Ben and Kate’s Honeymoon Travel Journal: Lake Como and The Italian Riviera Romance
We arrived in Italy and are so excited! I still can’t believe it’s really happening and that we made this honeymoon in Italy a reality. We landed in Milan today and through the confusion and the jet lag (I couldn’t sleep on the plane) our driver was there waiting for us with a sign. It was so reassuring and we were so tired from the 9 hour flight.
Our private driver took us to NH Grand Hotel Verdi so we could check in. The hotel was exactly how I thought it would be – modern and stylish. It made me feel like we would see a model walking by any minute. Our bags were taken to our room and we decided to take a quick nap since we couldn’t sleep on the plane.
We hopped in a cab after our nap and headed to eat at Ristorante Guerrini in the Centro Storico area. We ordered the zucchini flowers, tuna tartare and a bottle of wine. The chef came out of the kitchen and ended up sitting down and talking to us! We had a toast and he congratulated us on our new marriage. It was a great night and the perfect beginning to our Italian Riviera honeymoon.
We awoke today in anticipation of our half day walking tour of Milan. In the lobby, our guide was waiting for us and off we went to explore the city. It was the perfect weather at 65 degrees and our first stop was at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and what a sight it was! The glass vaulting, the shopping…and then we noticed people spinning their heel on the coat of arms on the floor. Our guide quickly explained it was tradition and was said to bring good luck.
Later, we traveled to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and we both couldn’t believe we were looking at da Vinci’s The Last Supper. It was so surreal. Then off we headed to the Duomo Cathedral and were amazed by the beauty of that church. The best part was going to the rooftop terrace where Ben and I took a million pictures. I asked Ben to pinch me, because it felt like I was in a dream.
Later, on our own, we went back to the Galleria because I had to check out some of the designers I saw there. It seemed a waste to go to Milan without doing a little shopping. We grabbed some gelato too and I don’t think I can explain how delicious it was! We sat there in this stunning 19th century construction, eating gelato and people watching. Amazing!
Today we are heading to Lake Como as one of our Italy honeymoon destinations! Of course, I am wondering if we will see any famous people when we get there and am secretly hoping George Clooney is in town. We were met in the lobby by our private driver and he was such a nice person. He mentioned a local place to eat when we got there and I must admit I love how much people talk about food here.
We arrived at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo and it was even better than in pictures. When we planned this honeymoon through Travel2Italy, we had discussed at length with our consultant about Lake Como luxury hotels and they were right! This place is immaculate and surrounded in a view of the Bellagio, the Grigne and Punta Balbianello. It was charming, romantic and when we stepped onto our balcony, we just held hands and looked over it all.
It was about 72 degrees today and the perfect day for a boat cruise. Ben and I had been anxious for this moment to cruise Lake Como and really wanted to see the stunning scenery from the water. As we sailed along, we saw historical palaces, lush gardens and dotted villages. It was serene and picturesque and a perfect afternoon for us. I could totally understand why someone would choose a Lake Como honeymoon.
We stopped over in Villa Carlotta for a little sightseeing. Not only is it one of Italy’s romantic hotels but Ben and I had both heard about the botanical gardens there and that it was worth the stop. We marveled at the elaborate hedges and various shades of purple, pinks, yellows and whites of the many flowers. We started to get hungry, so we went to local restaurant.
Watching the sun set, we had a candlelit dinner while looking overlooking the Lake. Ben told me how much he loved me and we toasted too many happy years together. It was the perfect setting and to top it off, fantastic Italian food. Looking at the stars, I just felt in awe that I was in Italy and I smiled at Ben so happy I was sharing this moment with him.
Ben and I decided to wake up late on our last full day in Lake Como. Instead of taking one of the Lake Como tours, we took some time to look around Bellagio and stopped to listen to some local street artists perform 80s cover songs. It was hilarious and so much fun. We really wanted to get some beach time in so we went to Lido de Leno’s beach in the evening. We stayed until after dark and it turned into this amazing outdoor bar! We had mojitos in the moonlight, relaxed and just enjoyed our time together.
After breakfast, it was time for Ben and me to say goodbye to Lake Como and head to the Italian Riviera. Even though I never saw George Clooney, Lake Como will remain a special place in my heart. Our private driver met us in the lobby and off we went to our last hotel in Italy, the Hotel Splendido.
Arriving at our hotel, the first thing I noticed was the turquoise sea and the lush hillside surrounding the hotel. Still in the relaxed mood, Ben and I checked in and headed straight for the saltwater pool. We swam and in coming up for air would catch glimpses of the Ligurian Riviera. Afterward, we checked in for a spa treatment and ended our day gloriously with a massage.
I’ve lost track of time here and that can only mean I’m having an amazing time! After our breakfast, we headed on a private Cinque Terre tour. We visited Riomaggiore and Manarola and walked along the Via Dell’Amore. Then we took by sea to Vernazza but got to see all the villages peeking out along the way. Later we went through the historic center of Moterosso and then my favorite part! We had a wine tasting of Schiacchetra. It was a sweet and delicious wine. Ben laughed at how excited I got over the tasting, but he bought a bottle for me. See, I knew there was a reason I married him.
We awoke on our last day on the Riviera and decided to spend our time in Genoa. Being the central point of the area, we visited the Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello and the I Palazzi dei Rolli. We strolled through the historic Via Garibaldi and just enjoyed being with each other. At the end of our day, we hiked to the Spianata Castelletto, adored the best view Genoa and thought about our choice of Italy for honeymoon being our best together yet.
In our final night, we had dinner at La Terrazza at Hotel Splendido. Since it is one of Italy’s top ranked restaurants, it seemed an ideal place for us to enjoy the last night of our honeymoon. It was about 62 degrees that night and everything was spectacular. The view, the wine, the food, it was magical. In our final toast, we celebrated our beautiful honeymoon, the love we share and our future as husband and wife.
Ben and I are leaving for the airport in Milan. Our private driver is here and was so kind as to ask us if we enjoyed our honeymoon. I was just honest with him, it was perfect. On the plane home, I thought about how complete this experience was: from the planning through Travel2Italy, to the hotels, to the tours, to the restaurants. It was everything that Ben and I hoped for in our honeymoon travels together (and we had a lot of choices in Italy honeymoon packages). It was a trip of a lifetime, complete with this journal so I can look back on our times together and smile knowing it was the honeymoon we always wanted.