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Italia Honeymoon

Philadelphia, PA
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27 posts
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Italia Honeymoon

Hello TA Friends!

We are currently planning a 19-day Italian Honeymoon and would like to request your expert advice on our very rough plans at this point.

Last year we took a similar trip where we explored Europe for 23 days. We flew round trip to London--however we booked an immediate flight out (to Paris). We then toured Europe--by combination of bus, train, and rental car--finishing our trip in London. We saw 11 cities in 6 different countries and it worked out to be the most AMAZING trip of our lives!!!

I should mention that we are NOT typical American tourists and prefer to do more exploring than touristy things. During our 23 days in Europe last year we did not step foot in a single museum. Instead we road bikes, ate amazing food (& wine!!), hiked, had incredible adventures, and LIVED like the locals. It was truly out of this world!!

We got a great deal on airfare, so our flight is already booked! We are flying round trip to Venice arriving TUES. 29 APR 2014 and departing SAT. 17 MAY 2014. (FYI This is our first time in Italy).

At this point we are planning to rent a car for the entire trip--picking it up at the Venice Airport not actually "doing" Venice until the end. We're thinking we'll drive down the Eastern Coast of Italy to Sicily, stopping along to the way to stay one night (so we're not doing the entire 15 hour drive in one day). After Sicily we would work our way back up the Western half, staying 2-3 nights per city and finishing our trip in Venice. The breakdown would look something like this:

29: Arrive in Venice. Pickup Car. Drive South. Stay somewhere along the Eastern Coast (Ancona? Pescara? recommendations?)

30: Continue down the Coast. Arrive (late) in Sicily. Stay in Sicily

01: Sicily

02: Sicily

03: Head to Naples. Stay in Naples.

04: Naples

05: Head to Rome. Stay in Rome.

06: Rome

07: Head to Florence. Stay in Florence.

08: Florence

09: Head to Cinque Terre. Stay in Cinque Terre

10: Cinque Terre

11: Head to Portofino. Stay in Portofino.

12: Portofino

13: Head to Verona. Stay in Verona.

14: Verona

15: Head to Venice. Stay in Venice.

16: Venice

17: Drop off Car. Depart Venice for Home.

I have not found much by way of anyone recommending driving and/or the eastern coast for that matter which is why I am really in need of some guidance (or perhaps some reassurance). We don't want to make a huge mistake but the cost savings and "adventure" aspect seem to be drawing us to this plan.

Further, any recommendations of what to see or places to stay are also VERY much appreciated! When booking hotels/rooms/etc. we often prefer to stay in rental properties as opposed to typical hotels. We are not looking to stay in hostels or shared spaces (B&B's) necessarily (it is our honeymoon!) but we are also not looking to spend $200+/night every night (or at all if we can swing it!) Location is important to us (or at least proximity to public transit) and included parking will be essential. We will utilize public transit for local moving about and the car will just be for getting us to each city on our own schedule.


The future Mrs. Ackerman

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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83,132 posts
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1. Re: Italia Honeymoon

Do not even *think* of trying to drive into Naples, Rome or Florence. Traffic is fast, very heavy, and plays by local rules. The centres of these cities are prohibited for visitors' cars and there are very substantial fines (over €100) if you accidentally enter these areas or drive in a bus lane. Drop the car when you reach Naples, and travel Naples-Rome-Florence by train.

But the whole thing needs re-working: it is far too ambitious. You will spend almost as much time looking at very boring motorways as you will in seeing the things you have gone to Italy to see. If you have 17 days, do not try to see more than 4 or 5 places.

Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
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2. Re: Italia Honeymoon

This is a crazy plan.

You're going all the way to Sicily for two nights? Sicily is like a whole country - you could spend your whole time there alone.

And Naples. You say 'head to Naples' - from Sicily this is one LONG drive. By the time you get to Naples you won't be able to sightsee as you'll be too tired and it will be too late. You'll spend a night in Naples (where you can do that burdened by a car is another thing...) and day 4 is in Naples. One measly day to see a 3000 year old city and in all likelihood it sounds like you know nothing about it as it would take weeks to see this city alone. Naples is surrounded by other sights such as Pompeii, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Caserta, Pozzuoli, Procida, Ischia....which you will miss as you have no time.

Also - You won't get 'rental properties' for one or two nights so re-think that. You'll need hotels or B&Bs.

And as for 'living like the locals' - that's unlikely given the speed at which you're doing this trip. Did you also know gas is $9.00 a gallon in Italy?

Start with a couple of good guide books and cut this plan down to three or four cities and do each justice. Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice possibly. You can day trip from each base and forget the car. The trains over there are efficient, fast and (if you book ahead) cheap.

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3. Re: Italia Honeymoon

I agree with the above. Everyone has a different pace of travel and it sounds like you had a similarly whirlwind trip of Europe last summer and enjoyed it. That said, this would be way too rushed for me and probably almost anyone who participates in this forum. At the very least, short stays in each place and lots of time on the road (easily 12 plus hours getting to Sicily in a single day!) leave little time for exploring, hiking, living like a local or even finding great food.

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4. Re: Italia Honeymoon

If I were you, I'd first look at train schedules for the major cities you plan to visit:


Car rental is perfectly appropriate for exploring the countryside in a particular area.

Also, I would reconsider going all the way to Sicily.

Make out a daily plan. Pay attention to the percentage of time spent in just relocating from one place to another.

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5. Re: Italia Honeymoon

I think your whirlwind previous trip probably worked so well because you relied more on public transport and were visiting large cities. Honeymoons--and Italy--require you to do things a bit differently, without sacrificing your personal travel style.

It would be ill-advised to embark on a long drive (especially in Italy) after an overnight flight. As said above, cars are for the countryside in Italy; for city-to-city travel, use the train. Otherwise, you'll spend a lot of time navigating, looking for parking, getting lost, and fighting, with a ticket for driving in a no-go zone coming later. You won't be exploring.

In addition, you have not given these cities enough time. And often the best places to stay (location, budget, charm) do not include parking because they are in the center of a historic core.

You seem like a really cool couple so I hope you'll pull out the guide books and narrow down the places you would most like to experience. If it is Sicily, you could easily spend the entire two weeks there! With flights to Venice booked, though, I'd save Sicily for an anniversary trip.

My last point is to consider some small towns in addition to cities, which your list was heavy on (other than CT, which is mobbed with tourists).

If you post a new itinerary, I'd be glad to offer some hotel or room rental tips, as that is the way I travel. Even for 3 night stays you can rent apartments, but 2 days is just not enough time in most places. More time in fewer places means seeing/experiencing more--congrats and good luck!

Edited: 06 January 2014, 18:25
6. Re: Italia Honeymoon

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