After a decade of Hawaii being at the top of the bucket list honeymoon destination list, Italy has stolen the top spot. That’s right, folks – for the first time, Italy is the world’s number one bucket list honeymoon destination.
Italy was named the No. 1 honeymoon destination in Modern Bride magazine’s annual “World’s Best Honeymoons” survey. The annual survey was conducted through a network of 6,000 luxury travel agents who ranked their 50 favorite honeymoon spots. The second was Hawaii, which was the top destination in the survey for a decade. Rounding out the top 10:
- Costa Rica.
- The Maldives.
What does this mean for you
What does this mean for you if you’re planning a bucket list honeymoon to Italy? It means that while your idea of spending your first weeks of wedded bliss in Tuscany or Venice isn’t exactly unique, there are resources galore out there for you to use when researching your bucket list trip – not to mention plenty of tour organizers ready and willing to take your money.
In my opinion, the most important thing to keep in mind is that an Italian bucket list honeymoon, while special to you and your newly-minted spouse, is just a vacation to pretty much everyone else. Saying you’re on your honeymoon could get you a little extra something in one restaurant, while it could also make the price of a tour go up just because it’s marketed as a “honeymoon special.” To be a smart bucket list shopper, don’t just Google the words “honeymoon in Italy” but also “Italy tour” to compare prices on similar packages. You might be better off mentioning you’re on your honeymoon in an offhanded way to the concierge in your hotel or the waiter in a fancy restaurant than trying to book an entire “honeymoon” themed bucket list trip.
Beyond that, if you haven’t traveled together before, be sure to discuss with your soon-to-be spouse what kind of traveler he/she is and compare it with your travel style. If you want to sleep on the night train every night and wake up in a new city every day (as I have done) and your betrothed wants to rent a villa for two weeks (as my wife would prefer) and lie on the beach, you’ve got some talking to do. Meet somewhere in the middle so you’re both happy, and be sure to account for travel times when you’re thinking about how long to spend in each city. Sometimes it can take a good six to eight hours to get from one place to another, and that’s going to eat into your actual holiday.
Some popular – and utterly romantic – destinations to consider for your Italian honeymoon are:
The playground of the rich and famous isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for sun-drenched beauty and a decidedly leisurely pace, this is your bucket list place. It’s also close enough to Pompeii that if you feel like absorbing some history you don’t have to go too far.
The Italian Lakes
This collection of picturesque lakes in Italy’s north are lined by pretty little towns and grandiose villas by the dozens. The region is an easy day-trip from Milan, so conversely, Milan is an easy day-trip from the lakes should you decide you want to do some high-end window shopping.
The center of the country is home to what many have come to think of as quintessential bucket list Italy – rolling green hills, cypress tree-lined driveways leading to centuries-old terra cotta farmhouses, medieval hill towns, vineyards dripping with Chianti grapes, and more history and art than you can shake a stick at. Making one of the Tuscan hill towns your home base and exploring the region in a series of day trips (especially if you have a car) is a great way to get to know the area.
The canal-filled city is nothing if not surreal, and once you get away from the crowds in the main piazza you just might feel like you’ve stumbled upon an undiscovered corner of the city. Getting lost with the one you love is pretty romantic, in my opinion, and once you’re tired of feeling lost all you need to do is hail a passing gondola to push the romantic bucket list meter over the top for good.
Of course, with some of the world’s most beautiful vistas, charming medieval piazzas and winding cobbled streets, almost any place in Italy can be made romantic when you’re with your special someone – whether you’re on your honeymoon or not!