How to Have a Honeymoon in Italy Without Breaking The Bank
A honeymoon in Italy has it all: culturally rich cities, ancient treasures, contemporary art, cozy wine bars and panoramic vistas that create romantic backdrops. It’s one of the world’s premiere honeymoon destinations for good reason: Italy has everything you’ll ever want for the perfect getaway with the person you love most.
The country’s beauty and popularity attracts millions of visitors each year. Its allure comes mainly from its historical significance, its aura of high taste and its natural beauty. However, this same popularity has its drawbacks: Italy’s classy reputation and relative distance can intimidate couples who are working with a tight budget.
We’re here to dispel the notion that an Italian honeymoon is a bank-breaking proposition. With a little research, careful planning and some savvy advice, you can find the best deals while still getting the full Italian experience. Here are our tips:
When To Go
Italy is blessed with wonderful weather almost all year round. The summer months are guaranteed to be sunny, but also crowded and hot. It is also the most expensive time of the year to visit Italy. Plan your trip in the spring for flower-filled parks and elaborate Easter celebrations. In the Italian winter months, you will likely have whole rooms in museums to yourself. What could be more romantic than sitting in front of a roaring fire on a misty evening while sipping wine from the vineyards that you can see from your room?
Summer often lingers in Italy well into November. Popular beach destinations will be significantly less crowded from September on and exciting art exhibitions open in Italy’s major cities around this time as well.
Where To Stay
First of all, start with understating the Italian hotel star system. Stars are granted for services offered and not the quality of an establishment. If you are traveling outside of the hottest summer months, you don’t need a place with air conditioning. Some small one star boutique inns can be more elegant than a large four star hotels. Rome and Florence have some very stylish hostels that have terrific rates and hotel-like services. In the countryside, stay at an agriturismo, which is a working farm with accommodations for visitors. Agriturismo’s often have restaurants serving food made with fresh products straight out of the farm.
What To See
So many of Italy’s treasures are free. Duck into churches for some of the most extraordinary works of art.
In Rome, seek out works by the painter Carvaggio and sculptor Bernini that are scattered all over town. Sit on the famous Spanish Steps and watch the world go by. Then, find a shady spot for a picnic in the tranquil, leafy Villa Borghese.
In Florence, the Loggia di Lanzi in the Piazza della Signoria has renaissance and ancient Roman sculptures. Cross the Arno river, stopping for a romantic kiss with a view on the Ponte Vecchio and head to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a breathtaking view over the city and the nearby countryside.
In Venice, on the other hand, it’s like being inside a painting. The tiny alleys, called calle and the hundreds of small bridges spanning the canals were made for leisurely wandering with no real destination. This is perfect for newlyweds who just want to converse while seeing the sights of this unique and picturesque locale.
Instead of a Gondola ride, take a traghetto. This is a simpler gondola piloted by a gondolier wearing the traditional striped sweater and ribboned hat. This short trip across the canal where there are no bridges will cost you less than 5 euros.
On The Amalfi Coast – Even the jet-set island of Capri near the Amalfi Coast, has some bargains. The flower-filled Gardens of Augustus have one of the best view of the famous Faraglioni rocks and the entrance fee is 1 euro per person. Meander down the serpentine via Krupp to the pebbly free beach at the Marina Piccolo.
What To Eat
For your morning cappuccino and afternoon espresso, standing up at a bar will usually cost you half the of what you’d pay if you sit down at a table. If you would like to sit down, the main, piazzas are always exponentially more expensive than simple bars around town corners.
The days of a full Italian multi-course meal are becoming more and increasingly rare. You don’t have to order a full four course meal with antipasta, primi, secondi, etc. It’s perfectly normal to have just a plate of pasta and a glass of house wine. Pizza for dinner is another authentic Italian experience. Gelato is a sweet treat that costs no more than a few euros for even the largest serving. Keep in mind that it’s encouraged to try at least two flavors.
There’s a variety of ways to get from region to region when you’re in Italy. You can rent a car, but be sure you know how to drive with a stick. Most Italian cars run on manual transmission. If you and your partner fancy long drives where you can talk while seeing the sights, this is the way to go.
If you prefer faster and cheaper mode of transport, Italy has a great rail railway system that allows you to literally hop from locale to locale in just a few hours. You could literally go be shopping in Rome in the morning and go sipping limoncello on the Amalfi Coast after lunch. This same railway service also grants you quick access to the tiny streets of an Umbrian hill town or vineyards in the Tuscan hills. There’s nothing quite like experiencing sight after sight after sight with your partner right besude you.
Alright, that wraps up our short feature on how to ho honeymooning Italian-style without spending too much. If you’ve got questions or experiences to share, let us know in the comments section below!
About the Author: Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She’s a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients. For more on Priscila and her work, connect with her on Googlle+.