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My husband proposed to me in Venice so I never doubted even for a moment that I want to spend our honeymoon in Italy. After some tme of reading different reviews on the Internet we have decided to order a tour in a travel agency. ItalyHoneymoons was the first company we found searching for honeymoon Italy package (the name speaks for itself!) and I think it was our fate.
Here's the final route on which we have agreed: Lake Maggiore - Venice - Florence - Tuscany - Sorrento - Rome. Though it seemed too much places to visit, see and remember we have managed to do this and I still have all the details in my heart.
Lake Maggiore. Of course the lake and surrounding mountains dominate in the local landscape. Peaks of the Alps were still covered with snow, islands could be seen from far away and there were very few people there. My soul was singing and seems like it was even trying to dance!
Vegetation on the seafront is typically promenade - palm trees, flowering bushes and widely ramified trees. There are some monuments, apparently the Italian partisans and their horses, and believe it or not - abandoned home (maybe nobody needs it? We would take it!).
Free time we spent on visiting the islands in Gulf of Borromeo. They are so beautiful that I could write a separate review of these places. I hope you are intrigued now :) Make sure to visit these places yourself! But we prepared for the fabulous Venice!
Venice is an open air museum. We had planned walking tour; we walked around the town, saw different palaces and had a gondola ride. The beauty of walking routes is that we were taken to places that tourists don't normally visit but nevertheless they are also very beautiful.
Florence. In general in Florence everything is located nearby. From the reviews on the internet I realized that it is better to walk in Florence so we pre-booked a walking tour. We have given plenty of time to Florence by visiting almost all that was possible to visit. A huge advantage of a group tour is that you are shown and told everything and don't have to search for attractions yourself. So don't rush to make false conclusions about them.
But for the next three days the company booked us a car to rent. In such cases you will definitely need a navigator; to us it was very useful when exploring Tuscany. Tuscany is the middle of Italy, middle of ages and middle of art. Tuscany is a land of castles and Romanesque churches.
City names sound like poetry: Arezzo, Monteriggioni, Colle di Val d'Elsa, San Gimignano, Montepulciano. But sometimes not: Murlo Certaldo... Even the time couldn't change their appearance! Eras passed, rulers left, styles changed but the austere stone houses continued to climb the hillsides without disturbing the harmony of the beautiful landscapes.
The whole Tuscany can be considered a queen of red and mother of great white wines. Chianti wine is produced here - it is the most Italian of red wines which combines a bunch of black and white grapes. We have tasted unique wines, Tuscan cuisine, breads and, of course, desserts which no doubt have no equals.
Tuscany really impressed us with its views and we didn't want to leave but we had to return the car because no less attractive Sorrento was waiting for us.
In Sorrento at our disposal we had four days. At the end of each day it looked like it cannot be better but a new day has proved that it can! :) We had a romantic trip to the Amalfi Coast. We also visited the island of Capri. This is truly one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean. This luxury resort is chosen by stars of the world of show business and millionaires. Capri is a symbol of Dolce vita and we felt like royalty.
Almost 2 days were included in our honeymoon Italy package to visit well-preserved ancient Roman city of Pompeii buried by the eruption of Vesuvius under his ashes almost 2000 years ago. What was left of the city allows you to imagine how they lived in that distant imperial era and feel the panic that swept the people in the last moments before the city was so ruthlessly buried.
Murals, houses, public buildings, a forum, a theater, even a house of tolerance (Lupanary) - all this can be seen in Pompeii and it will leave you speechless experience.
Due to the sudden and rapid destruction Pompeii is the best preserved ancient city. Since all the furnishings of houses remained intact beneath the lava Pompeii has become an important and valuable source of information about life, household, urban development, culture and art of the Roman Empire in I century AD.
And of course we had final days in Rome, full of emotions and love. Sightseeing tour went a little too fast but we still had time in Rome so we could catch up. But a tour of the Vatican was amazing! I only regret that we spent a lot of time on photos, it would be better to watch and listen more.
In the Sistine Chapel we dropped behind the group because we admired the views for a long time. But that's OK because everything is on the same path. We caught up with our group in the headphones in the Cathedral. While we absorbed the spirit of Rome our time on this Italy honeymoon trip was slowly coming to an end.
All-in-all I surely enjoyed our trip! It was a great choice for our first family travel and I hope our life together will be full of love and pleasant emotions like it was on our Italy honeymoon.
Recently we celebrated our wedding and decided to spend our honeymoon in Italy, one the most romantic countries of Europe.
My husband and I made a research to find an agency that would help us to plan the route for our 2 weeks honeymoon and that would take care of all reservations and transportation. Also we wanted to rent a car for a few days to visit some places by ourselves. We found Italy Honeymoons agency on the Internet, filled out its simple form and were immediately called by Francesca, the travel agent who helped us explore the most beautiful places of Italy.
