultural look at the cities with a more luxurious side of their honeymoon. Complex itineraries like these are what I personally revel in, allowing me to get researching, tweaking, changing and conversing with the client until I know everything is perfect for their trip. Eventually we planned a route that included a luxurious spa hotel outside of Perugia to start their honeymoon, with days staying in Rome, Bologna, Florence and Venice, bookended by another luxury spa hotel so they maintained a perfect balance of action and relaxation. I love being able to manage these tailor made trips, and even found a number of restaurants and activities to recommend and book for them along the way (unbeknownst to his wife to be). By booking these special additions, a champagne meal overlooking Florence and a river cruise at night along the Tiber, I hope their honeymoon becomes that more memorable, as their satisfaction means I have done my job well.
Of course, any possibility is open to the honeymooner, they may prefer a shorter, mini-moon, focussing on one particular Romantic destination, and in this respect you are spoilt for choice in Italy. Some of the most traditional romantic images are set in history as quintessentially Italian.
Of course, Venice, with its water-lined streets, and operatic gondola rides, simply exudes romance in every sense. With many direct flights from regional airports it is also extremely accessible, and with shorter breaks, budgets need not be stretched. This is not to say planning will be any less exacting, making sure the of the perfect hotel, specially requested rooms, and additional suggestions and touches are all part of the experience no matter the length or size of the booking. Rome as well, is a perfect place to spend a long weekend or beyond, with as little or as much to do as you desire. History, culture, food and wine are a perfect combination to melt any heart.
How about those who want to find something a little bit different? Something not so well trodden, but still with the capacity to create a million memories, Italy has plenty to offer there also. One area I could suggest as such are the towns along Liguria’s coastline. Many have the same kind of scenery you would expect from places like the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre, but most of the non-Cinque Terre towns aren’t nearly as visited as those on the Amalfi (at least by non-Italians). Although the water you’d be lazily staring at isn’t technically the Mediterranean (it’s the Ligurian Sea), you’re not likely to notice. In fact, if you’ve ever looked into taking a Mediterranean cruise, you may recall the name Portofino – it’s a popular port of call, and like some of the Amalfi Coast towns, more of a high-end vacation spot. Nearby towns like Santa Margherita Ligure, Portovenere, and Rapallo are other towns you might want to consider as a seaside base for your Italian honeymoon, the list is seemingly endless.
Italy is a perfect honeymoon destination in anyone’s language, let alone the language of love, and there are simply countless combinations and opportunities to make memories to last a lifetime without breaking the bank. Whatever your budget, planning is the key to ensuring you spend every second of your trip soaking up the splendor of this amazing country. As a Travel Counsellor I have the knowledge and experience to do the hard work for you, so you merely need to pop the cork, the champagne will already be on ice.
Written by, IAN HUGHES