My fiance and I are trying to work out whether to travel to Italy for our honeymoon. We're from Australia and aren't seasoned travellers (having only been to Fiji in adulthood) so if we go, we also need to decide whether to book a tour or take ourselves on an adventure.
I'm asuming, with what research I've already done, that travelling Italy by yourself is more cost-effective and much more enjoyable, but is it easy to get yourself around? We're worried that we'll get ourselves lost if we try to get around without a guide.
Mostly, we're interesting in seeing Rome, Venice and Siena. What's the most romantic place in Italy?
Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.
How much more expensive is a tour? I can't answer for Australia but the UK has some reasonably priced ones (when you consider it's flight, accommodation, all travel, tips, guides, food, often drink and that it's hassle free). Tickets are usually already bought so there is no massive queues. You can do it yourself with sufficient planning but as it's your honeymoon, I would say treat yourself since things can go wrong when doing it yourself and you don't really want to spend hours at train or bus stations, lousy hotels you have paid good money for and to miss out on things because maybe you get a bad guide. The only thing to watch out for is public holidays in Italy when attractions might be closed. Don't forget Pompeii if possible. How about Pisa and Florence?
Romantic? Depends on you whether you like a gondola in Venice or walking the streets of Pompeii together.
The Cinque Terre is beautiful and everyone always raves about the Almafi Coast (though I've personally never been there.) As far as getting around it's not too bad as long as you're up for an adventure Ticketing agents can be interesting, but as long as you're paying attention, you should be good. Personally I'd do it on my own, but that's just my style as I'd prefer to be able to do what I want when I want. Good Luck!
I would definitely say go on your own. I don't think you'd want a tour company dictating where you should be going and what you should be seeing each day and on your honeymoon especially.
I recently visited Italy on a solo travel and mostly travelled on my own but there were three tours that I had booked online from home thinking that it would be easier for me for the first days of each place I visited in order to get to know the place better. I ended up missing two of those as I was either delayed in my travelling or locating my b&b or was tired after all that searching. It was a waste of money.
It is much nicer to set the pace and the places you want to visit. You always have the option of booking a tour upon arrival in each place at the railway station or airport or tourist information points. This is slightly cheaper than booking online from home.
Venice is special and I liked Turin as well. Cinque Terre was recommended by many fellow travellers and in florence, I'd recommend going out of the city to places like Lucca, San Gimignano and Siena. There are some lovely thermal springs in the area between Florence and Pisa and you might want to try one of them as a break in-between your travels. I tried the Grotta Giusti Spa in Montecatini Terme and loved it. Pompeii was on my list to visit but decided not to visit it at the end because it was already very hot in Rome at the end of June and Pompeii would have been difficult walking around in that sun. So, depending on the season of your visit, it might be a good idea or not. If you are going in a slightly cooler time of the year, do visit the Amalfi coast and perhaps even further south to Sicily. They have been highly recommended by my friends and I certainly will be visiting them at some point in the future.
Have a good experience in Italy!
Don't book a tour I say. There is very good rail system in Italy. Just buy a good guide book and you'll be fine. Much nicer to just explore and find cool places not go to places where every other tourist goes. Rome is amazing truly amazing, but don't go at summer July - August, very hot and chaotic. Spring April - May is great time to visit. You could hire a car from Rome and drive down the Amalfi coast, visit Naples and Capri Island, just beautiful. You will love Italy. Good luck!
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 16, 2008, at 11:34 PM by hmclehto ]
Hope over to Malta while u are in Italy, another world! Especially if you are honeymooning.....
I hope I'm still on time with my post
I advice you to see Sicily, as it's just wonderful to be here and you can organize your holiday on with a good price. I recently found on other forums a beautiful site with lots of information -snip- The Dutch couple behind the site seems to be very helpful and ,according to other travelers, they're always ready to help whatever your troubles might be.
Have a nice holiday and congrats with your marriage!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]