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TRIP REPORT: Epic 3 Week Honeymoon! Ancient Rome, Alpine Wonders, and Country Bliss

My husband and I married on a Friday in late August and then embarked on our epic 3 week european honeymoon. What we deem to be a once in a lifetime trip and it only exceeded our expectations. We planned for well over a year, prepared well in advance with work, and SAVED!

We are a gay couple that met in Vermont and we love good food and beautiful mountains, which we plan to fill our future with! We each packed only a backpack, which was perfect - surprisingly too as we experienced basically all that mother nature can throw at you! (we laundered our clothes twice)

Itinerary: BOSTON TO ROME (2 nights, 1 full day) >am train,taxi> ORTISEI/SANKT ULRICH (4 nights, 3 full days) >early am private car> ST. MORITZ (1 night) >glacier express> ZERMATT ( 2 nights, 1 full days) >train> CHAMONIX (2 nights, 1 full day) >private car> MONFORTE D'ALBA (2 nights, 1 full day) >private car> CORNIGLIA CINQUE TERRE ( 4 nights, 3 full days) > am train> ROME (1 night) >late pm flight> Boston

We arrived in Rome on 8/28 and it was hot! They are in the middle of an extreme drought apparently and it was over 100* F during the day when we were there. We still made the most of it and saw everything! I am a huge ancient rome nerd and i ate it all up. Colosseum in the morning before it was too crazy, lunch right at the touristy canteen at the bus stop. The colosseum tour we purchased included a tour of the palatine too! It was beautiful and the heat seemed to make the beautiful ancient red tones stand out even more. The dusty avenues of the palatine were ours in the bright sun and the tour guide really set the scene for us. Our hotel was the Palace Navona which was right off the piazza Navona. Navona is the perfect central location, you can walk to everything from there and the piazza is impressive! We loved having dinner here at night when the city came alive! We couldn't wait to come back to the city for one more taste before we left.

Off to Ortisei in the Dolomites. we took the fast train second class, always went 1st after that. The temperature in the mountains was PERFECT. Truly a relief from the inferno of Rome. We got off the train in Bolzano and taxied right to Hotel Grones our destination of relaxation. I cannot say enough good things about the hotel. Our next european trip will be directly to this place. When the taxi took us up the windy gorge towards the alpine valley literally my breath was taken away when I caught a glimpse of one of the dramatic Dolomite peaks, Langkofel. The hospitality and views here are out of this world. It snowed our last night!

Off to St. Moritz. We splurged and hired a private car to bring us over the mountains and directly to our hotel. We found that spending the money and saving on travel time was a valuable tool for getting the most out of our days. Also this was one of the hardest connections for me to figure out how to make. St. Moritz was beautiful but my big memory from there is how expensive everything is! - and they don't accept euros!! We are amateurs... but we are here for the train!

I was a little nervous about the Glacier Express because I had read so many mixed reviews. But we loved it! We got the first train off to Chur and then the journey to Zermatt. The audio guide was great, with snipets of ancient and traditional music and a Rick Steves worthy narration full of stories of princes, monasteries, hoteliers, really setting the picture for the classic train travel of yore. The vibrancy of the green in the alpine meadows was captivating and the trains windows let you soak in the beauty. We got the full meal plan, which as recommended really helps break up the long journey.

Arriving in Zermatt we settled into the honeymoon suite at the Alpenlodge, with what could have been the best views in town of local behemoth, the Matterhorn.

OMG I NEED MORE ROOM.... more to come i guess...
-Sam

Posted by Libby
85 posts

Congratulations on your marriage. Sounds as if you had the perfect honeymoon. I love to read about others adventures. I know things can still go wrong, even with the best laid plans, and it's great that either everything went perfectly or that you could make the best of unexpected "surprises".:-)

Posted by Suki
New York
1596 posts

Congratulations on your marriage! I love reading the enthusiam in your report! We also stayed at Palazzo Navona in Rome and Hotel Grones in Ortisei and loved both hotels. Hotel Grones is among our favorite hotels ever too. Looking forward to the rest of your report.

Posted by JC
Portsmouth
1223 posts

Congratulations, glad to hear you enjoyed your honeymoon so much but one day in Rome and you saw it all! I've been seven times and I've still yet to see it all. It's such an incredible city, jam packed with history, architecture, art, food and culture that it will take months to see it all and do it any justice.

Posted by Nancy
200 posts

Congrats on the wedding. Sounds like you made the most of your honeymoon. Can't wait to read about the rest.

Posted by Laurel
Lincoln City, OR
6785 posts

What a trip! Please tell us how much of a splurge the private drivers were. It sounds like an intriguing option.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
8822 posts

Yes, please post the rest of the trip report here in this thread - we're all anxiously waiting! And like Laurel, I'm curious how much it cost to take the private car from Italy to Switzerland. We often see people asking about such things, but few report back if they did it and how much it cost.

And I'll add my congratulations, and best wishes!

Posted by Mary
Birmingham, AL
19 posts

Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear more. Has been wonderful so far.

Posted by Jane
Sapulpa, OK, USA
2038 posts

Thanks, Sam. Be sure to put your second post on this same thread so we can find it. And Congratulations!

Posted by andi
franktown, colorado
1146 posts

Adding my congratulation on your marriage, too. It sounds as if you had a wonderful honeymoon and I'm excited to hear the next installment. I have stayed and hiked in Ortisei and found it lovely. Your report is a fun re-visit! Thanks for posting.

Posted by Jane
Sapulpa, OK, USA
2038 posts

I can't help but remember our "honeymoon:" Late morning wedding in Sapulpa, then spent the afternoon cleaning the cute and mildly obscene sayings off my car (the finish was ruined forever!) We drove from Sapulpa to Norman - about 100 miles; friends followed us in their car carrying some belongings for our new apartment. We paid their turnpike fee, and bought them a pizza. The next day (a Sunday) I got a job at Dairy Queen, the day after that, I started classes at University of Oklahoma. And my new job. DH was enrolled at a different college about 40 miles away, so he got to use the car. I walked or rode my bike to work and classes - not in the same direction from our apartment.

Ah, good times! ;-)

Posted by Patty
Steilacoom, WA, USA
1129 posts

Your joy is infectious- congratulations and please keep posting.

Posted by Tamara
Florida
375 posts

What an amazing honeymoon! Congratulations, and I'm looking forward to the rest of your report! I'm so glad you liked the Glacier Express, that is on my wishlist for one day!

Posted by linda
28 posts

Your trip sounds great and i second your enthusiasm for the Hotel Grones. We LOVED it!