I have had a decade long desire to travel to Italy and while deciding on our honeymoon destination, we entertained Thailand, America and a Europe-wide trip before finally deciding to fulfil the dream of going to Italy.
We did have visions of driving around Italy in a vintage car but sadly, this is a very expensive idea and so quickly eliminated! We hadn’t been away abroad together in over 2 years and really wanted it to be a trip to remember, so decided on a rough itinerary of coastal/beach holiday combined with a couple of city breaks. Dave is confident driving abroad (at least, more-so than being driven around by me!) and hiring a car is surprisingly affordable (Renault Clio, not the fantasy Jaguar E-type), so we decided on our first destination: the Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast is famed for its beautiful sea and mountain views, winding roads and towns such as Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello and Positano. We found Ravello to be a little more quiet and relaxed than the other towns we explored – plenty of tourists but much more greenery, with lots of beautiful gardens and squares to explore. We found wonderful tavernas and sandwich shops in back streets, and a fantastic pizza place all the way up the steps (Mimi Bar) where we ate the best olives I’ve ever tasted.
We stayed at Hotel Palumbo with it’s stunning views of the sea. Their staff couldn’t have looked after us more, they were brilliant and made us feel very welcome. They also provided parking which is very scarce in Ravello, and very expensive (EUR80/day), which saved us a lot of money and hassle.
On our second or third day we explored Villa Rufolo – the Music Festival was on and there were lots of things to see and do. We very much enjoyed the beautifully landscaped gardens and amazing sea views.
Later we drove down through Minori and Maiori to explore the beach and bars. It was pretty quiet down here and the drive was certainly interesting, but at least we were getting used to the Italian style of driving which would be good preparation for the next few days.
Also: we observed a slightly freaky cloud formation on an almost daily basis. This cloud rose within minutes from the valley below and engulfed the town very quickly, and then was gone!
We were constantly endeared by the local cats who seemed to have a very relaxed life of sitting on the floor in the shade:
We spent the next couple of days being incredibly lazy (recovery from stressful wedding planning), drinking fizz in the Jacuzzi, eating lots of lovely food (gelato, olives, my body weight in buffalo mozzarella). Ravello was a fantastic start to our honeymoon – I would 100% recommend this stunning town if you are looking for somewhere peaceful and don’t mind hiring a car to explore the surrounding area.