Rome + Road Trip to Tuscany

Now that the wedding posts are up, time to move onto the honeymoon!

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Right after our wedding, we went away for a few nights to Santa Barbara and postponed our actual honeymoon until May. This worked perfectly for us — planning a cross-country wedding was such a huge undertaking for us and we wanted to make sure we spent adequate time planning such a big trip.

For our honeymoon, we tossed around so many different places and ultimately decided to go to Italy and spend time in Rome, Tuscany, Florence and the Amalfi Coast. We had both done the major cities / tourist thing back in college and wanted this trip to be all about relaxing and spending time together.

We took a redeye from New York to Rome and checked into our hotel, Palazzo Dama. After freshening up from our flight, we had a leisurely breakfast on their patio next to the pool. We didn’t have enough time in Rome to enjoy the pool, but it felt like such a luxury to be at a hotel with a pool in a major city!

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With only 24 hours in Rome, we decided to spend the majority of our time walking around and eating. We started by exploring the area around Villa Borghese, Villa Medici and the surrounding gardens. Our first gelato stop was at the famed Giolitti and it did not disappoint! After our gelato break, we made our way over to Armando Al Pantheon for lunch, which was incredible. I’m glad we were able to make it in before they closed for the hours between lunch and dinner.

After an afternoon nap, we headed over to the neighborhood of Trastevere and just wandered around, taking in all of the beautiful buildings and blooming jasmine. We were supposed to have dinner at Roscioli Salumeria (which I’ve heard is amazing), but after a mix-up with our reservation, they wouldn’t seat us. To say I was incredibly disappointed is an understatement and after a few tears, we ended up at a random restaurant.

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The next morning we picked up our rental car and headed off on a day long road trip to Tuscany. So many people told us to take the train and not drive, but because we knew we’d be training later from Florence > Naples, we wanted to do the drive. Plus we both love a good road trip. Conde Nast Traveler had coincidentally just published a piece all about driving from Florence to Rome, which we used to help plan our stops. As expected, we ended up LOVING the drive and it was one of our favorite days. It was so much fun to be able to stop anywhere we wanted and truly explore the countryside.

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Our first stop outside of Rome was in the town of Orvieto to see its famed black and white striped Duomo from the 14th century. It completely took our breath away and was so cool to explore. I joked that if I were a Duomo, I would be this one. We had lunch in town at Trattoria dell’ Orso, followed by some gelato of course.

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Continuing on our drive, we meandered through the towns of Chianciano and Montepulciano. As we were driving we saw an incredible villa up on a hill, which turned out to be a winery called Palazzo Massaini. We decided to stop and had our own private tasting—we were the only people on the property! They let us explore the grounds a bit and then we hopped back in the car.

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We ended up making it to Siena just before sunset and made the hike up to their famed Duomo. This was my first time in Siena and it completely lived up to the hype. We had dinner outside at Enoteca I Terzi and loved sitting under the stars once it got dark.

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Up next: our time in Tuscany at Borgo Pignano!