Honeymoon Recap And Lessons Learned

Throughout the course of our honeymoon, whenever something would go slightly awry (for example, we'd show up at a restaurant and the owner would hang up the closed sign), Jeff and I would just look at each other and say, "Lesson learned." This became the motto for our trip.

I decided to put a post together with the things we learned, as well as some helpful tips.

In regard to the example above, don't expect to find a late lunch anywhere. We were off on timing for the first part of our trip, and we wouldn't start looking for lunch until about 2 pm and most places would be closed by then.

That said, embrace the afternoon nap; everything closes around 2 anyways. And you'll be exhausted from all the touring, wine drinking, and carb eating, so you'll need that nap.

Wear Toms or other really comfortable shoes. You will do a ton of walking. It's important to have comfortable shoes. I wouldn't have made it without Toms. I wore my flat boots one day and got blisters toward the end of the day. I wore my Toms the whole rest of the time (besides when I wore flip-flops on the Amalfi coast) without a problem.

Have your hotel make restaurant recommendations for you. Most restaurants won't take reservations over email (at least not the ones we wanted to go to), so we would email the concierges at our hotels (before we got to them) and ask them to make reservations for us.

Order the house wine. It's good and it's cheap. Where else can you get a glass of wine for 3 euros?

Use the Trip Advisor app not just to find restaurants but to get around too. It has this awesome point me there functionality, so you don't need to know streets. You just walk in the direction the arrow points and you'll get to your destination.

When we rented our car, they recommended that we buy a GPS because it would only cost us 100 euros while renting one would cost around 200 euros. We avoided this altogether by using the iGo Primo app on Jeff's phone. It cost $25 and he downloaded it ahead of time. It doesn't use Wi-Fi, but you'll want to have your phone's car charger with you.

There is such a thing as bad food in Italy. If you think a restaurant won't be good, get up and leave. Your instincts are probably right, even if Rick Steves, Trip Advisor, and The Guardian say otherwise.

Take the Italian Days tour, and if you can, take it on a weekday so you don't miss out on the prosciutto part of the tour.

Italy embraces the slow food movement, so there will be no seafood in Bologna. We knew this but still thought it would be good to alert the restaurant to Jeff's shellfish allergy just in case. It's so not necessary because there's no way there would be any seafood there. They just don't transport food all over the place like we do in the US. Eat what the places you're in are known for. Tortellini and bolognese sauce in Bologna, seafood in Positano, pasta all'amatriciana in Rome, etc.

You can bring home cheese! You're allowed to transport Parmigiano-Reggiano to the US. If you go to the Emilia-Romagna region, be sure to buy some and bring it back with you. (Sadly, you cannot bring home meats.)

Just get the Lambrusco and put it in your suitcase even if you think your suitcase will be too heavy. It's not worth getting home and missing it. (I'm kicking myself for bringing home just one bottle of Montepulciano wine.)

Stay in Tuscany. Spend your days exploring Tuscan hill towns. It was great to see the big cities (Venice, Florence, and Rome), but the Tuscan countryside blows them away (and so does the Emilia-Romagna region) for me... it's where my heart is. I wanted to move there. Someday I will go back and rent a villa at the very least. Who wants to come?

I hope you've enjoyed all of my honeymoon posts. I loved sharing the trip with all of you, but I also love that I now have a great way to remember everything we did and everywhere we went.

Day 1 -- Venice
Day 2 -- Venice (Morning)
Day 2 -- Venice (Afternoon)
Day 2 -- Venice (Evening)
Day 3 -- Bologna (Morning/Afternoon)
Day 3 -- Bologna (Afternoon/Evening)
Day 4 -- Bologna (Morning/Afternoon)
Day 4 -- Bologna (Afternoon/Evening)
Day 5 -- Modena (Part 1)
Day 5 -- Modena (Part 2)
Day 5 -- Florence (Evening)
Day 6 -- Florence (Morning/Afternoon)
Day 6 -- Florence (Afternoon/Evening)
Day 7 -- Florence (Morning)
Day 7 -- Montepulciano (Afternoon)
Day 7 -- Positano (Evening)
Day 8 -- Positano (Morning/Afternoon)
Day 8 -- Positano (Evening)
Day 9 -- Amalfi (Morning/Afternoon)
Day 9 -- Positano (Evening)
Day 10 -- Rome (Morning/Afternoon)
Day 10 -- Rome (Afternoon)
Day 10 -- Rome (Evening)
Day 11 -- Rome (Morning)
Day 11 -- Rome (Afternoon)
Day 11 -- Rome (Evening)