Our tour with a detailed schedule for every day in Italy was ready a few days later. Italy: 18.09 - 30.09.2014
Abano Terme, the hotel "La Residence & Idrokinesis." Routes between the cities:
At the north of Italy there is a region called Veneto which is famous not only for the amazing city of Venice and the ancient city of Padua but also for the thermal Abano Terme and Montegrotto Terme spas that have an insanely picturesque view of the amazing Euganean Hills.
Abano Terme and Montegrotto are within a five minute drive from each other. Basically, these two towns consist of hotels, parks and boutiques. Francesca booked us the lovely "La Residence & Idrokinesis" hotel in Abano Terme. It is a perfect place for those who want to combine treatments with the possibility to see the world-famous attractions of Italy: romantic Venice, vintage Padua, lovely Verona, Lake Garda and the majestic Adriatic Coast.
The territory of the "La Residence" hotel is not too big but is very well maintained. There are three swimming pools having different water temperatures and two of them are interconnected; excellent rooms and amazing cuisine that any foodie would appreciate.
The beautiful nature and perfect climate provide some excellent features for a total relaxation. After just a few days in Abano Terme we already could feel a huge improvement in the condition of both our bodies and our minds.
Venice is located 60 kilometers from Abano Terme. In the morning our guide came for us and took us to the train station. Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! The charming city on water... we couldn't stop admiring it! I always wanted to get to Venice and, finally, here I come. It felt like I was standing in a huge theater that for some reason was placed on the water. Everything seemed somehow unreal, fantastic and theatrical. We fell in love with Venice at first sight. The only form of public transport in Venice is a kind of water bus which is called vaporetto. The vaporetto appeared in Venice in 1881 and until that moment the locals were using their own boats and gondolas.
We decided to take a gondola ride to make our honeymoon even more unforgettable! It was so wonderful to listen to the gondolier's songs and enjoy the romance of Venice.
After the ride we visited the St. Mark's Square. There, from the bell tower, we saw one of the greatest panoramas ever!
Thanks to Francesca, the tickets to the St. Mark's Basilica were booked in advance, so we didn't have to stand in the huge lines. We were filled with admiration for the painted ceilings and mosaics of the church.
Then we decided to buy some souvenirs for our parents and friends. The prices for souvenirs are very different for the same goods and their quality is very different, too. The good news is that everyone can afford to buy at least something!
The variety of masks is just amazing! And how beautiful they are! I wanted to try them all, and this is the one I brought with me back home.
Oh, how great it would be to come in Venice for the carnival and wear a beautiful gown and this chic mask!
The next day we traveled to Milan. The same as before, our guide arrived in the morning and for this time we went to the station in Padua. In two hours we were already in Milan. We went to the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world - the Duomo di Milano on the main square of Milan - and enjoyed the amazing panoramic view of the Duomo square. The length of the Duomo of Milan is 157 meters and it can accommodate 40,000 people.
We walked down the Dante Street and came to the heart of Milan, the Sforzesco Castle (Castello Sforzesco), which is one of the most famous castles in Italy. Right in front of the old Sforzesco Castle there is a huge fountain in the form of a wedding cake which is another attraction of Milan. As locals say, "The Wedding Cake" is the patron saint of lovers and anyone who is waiting for this great feeling. To make your dreams come true you just have to throw a coin in the fountain and wait.
When we came out of the Sforzesco Castle, we found ourselves in a huge beautiful park named Sempione. It is a popular place for everyone who wishes to spend their time with nature. You can see there people sunbathing, chatting, or doing whatever else they like. The atmosphere is very simple and relaxed.
The distance from Abano Terme to Verona is just 98 km. Verona is one of the most magnificent cities of northern Italy, proudly spread out on the banks of the Adige River, not far from the Lake Garda. Verona is well known city and thousands of tourists or simple romantics want to get there to enjoy its medieval atmosphere and discover its many attractions like the Arena di Verona amphitheater and Juliet's house (Casa di Giulietta).
To get to the Arena di Verona we would have to stay for at least an hour in the ticket line but since we had everything booked in advance by the program we didn't have to waste our time and managed to visit all of the places we wanted.
Verona's most famous attraction is the house of Juliet. People say that, if you will kiss your beloved under Juliet's balcony, your love will last forever. Well then, we kisses!
The courtyard is full of loving couples from all over the world. Some of them were kissing under the balcony, others writing notes to leave on the walls, though it's really hard to find an empty spot on any of them (this is a big challenge because there are already millions of notes and paintings of this kind). We passed by the Erbe square (Piazza delle Erbe) and tasted some exciting chilled fruits. On the square there is the 84--meter Lamberti tower which offers a panoramic view of the entire Verona.
The distance from Abano Terme to Padua is only 12 km. The best way to get there is by an ordinary voyage bus. We decided to get a car there so Francesca arranged everything for the car rental.
