Italian Honeymoon - July 2014 - Need Suggestions:-)

Hello All!

First of all I have to say that this forum has some fantastic advise from some very knowledgeable people!! I have read so much on this site that my head is spinning from trying to soak in all the information.

My wife and I will be traveling though Italy in July for our Honeymoon and would absolutely love to visit some "off the beaten path" locations during our visit. We will be arriving in Venice on 12-July-2014 (having come from BENELUX). Our tentative schedule is as follows, however no hotels/trains have been booked yet. We are open to ANY suggestions to our itinerary.

12-July - Arrive Venice
13-July - Venice
14-July - Venice
15-July - Travel to Florence
16-July - Florence
17-July - Florence
18-July - Travel to Rome
19-July - Rome
20-July - Rome
21-July: Depart Rome back to USA

Mode of Travel:
We would feel more comfortable traveling by train and find that the site is easy to navigate. We would be open to traveling by bus however I have not yet found a website in which we can easily book our travels. We are somewhat reluctant to travel by car however this is not completely out of the question, though I have read that parking in major cities can be a big issue.

We are open to basically anything!!! We LOVE LOVE LOVE trying new food and wine. It looks like the Chianti region is right up our alley in terms of scenery and fantastic food and WINE!! Though we are tourists, we don’t prefer to do the tourist type site seeing and prefer a more local approach. My wife is of Italian descent so this is a life-long dream of hers come true so I want it to be very special for her. We would love to be able to visit a vineyard where you can enjoy some wine and have a fresh home-cooked Italian meal. If anyone can recommend good locations to visit, be it a day trip from Florence, or possibly to stay at in place of Florence we would greatly appreciate it. From Florence i have found a couple options.

All inclusive, including bus

This one looks nice however I am unable to locate a bus service online to get us there AND back if we stay in Florence as a base camp.

If any locals would like to meet up with us one day to do some exploration we would love that too!! Any and all help is appreciated!

Best Regards,

Elena - Florence Guide

Well-known member
Ciao Richard,

your plans for July sound terrific! I am sure you'll enjoy your trip, Venice and Tuscany are so romantic spots, you'll love them both! Travelling by train would be the easiest way to commute from Venice to Tuscany and then from here to Rome. I do agree, travelling by car can be really stressful, the locations you mention are truely accessible by train.

Well, there would be plenty of solutions, I am trying to think about time to enjoy in the cities, some romance, good food and wine, authentic experiences which may enthusiasm you both:

12-July - Arrive Venice
13-July - Venice - full day of exploration
(it's a great thing if you can stay overnight in the lagoon when all tourists have left and you can enjoy the local "BACARI", Venetian wine bars serving their lovely "CICCHETTI" appetizers. I would suggest you to visit the highlights but then head North on foot, as far as the antic Jewish ghetto and beyond. Simply strolling in the evening will be delightful!

14-July - Venice
There are good publc transportations to the islands, you can take the public boat to the tiny Torcello island (more intimate and quiet), BURANO (So colorful, delightful, small and enchanted!) or MURANO (famous for glass blowing) and enjoy the entire day wandering around on the islands with a daily pass, easy to be purchased at any dock of Venice before you leave.

15-July - Travel to Florence:
Train from Venezia Santa Lucia (main station) to Firenze santa Maria Novella (main railway station).
It's an easy connection, chose the direct one without stopping in Bologna, so you don't have to care about the luggage twice.

Cosy Accommodations:
B&B in Florence or Boutique hotels

Time to settle at your hotel/B&B and then you are welcome to explore the town on own and enjoy an APERITIVO at sunset in one of the delicious Wine bars of Sant'Ambrogio district or in Oltrano.
I have found last week another small site for gorgeous (and cheap!) aperitivi, we should really meet for a good one when you are here! :)

16-July - Florence FULL DAY
Florence would deserve a week only by itself...but if you wish to maximize your time and visit the highlights and off the beaten track to avoid the large groups of visitors in the summer I would suggest you one of the private proposals you will find on my website, linked in my signature below. The website is dedicated to the highlights and local people which I hope will inspire your lovely day in Florence. You'll find me behind the scenes if you need any special info about my hometown and any secret to share!! I would be glad to be your private "navigator" for any suggestion to restaurants, wine bars and hidden gems.

17-July - Florence - Chianti
You can use Florence as a base to depart to CHIANTI. There are public buses to GREVE IN CHIANTI departing from the SITA BUS station next to Santa Maria Novella. I saw that you find a company that offers a van to share. The rates are quite competitive, it could be a good way to enjoy the area with a local English speaking driver and enjoy the wineries with other travelers on a small group.

18-July - Travel to Rome:
You may decide to travel by bus to SIENA, stop in town for a pleasant stroll and then catch the bus again to Rome. You can check the schedule here

departure: FIRENZE
and later SIENA-ROME.

19-July - Rome
20-July - Rome
21-July: Depart Rome back to USA

Enjoy your itinerary preparation, your memorable trip has already started!
These were just a few initial suggestions, hope they can be a good start for your final decisions!
Have a nice weekend, Ele


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member

Elena has provided a great number of suggestions already so I'll just add a few more things to keep in mind:

1. you don't need to book TRAIN travel ahead of time other than the parts between the major cities: Venice - Florence - Rome. But you can also just book once you're here, if you want to keep complete flexibility. You will always find something, even at the last minute.

2. As far as HOTELS or other accommodation, July is high season so do BOOK ahead of time! More romantic, because they are smaller and offer more care for a honeymoon would be certain B&Bs that cater to your romantic needs (and would make sure you arrive to a room with flowers or champagne or chocolates ;-) ). In Florence, look into:
Villa Antea or Le Stanze di Santa Croce or Antica Dimora Firenze, just to name a few.

3. Travel to Chianti - you can do the wine tours/tastings at Verrazzano and Vicchiomaggio just outside Greve on your own by taking the 365 bus down to Greve - here's the time table:
but you might also enjoy it more if you join a group tour so that you don't have to worry about the time tables at all and just enjoy the day out. Here are some great possibilities, with options for really small groups or private tours, half day or full day excursions, lunch or dinner included. See the full list here.

4. Travel to Rome from Florence will be easier, but bus service is also possible with a stop in Siena as Elena suggested. You could also do it in two parts, with trip down to Siena, spend the night there and continue on to Rome the following morning, that way you'll get to see Siena in the evening when it is much quieter!


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Forgot to add the last tip about mode of transport:

5. Car rental - it would make sense if you stayed in the TUSCAN countryside, including Chianti... but since you're doing the main cities in Italy, train travel is definitely the easiest way to go. I'd only advice renting a car if you had a few days to spend in Tuscany, then it would be very romantic to stay in Chianti, for example, and then move around by car.