Weeks after I wed the man of my dreams, we packed our bags and prepared for an eleven-day Italian Honeymoon. My husband and I enlisted the help of Perillo’s Italian Vacations: a travel agency that customizes private and semi-private excursions throughout Italy. I would whole-heartedly recommend them as they planned an amazing trip for us.
We started our adventure in the North of Italy, where we flew into Milan and spent our first day abroad exploring La Piazza del Duomo. Similar to New York or London, Milan is a cultural melting pot where locals and tourists seem to come from all over the world. Adorned with the creme de la creme of luxury shopping, the piazza is quite the destination for those who enjoy the buzz of modern cities.
The next day, we took a quick train ride to Venice, where we were greeted by a representative from Perillo. As she walked us through the train station, she explained how Venice wasn’t just a city built on water- but a collection of 118 miniature islands connected by little bridges. There are no cars, bicycles, or scooters, so people either walk or own little boats to get around. We boarded our water taxi and headed down the Grand Canal towards La Piazza San Marco, where I felt like we completely stepped back in time.
Coming from Manhattan, I was thrilled to explore a city as unique as Venice. I immediately fell in love with their culture, which was much slower and quieter than what I’m used to. The lack of transportation was a breath of fresh air as there are no taxis honking or bikes whizzing by you on the street.
We spent the next few days getting lost in the streets, admiring the beautiful architecture, and falling in love with this breathtaking city. We took a romantic Gondola ride throughout the city, toured La Basilica San Marco, and went on a fabulous boat and walking tour with City Wonders.
- Coffee in Italy is a whole different ball game. Generally speaking, they exclusively drink espressos in tiny little cups. The closest thing to a drip coffee would be an ‘Americano,’ which is espresso diluted with hot water. Otherwise, if you order a “cafe,” you are ordering an espresso. For an American Latte, ask for “cafe con latte,” “cafe macchiato,” or “cappuccino.” Whatever you do: do not just ask for a latte, which literally translates to: a cup of milk. I learned this the hard way when a tall glass of foamy milk showed up with my breakfast.
- Unlike Americans, Italians do not eat and drink on the go. You will never see them walking around with coffee cups the way we do with Starbucks. This is one of the reasons Italians drink espresso and cafes often have bars without seating. They just want a quick shot of caffeine before getting on with their day.
- European trains are so much more advanced than American trains. We traveled at over 150 mph in first class and were served complimentary champagne, snacks, and of course: espresso. The stations are extremely easy to navigate with most signs in English as well as in Italian.
- Venice is unlike any city I’ve ever seen before. It’s completely magical, and I felt like I was stepping back in time. There truly are no words for how beautiful and unique it is.
- Italians are probably the friendliest, funniest people on Earth, and they are more than happy to speak English to you.
- The pasta with truffles and butter from La Locanda Del Gatto Rosso in La Piazza Del Duomo, Milan. Arguably one of the best meals we had in Italy.
- City Wonder’s “Semi Private Best of Venice Tour with Grand Canal Water Taxi & St. Mark’s Basilica.” It’s a long afternoon full of rich history and beautiful sights, and it’s worth every penny and every minute.