Honeymoon in Italy
My own experience was amazing. I was lucky enough to have the most beautiful day of my life at my own wedding. It was, as I said in the previous post, both a great joy and a lot of nervousness.
Two days after the wedding we went to a sort of movie destination. I had wanted to go to Tuscany in Italy for a long time. It was a dream come true as I love Italian food and wine. A honeymoon in Italy, you can’t ask for anything more romantic. We would start the journey in Milan and end it in Naples.
I organized everything down to the smallest detail. Eating well is very important to me, so I looked and searched for the best places. We always enjoy a lot good food and good wine. I had all the places where we stayed reserved. Planning it was a pleasure for me. Knowing that after the wedding we were going to take a honeymoon trip to Italy like that made me very happy.
Italy is a fascinating country and Tuscany appealed to me very much. I’m going to describe the trip in detail so that you can get ideas and get to know where we were. Maybe you would like to do something similar and it will help you with your honeymoon destination.
Preparing your honeymoon in Italy
Our trip took place from September 10th to 19th. First we flew to Milan ( Malpensa ) from Palma de Mallorca with Easyjet. The one-way ticket cost us 95.86 euros. We had also paid for the return ticket from Rome (Cianpino) to Palma on 19 September with Ryanair. That return ticket cost us 75.96 euros. Bought them several months in advance.
We had also rented a car in advance to pick up at Milan Airport (Malpensa) on arrival. We did it from Palma by internet with the company Rentalcars.com, the local provider in Milan would be the company Locauto.
As travel insurance in case anything happens that you never know we recommend Mondo insurance that has an app with which you can consult a doctor and report an incident without the need for telephone coverage.
In addition there is the cancellation insurance offered by the company travel2be.com. I hope you don’t have to use it but if anything comes up you will be reimbursed for a good part of your air tickets. This is an insurance that some companies offer directly when you buy tickets from them.
Start your trip
Now we focus on the honeymoon in Italy. It is a country well known by the Spanish, they use the Euro as their currency so it is easier than if they used another rare currency.
We had planned to go by car from Milan to the Amalfi Coast all by car. Our final destination would be Naples where we would leave the car at the airport and then go by train to Rome. There we would take the plane back to Palma.
This option was the cheapest and most practical because we wanted to see many places in a short time. It cost us the rental of the car, 9 days for 295 euros with a deposit of 500 euros which is the normal price in all car rental companies. We were given a full tank of petrol and had to return it full.
The car we rented was a Renault Clio but once there we were given a Lancia Ypsilon which is of similar range and was very good.
Once we got in the car and with a lot of illusion we started the route from Milan in our honeymoon in Italy. As we had the comfort of stopping wherever we wanted, we did.
From Milan we passed through Verona first, where we ate. We were very hungry and were looking forward to finally eating some pasta and drinking some wine. We chose a traditional Italian restaurant “Osteria Il Ciottolo”
A restaurant where there were several Italians eating and it looked good. As we had to continue to Florence on this honeymoon in Italy we hurried to eat and then visited Juliet’s House.
It is a place full of tourists where there is the famous balcony and a statue of Juliet. At the entrance the walls are full of writing and things hung up and stuck on especially hearts with desires. We saw everything without entering the house because it’s not like it deserves much more time as we saw it.
From there we took the car again and went towards Florence.
It takes about 2.30 hours by car from Verona to Florence. The entrance to the city was appreciated as the hours of travel accumulated. Looking for a parking lot near the center was a bit difficult but by asking they indicated one. We stayed that night in a place called Residenza d’epoca San Jacopo. The best thing is that it was very well located, a place to sleep and nothing else.
It was already night when we arrived and we were hungry. We were lucky enough to find very lively streets with live music next to the hotel. Right next to Piazza della Passera where there was a jazz festival. We enjoyed a pizza with happy and relaxed beers in “Biancazerozero”. Florence is a city to come back to and experience more. In the morning we checked out, left our bags at the hotel reception and took a tour of the city that fascinated us. We had breakfast at “Caffe degli artigiani”. Nice cappucinos and croisants.
Touring the city
First we went to the Ponte Vecchio on the Arno river. It’s full of jewellery and silverware shops on both sides of the bridge. Of course full of tourists but especially in the light of the sunset it is very romantic and worthwhile. You have to walk down a few streets to admire it from afar as its color is very unique.
Already once strolling in the Piazza del Duomo you find the Cathedral of Florence with three buildings. The Duomo with the famous Brunellesqui dome, the Baptistery and the bell tower.
In the same Piazza del Duomo we saw the building of the Baptistery of San Giovanni with the famous Gates of Paradise. A great work by Andrea Pisano. We also had time to see the Palazzo Vecchio from afar. All these places had big queues to enter so as the weather was very good we preferred to see them from outside. The same thing happened to us with the sculpture of Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery.
Florence is a city to come back to and spend more time in because it is culturally impressive.
Practical advice, honeymoon in Italy
Then we took the car on this honeymoon in Italy and drove to Siena. It takes 1.30 hours by car. One of the most important things to take into account when driving on the motorways in Italy are the tolls.
Every now and then you come across them and they are very expensive. We found big queues of cars and trucks on many and it was one of the worst parts of traveling by car. You can pay with cash or credit card, depending on the machines, each row has above indicated for which it is.
The bad thing is that if you have to leave at a certain time to put gasoline while you are on the highway, you go to a secondary road where the gas station is. On the way back, you are forced to pay another toll, which is quite annoying. So be careful and try to avoid it.
We arrived in beautiful Siena and loved it. It is located in the center of Tuscany. The historical center is dominated by the Tower of Mangia and the Duomo, the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The 102 m long Torre de Mangia dominates the centre of the square and is beautiful. It is a very large square where twice a year the Palio Festival is celebrated.
From this square there are lots of little streets where we went to explore the city. It is full of leather goods shops. We went crazy with shoes and bags. They have very elegant and modern designs. The leather is of great quality and I took the opportunity to buy some boots that I fell in love with.
Without a doubt, it’s worth coming with an empty suitcase and buying shoes that you won’t find anywhere else.
In the same square when we returned to it we saw that in the Museum of Santa Maria de lla Scala there was an exhibition of the photographer Araki. It was called Effetto Araki and we loved it, it was very well presented and showed a part of the work of this Japanese genius.
We left Siena with the desire to return one day, took the car and went to Volterra.
It took us about 1.15 hours by car. We were able to park easily in a car park that the place where we were staying had reserved. It is called Toscanamente and is a small apartment with kitchen and bathroom. Very close to the city it has a small terrace with views. The charming owner told us where to go and what to do when visiting the city. On the way out he gave us a little watercolour picture of the city, very nice of him. We were loving this honeymoon in Italy.
Volterra is a little town in Tuscany famous for having shot some scenes of the Twilight movie series. We were surprised by its medieval architecture and the number of tourists there. Most of the restaurants and shops were full of Americans. It seems that Tuscany attracts them as well.
Restaurants in Volterra
Since we were hungry, the first thing we did was to listen to the owner and we went to the main square. There was the restaurant La Carabaccia Volterra. A very typical Italian place with its red checkered tablecloths. They offered a menu that we found very appetizing and we ordered it. We loved the pasta with tomato and chicken along with the red wine of the house. We really enjoyed it and it is a very recommendable place where you feel good and eat well.
Then we went for a walk around the city that is surrounded by a wall. We saw where some scenes of Twilight were shot which gives it an extra interest. It is a city with narrow and mysterious streets all made of stone. We were told that there was a big stone where the witches used to perform rituals in the past. Apparently the wishes would come true if you touched it, so we went through many streets on that pretext.
Finally, after going around, we found it and we don’t really recommend it because it is in the middle of a road at the end of the city. But we made a wish just in case and on the way back we found a pizzeria. It was full of local people so I’m sure it would be good. It’s called Pizzeria Le Balze and the pizzas we ordered with the local red wine we loved. Sometimes it’s good to get lost in the cities so you can find real places that are not in the guides. This way you enjoy your honeymoon in Italy more.
In the morning we had breakfast on the terrace of the Airbnb and continue our journey to the little village of San Gimignano.
As you drive along the road you find the Tuscany you’ve been waiting for. Those fields full of vineyards are spectacular. It seems like everything has been perfectly designed by someone. From a distance you can see the typical houses surrounded by cypress trees with their vineyards in a row. All very carefully and with an order that draws attention. We made the joke that you could see a gardener in the distance who was the one who took care of everything.
We were lucky that as it was September before the harvest all the vineyards were still with the grapes. That gave an even more authentic and magical air to everything. It was one of the things I liked best on this honeymoon in Italy.
We stopped from time to time to look at that wonderful tapestry in front of us.
When we reached our destination in San Gimignano called “Maggie’s million dollar view room” we loved it. It is like a piece of land with several houses that have rooms. On top of a hill in the middle of the countryside. There was absolute peace. It has parking space which is always an extra joy. We checked in, left our things and went to the village on a small road. There we enjoyed the sunset in a place called Enjoy.
Maggie, the owner of the Airbnb who lives with her mother and brother, had recommended it to us. They are very nice and they take care of everything. The decoration of the place is very typical Italian so you seem to be in their house with paintings of virgins, of their grandparents and ancestors.
Sunset on your honeymoon in Italy
She recommended that we watch the sunset at this place called Enjoy which is a restaurant-bar where we had a couple of beers. The sunset was very romantic and we loved it, it’s worth going there.
Maggie also recommended us to have dinner at a restaurant in the village called Le Vecchie mura. On the way to the restaurant we met three French people who didn’t know where to eat and we recommended this place, so we all went there together.
It is a very nice place in the middle of a garden full of plants and flowers. It has a spectacular view, I recommend calling ahead and reserving next to the view as it was very crowded and we had to wait until we were seated. We enjoyed a carborana and a lasagna with a red wine called Figli Luigi oddere dolcetto d’alba. After this very romantic dinner we walked around the city back to the Airbnb.
