Honeymooners: Heidi & Erin
Type: Heidi & Erin's Dreamy Italian Honeymoon
Budget: Spendy ($5000-$10,000)
Where did you go? We spent ten nights in Italy, four in Rome and six in Sorrento. Erin's parents returned from a trip to Italy to celebrate her Dad's 60th birthday a few months before our wedding. When we saw their pictures and heard their stories, we knew that somehow we had to make an Italian honeymoon a reality.
What did you do? Our first four nights we spent in Rome, and we were constantly on the go! We saw most of the main tourist attractions (Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain). We found that the double-decker tour buses, as cheesy as they are, are the best way to orient yourself to a new city.
Our bed and breakfast in Rome, the Ancient Trastevere, was great. It was essentially a studio apartment, that the “innkeeper” would stop by each morning in order to replenish the breakfast pantry. It felt like we really lived in Rome for those four days.
Our time in Sorrento was a little more laid back. Sorrento is a breathtaking town on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
We splurged on the hotel here, staying at the Hotel Minerva. Our room had a balcony over the sea with a view of Mt. Vesuvius. We spent our first day just strolling through town, and admiring the views (which never got old). Sorrento is a great home base for seeing the sights south of Rome.
Pompeii was easily accessible via the local train. We took a day trip via ferry to the island of Capri, where we shared a teeny row-boat with another couple into the Blue Grotto (which is worth every Euro they over charge you), and rode a somewhat rickety chairlift up to the top of the highest point on the island, Mount Solaro. I don't think my eyes have ever seen such a beautiful blue as the Mediterranean from almost 2000 feet above.
But, one of the main reasons we chose to stay in Sorrento was because it was an affordable place to stay near the Amalfi coast. Much to our dismay, the buses were not running from Sorrento to the Amalfi coast during our time there because of a landslide. That didn't stop us! We discovered, after conferring with some locals, that the road was only “officially” closed, and that there were plenty of willing taxi drivers who would take tourists, at their own risk, past the roadblocks. We figured if we were going to die that would be the way to go. It was worth the risk — Positano and Amalfi Town are surreally beautiful.
Finally, we ate, and ate and ATE! It's no lie, the Italians are serious about their food.
What would you have done differently? Scheduled time off after we returned from our honeymoon. For some reason, I thought I would be immune to jet lag and able to jump right back into work the next day. I was terribly wrong. Even if jet lag hadn't been an issue, it would have been nice to have some time to re-integrate into normal, everyday life.
What's your best travel advice for other offbeat honeymooners? We honeymooned in October, nine months after our January wedding. It was wonderful having all that time to focus on planning the trip without stressing about a wedding.
Also, with all of that planning time, we had a pretty comprehensive itinerary. Especially in a country with so much to do it's overwhelming, it was nice to have narrowed down our “must sees.” And, of course, when you're doing more of a sightseeing and less of a laying-on-the-beach type honeymoon, remember to set aside some downtime, because this is your honeymoon after all (something Erin needed to remind me of a few times!).
Also, we would never have been able to afford this trip on our own. By doing a honeymoon fund in lieu of a wedding registry, we were able to cover the airfare and hotels with the wedding gift money, and then saved up for the rest of the expenses (meals, museum tickets, shopping, etc.).
If you're interested in more stories, we blogged about our trip here.
Enough talk — show me more amazing places you explored: