I’m going to be a June bride. I’m getting married this summer (technically late spring), and we’ve been aflutter with wedding planning. Or, I guess I should say he’s been doing a lot of the planning for the actual wedding, while I’ve been busy planning the honeymoon. You can’t take the travel out of the girl, after all.
To me, nothing says honeymoon like the Mediterranean, so I knew when I started looking at destinations that it had to be somewhere in that neck of the woods. It should come as no surprise, then, that my sights fell, once again, on Italy. Italy is always a good idea. It has it all. Pasta! Wine! Beaches! Style! Romance! More pasta! What more could anyone want on their honeymoon?
I wanted to make sure, however, that this trip was reflective of this big change coming to our lives. It had to be a place that I’d never traveled to before, somewhere just for us, our own corner of the globe. The first thought I had was Sardinia – a beautiful island, set away from the continent. The food looked delicious, the holiday homes gorgeous. But, the transportation from the airport in Rome or Naples to the island was complicated. There were too many steps, too many different modes of transport needed. Plane, trains, ferries, cars. Not the romantic vibe of my imaginings, for certain.
Next, I turned an eye to Sicily. Still an island, dreamy, sunny, lovely and pasta-filled. But, again, the transportation options seemed needlessly stressful and chaotic. Trains, ferries, and the necessity of renting a car. So we scrapped Sicily, as well.
We turned our attention to the Apulia region. Beautiful, less touristy. We focused on the fairytale village of Alberobello, famous for its trulli – cone-shaped houses that cover the landscape. Alas, there is no beach nearby. So, as magical and fantasy-inspired as it may be, what kind of honeymoon would it be without the sun and sea? Not the kind we were interested in, to be certain.
Finally, Calabria. The tip of Italy’s boot. The cuisine is spicier, the landscape rugged and rocky, mountains, ancient ruins and beaches on the Tyrrhenian Sea with crystal clear water, and in some places a real oddity for Italy – sugary, soft sand. We lit upon a little town, largely focused on tourism for its economy, but mainly frequented by Italian tourists (according to the guidebooks.) So, a local favorite rather than a place inundated with visitors. In a word, it was perfect.
The streets are walkable, shops filled with artisan-made goods. Fresh fish, fresh pasta, regional dishes that can’t be found anywhere else in Italy. A holiday home in the center of town, so we can pretend – just for two weeks – that we’re locals, part of the community. We can rent a car when we want to explore farther afield, but won’t need one for our daily activities (mainly eating and sunning if I was a betting woman.) Getting there was just a train from the airport, a long train to be sure, but just one step between de-planing and beginning the honeymoon.
The wedding cake has been tasted and selected, the dress bought and the invitations sent as we await replies. So now, as my fiancé chooses the music for the DJ and decides between renting and buying a tuxedo, you can find me doing what I do best. Booking the holiday home, finding the best deal on plane tickets, reading up on the best restaurants and preparing a magical honeymoon for us. After all, you can’t take the travel out of the girl.