The road is beautiful and magical. The view of the city from far away with the cypresses and the vineyards is incredible. It is a little dirt road that becomes very romantic and we enjoyed it very much in this honeymoon in Italy.
Waking up in Tuscany
In the morning we have breakfast at the Airbnb for 5 euros each with their own products that they make there. The previous afternoon you have to write down on a piece of paper next to the room what kind of breakfast you want and at what time. They have it prepared for you in a very Italian room full of pictures, furniture and objects of all kinds. It was very picturesque and a good Italian experience. You share the room with the other guests and we had some Americans of course.
We checked out and as we had time we left our bags in the car and walked to the village to see it in the daytime.
It is a medieval village from the 12th century where 13 towers that look like skyscrapers are concentrated. Has two main squares, the Duomo and the Cistern. Also full of tourists from all over the world but it is worth it. There are several art galleries and we visited a so-called Galleria Gagliardi of contemporary art. We liked the space very much and the sculptural works there were at that time too.
Ate at a restaurant right on a main street that looked great called Olivieri Bistrot. Liked the pasta very much and the meat served to other tables seemed very appetizing.
It’s definitely worth staying here for about two days and it’s one of the towns we liked best on our honeymoon in Italy.
After that walk through the city we took the car again to go to Montalcino. It takes an hour and a half to get there and as always the road is spectacular with beautiful vineyards. Many times we stopped the car, got out and enjoyed the view.
Once in Montalcino we stayed this time in a place called Il Rifugi d’altre tempi.
We loved it because it is at the entrance of the village and when you open the window you find the castle in front of you. It’s a quiet place, very recommendable and cheap.
We left our bags in the room and went for a walk and liked a restaurant in the village square called Alle Loge di Piazza. There, on the recommendation of the waiters, we ordered a cheese and coldmeat platter. The waiters were very attentive and nice and suggested us to taste some wines called Rosso Biondi Santi 2015 and Canalicchio di sopra 2016.
Best wines in the world
We learned that Montalcino’s wine is among the best in the world. It’s made from the Sangiovese grape and it’s incredible. We enjoyed sitting there watching people pass by and feeling like Italians.
One of the waitresses recommended that for the next day we go to a restaurant to eat the meat A la Fiorentina. Apparently it was spectacular, the problem was that we didn’t have time but we were very grateful for the hospitality and friendliness of the waiters. Even when we said goodbye they gave us as a present a jar of olive oil from the land.
You have to go to this restaurant you are going to love it. However, we recommend that you buy a whole bottle of wine directly. It will be cheaper than by the glass. Here a glass costs about 6 euros or 9 euros depending on the wine. Italy is quite expensive in several aspects, especially eating and drinking in tourist places.
We bought several bottles to take home in a shop in the village before we left. We recommend apart from the ones we have mentioned the Rosso di Montalcino 2016-17.
Best restaurant of the trip
Once we left the village, we had dinner at a spectacular restaurant called Il Boccon Divino. It is about 15 minutes away. There we ate the best pasta of the whole trip, Papardelle a la carbonara the best in the world without a doubt, we even repeated. It had prawns and coffee powder among other things. We also tried the truffle gnocchis ,spectacular with the Rosso di Montalcino. This place is on top of a hill surrounded by vineyards, very romantic. Without a doubt one of the best honeymoon experiences in Italy.
One of the things you also have to do in Montalcino is visit a winery and do a wine tasting. We went to the Poggio Antico winery along the way where we were served some wonderful wines. It’s a good idea to book and know what time the visits are because everything is usually full.
On the way to Montepulciano we took the opportunity to visit the San Filippo Thermal Baths. Entrance is free and you should bring your own towels and bathing clothes. You can leave your car on the road upstairs where there is a small village, and go down some stairs and you will find a creek that widens. There are white calcareous rocks that rise in the vegetation. You can swim and enjoy the landscape, especially the great white whale, which is the largest rock. For your information there is a great smell of sulphur that can be too strong. You get used to it little by little and it is worth to dive into the warm water and enjoy it.
From there we went to Montepulciano, which we liked, but not as much as Montalcino. It’s ideal for just one day. We stayed at the Hotel Panoramic which is quite far from the village, it’s a normal hotel typical and without charm but with parking. It has a pool where we tried to swim but it was full of wasps and the water was freezing so it was just a failed attempt. The rooms are good but the bad thing is that you have to go with the car to the village because it is far away.
At night we tried to have dinner in different places but they were all full, however we could enjoy a great sunset from the top of one of its walls.
Then we found a small restaurant called Opificio 16 where we were served a delicious cheese with truffle on a cheese board that we asked for that we liked very much. We still remember that cheese and when we arrived in Palma we tried to find where to buy it, they sell it in the market of Olivar yuju! it is a pecorino cheese with exquisite truffle.
This was the first part of our honeymoon in Italy. In the next post you will have the second part that will be as interesting as this one. Full of good restaurants and recommendations of course.
Honeymoon in Italy