Northern Italy Honeymoon, Need Ideas
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Sep 21, 2012 5:35 AM Last Post By: clementis_fur_cap
Sep 3, 2012 10:39 AM
Northern Italy Honeymoon, Need IdeasI am getting married in the US early November and my fiancee and I would like to spend our honeymoon week in northern Italy. Anytime between November and December would work for us. I know this is off-peak season, so we were hoping we could save some money that way. We have a budget of about $1500 US per person, not including airfare and some nights of hotel, which I can obtain using my father's frequent flyer miles and hotel points.
We'd like a couple days to relax but enjoy sights and walk tour the rest of the time. I'm open to renting a car for the entire trip, if necessary for hotels off the beaten path.
Any pointers or recommendations? I ordered a travel book to help me get started, but I was hoping for some other insider info. Thanks!
Sep 3, 2012 12:06 PM
1Firstly, congratulations. It would help us here if you said why you had chosen northern Italy. Honestly it wouldn't be my choice for November / December, but you must have your reasons. For me, the weather can be wet (rain or snow if you're unlucky), cold (night time frosts), often misty especially in the plains south of the city and daylight short (about 8 hours).
To me this means visiting cities unless you're lucky enough to have some fine winter days (well, on the bright side, they do happen!) in which case Como or alternatively somewhere like Stresa on Lake Maggiore might be nice - or even an hour north of Milan on the train, Lugano in southern Switzerland. Otherwise I'd be thinking of visiting cities like Parma or Torino.
And city visits means travelling by train - only think of a car if you're going somewhere out in the countryside - Milan is not the place for a visiting car driver - not least because of the city centre congestion charge zone (called Area C), bad traffic, one way streets, difficult and expensive parking, and you know Italy has the highest petrol prices in Europe around €1.85 per litre
Sep 3, 2012 4:36 PM
Sep 4, 2012 5:06 AM
3I generally do not travel for the weather (specific activities an exception). I pick the places first, and then accommodate myself to conditions. In general, I find myself less hindered by weather in cities. More museums, etc to preoccupy myself with. And I found Venice especially atmospheric and photogenic in the fog .. so, it depends.
In your case, it means bringing an umbrella and be prepared to dress for lower temperatures -- how low will depend on exactly where you go and when. "Northern Italy" covers a lot of territory and geographic conditions (from high mountains to marshy sea coast).
I'd also vote against the car idea unless you have plans for a lot of country driving. Trains are much more convenient for travel between cities. If circumstances are suitable, you can always rent a car for a day for a drive in the countryside.
With your budget pp and the duration of the trip, I wouldn't be concerned about finances.
Sep 20, 2012 4:14 PM
4Sorry for my late reply. I totally forgot I posted here and spent some time researching.
I'm not particularly worried about the weather. Snow would be a downer if it hindered transportation I suppose. I picked November because of the proximity to our wedding. It's also not peak season, so I figured that would help with rates and last minute booking (it's less than 2 months away). My last trip to Europe was Ireland and I only planned it 1-2 months out and it was totally awesome.
I decided Northern Italy because Europe is quite expensive and I've heard from friends that it's a better value. I did Rome about 10 years ago. I'm a huge history buff, so Venice is very appealing to me, as it was a seat of power and enlightenment in Europe for centuries. I'm also able to get free tickets (and some hotels, mainly Hilton) using points, which is huge considering airfare these days.
One of my friends studied abroad there and she suggested I spend about 3 days in Venice and 3 days in Florence, maybe stopping in Verona or Siena for a day. She highly recommended staying in the countryside outside of Florence as well.
With that in mind, I want to be able to see all the history, but I don't want to deal with a lot of stress (since it's my honeymoon). Perhaps a car would be unnecessary stress...
Sep 21, 2012 1:17 AM
5It is not a cheap destination for sure...compared to Switzerland or Scandinavia maybe,but these days prices in Italy are up with (and often above) France,Germany etc.
Venice and Florence are very good bets if you like history of course...though there are hundreds of other less touristed possiblities as well.
If you just want to see those 2 cities plus a day trip in (say)Siena....absolutely no need for a car.You can do that easily and cheaply on public transport...train between the 2 cities and a bus for Siena.
On the other hand if you really want to stay in the 'countryside'a car would be very useful...you could hire one for a couple of days there I guess.....
Sep 21, 2012 5:35 AM
6Accommodation in Venice can actually be quite a bargain off-season.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.03 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$142.16 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$24.77 per night