From the main square of Prato della Valle, which is located in the center, spread some beautiful narrow medieval streets. It turns out that the central part of the city is almost fully pedestrianized, so most of the time spent in the city we were walking on foot. Basilica di Sant'Antonio is an amazing place to see. Also we found a place that my husband called "the gourmand's paradise" And here is our car! Yeaah!
Lake Garda is located 136 km from Abano Terme. It took us about 1.5 hours to get there. On the way to Lake Garda we popped into a shop and bought some quality and inexpensive shoes. Hundreds of tourists (mostly from Germany and Italy itself) come to Lake Garda to spend their holidays in one of the adjacent villages. We were swimmingin the cool crystal clear water and fishing.
Lake Garda is worth visiting for at least a few days to enjoy its mountains, water, sun and sky.
San Marino is one of the smallest and most ancient states in Europe. During the climb to Monte Titano you can enjoy some wonderful views and take a ride over San Marino on the funicular. In front of our eyes opens a magnificent view, even if it is not the highest point on the Monte Titano Mountain.
After that we went to the square of the city of San Marino and saw the government palace and the Statue of Liberty.
After going through the narrow streets we went for the main attractions of the city. Two of the three fortresses of San Marino, Guaita and Cesta are some small locks on the mountain peaks that are open for the public but the third - Montale fortress - is closed.
San Marino is certainly a very beautiful and interesting city with a perfectly preserved medieval appearance: abundance of castles and old buildings are the best proof for this. This fact inspires a great respect for the "free" people of the Republic of San Marino, for centuries they took care of their history.
In Genoa, the capital of the Ligurian coast of Italy, we went by car. The distance between the cities of Genoa and Abano Terme is 373 km. Before heading to the waterfront of Genoa, we passed through a few streets of the Old Town: narrow streets with very old houses, interesting frescoes and bas-reliefs, different stained glass windows, huge antique doors, even the air is saturated with antiquity. And all this was somehow gloomy, despite of the great sunny weather. Genoa is a very hospitable city. In addition to the Chinese on the streets, we met Arabs, Indians, and many other nationalities. Then we visited Old Port of Genoa which is the largest port in the country. Recently the famous architect Renzo Piano has transformed the old harbor and port in a very beautiful place for romantic walks. Genoa tourists as well as the Italians seem to be very happy to spend their time here.
Attractions of Porto Antico: the Aquarium, the Biosphere, the Bigot and the Maritime Museum - Galleon "Neptune". The Aquarium is one of the largest in Europe (more than 5,000 species). And again, because of its popularity, it had a huge line for tickets. Happily, we already had our tickets; otherwise we just wouldn't get there because we didn't have much time. "Biosphere" is a glass ball with a diameter of 20 meters; it is like a small Amazonian forest. The ball made by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, was installed for the celebration of the anniversary of Christopher Columbus to illustrate the route of the great explorer. The observation deck "Bigot" is a great structure that can be compared with a giant spider.
Pisa. In the small town of Pisa, which is located in the Italian province of Tuscany on the Arno River coast, we saw the famous leaning tower of Pisa which is one of the main attractions of Italy. There are different opinions and information about the construction of the Tower of Pisa. The guide told us a very interesting legend that is associated with the construction of the Leaning tower and its first master Pisano.
The tower has a spiral staircase of 294 steps; if you are brave enough to climb it you can visit the observation deck and enjoy the views of the town of Pisa. On the Court of Miracles, besides the famous tower, are also located the Cathedral, the Baptistery and an ancient cemetery.
Florence is an open-air museum-city in which most of buildings are in the list of cultural values of Italy; it is the birthplace of world-famous artists, sculptors, writers and poets. We visited the main attractions of Florence which are located in the central historic district.
In the heart of the city is Santa Maria del Fiore that was built in XIII--XIV centuries and is considered one of the greatest Catholic cathedrals in the world. In front of the cathedral there is an ancient structure of Battistero di S. Giovanni. In Piazza della Signoria we visited the Palazzo Vecchio, stopped at the Bronze equestrian statue of Cosimo I, and looked into the Loggia dei Lanzi which is a museum of sculptures, the entrance to which is guarded by lions (made of stone, of course).
Here we admired the famous sculptures of David (Michelangelo), Judith with the Head of Holofernes (Donatello), Hercules, winning Kakusa (Bandinelli), Perseus (Benvenuto Cellini) and others. Then we visited the gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts and Uffizi Gallery.
Abano Terme. When we came back in Abano Terme we felt like home. We were back in the arms of the Euganean Hills and continued our romantic stay spending the free time by hiking and cycling in the city.
After meeting her majesty Italy we fell under her spells. It is a wonderful experience which we will remember forever thanks to the professionals of Italy Honeymoons agency. Our sweet honeymoon was the best of the best!