It’s here! I’ve finally gotten a chance to recap some of the highlights of our honeymoon trip to Europe. We spent 2 weeks in September touring around Italy, Greece, Albania, and Croatia. It was our first time traveling to Europe and we couldn’t have had a more magical time. If you want to know how I was able to plan and book our two-week vacation, read here.
I had to break up our honeymoon amongst multiple posts due to the amount of pictures, but you’ll be able to find all the links at the bottom of the posts. Enjoy!
We opted for a red-eye to Venice avoiding losing a day for traveling. Even though red-eyes are pretty rough to take, it was well worth it. We landed at Venice’s Marco Polo Airport and took an Alilaguna boat to our hotel. There are many ways of getting into Venice, whether it be by private taxi, bus, or train. We were lucky that our hotel was located about five minutes away from a stop. For our stay in Venice we reserved a room at Hotel Arcadia, a boutique hotel located in the Cannaregio neighborhood.
We chose Hotel Arcadia for a number of reasons: It’s near many vaporetto stops for easy transportation around Venice, it’s located close to the cruise port, and the hotel wasn’t located in high-traffic tourist area ie. St. Mark’s Square.
The hotel was charming and we had the most comfortable stay. The room was a little on the cozy side, but the room was clean and had wood flooring (I really dislike carpeted hotel rooms). They even provided Roberto Cavalli toiletries! Breakfast and coffee were complimentary every morning and the staff were friendly and helpful with recommendations for locations nearby. The location of the hotel was perfect for us as we’ve had some of our most memorable meals at restaurants near the hotel.
Located around the corner from our hotel was our favorite restaurant, Trattoria Bar Pontini. After we dropped our luggage to our hotel, we went straight to Pontini for lunch and were able to grab a table without a reservation. The restaurant is cozy and seemed like the best-kept local secret. Ray and I shared the salmon penne pasta and the beef tenderloin with balsamic vinaigrette for lunch. We’re convinced it was the best meal we had while in Italy, yet it was our first stop in Venice!
We loved this restaurant so much, we went back for our last dinner in Venice. We added a few more dishes to try and though we were stuffed at dinner, we had to try their tiramisu. The tiramisu was incredible and we finished an entire bowl!
Getting lost in Venice was easy, but we didn’t sweat it. Finding your way through Venice is an adventure in itself. In case we really had to figure out where we were, we had an offline Google map of Venice that used our gps without the use of data. I encourage you to get lost in Venice, venture into the unknowing streets and be ready to be charmed. Everywhere we walked, we were in awe. Venice is an incredible city and the sights are unforgettable. These pictures don’t do the city justice.
Located in St. Mark’s Square and next to the Doges Palace and a handful of Venetian museums is St. Mark’s Basilica. We opted for a guided tour to skip the line but photos were forbidden while inside. Even if I were to take pictures, the amount of detail that went into every inch of this basilica wouldn’t translate – the details were far too stunning.
St. Mark’s Square was buzzing with tourists every time we visited the area. There are shops nearby and some of the most recognizable landmarks are in this area.
When I had seen pictures from this location on Instagram, I had to see it in person! This bookstore is insta-famous for it’s sky-high piles of books that act as steps leading up to one of the many canals in Venice. I’m a sucker for bookstores and libraries so this was fun to see in person. We even found a Harry Potter book stashed in one of the many piles.
This restaurant was recommended by the staff at Hotel Arcadia and was only about a five minute walk from the hotel. Luck was on our side again as we didn’t book reservations in advance but I don’t recommend chancing it – book reservations here! Another cozy spot, the staff were friendly, and the food was incredibly tasty. Fun tidbit to know: the restaurant is in the Michelin 2017n guide!
One of our favorite things from Italy were the espressos and cappuccinos! The Italians know what they’re doing when it comes to coffee! For less than a euro, we enjoyed the tastiest cups of espresso. I couldn’t handle espressos prior to this trip but I gave it one more try on the trip and I got hooked! I think Ray and I loaded up on coffee almost 3x a day while on our honeymoon. Our go-to spot quickly became the Goppion Cafe and right next door to our hotel was Torrefazione Cannaregio.
We did so much on our honeymoon that I had to split it up in multiple posts. Here you can skip around and check out the cities you’re most interested in, or you can keep going in order 🙂
Part 2: Murano + Burano
Part 3: MSC Poesia
Part 4: Bari, Italy
Part 5, Greece
Part 6: Albania
Part 7: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Part 8: Rome + Vatican City