We travelled for just over two weeks from Venice down to the Amalfi Coast.
Flights (all Easyjet)
outbound: Glasgow to Gatwick to Venice
return: Naples to Paris to Glasgow
Hand luggage only - we each took an Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack:
- Weight : 1.32 (M/L) kg
- Maximum dimensions : (cm) 55 (l) x 35 (w) x 20 (d)
Travel insurance: I have a year long round the world policy from LV (sometimes I get a day's leave to explore somewhere fun on business trips that isn't covered by my work policy). Roy bought a single trip policy from Cheaper Travel Insurance.
Suncream: From Boots, Factor 30, applied everyday! Easy to get sunburnt when you are walking and I still came back with a light tan (and many freckles).
Trains - mostly booked the day before we left via Loco2 (found through Rome2Rio - both invaluable website for travel planning!)
More trip details...
- take more basics, I could have done with an extra couple of t-shirt and spare pair of trousers.
- take all the mosquito spray! I got bitten so badly, worse than I ever have in my life
- toiletries - take less, but take the obvious, we stayed in one place that didn't have any soap! Also painkillers would have been handy. There are plenty of helpful pharmacies, but if you are remote and your Italian is not so good...
- take whatever you usually use - why didn't I take my regular hair brush? why did I think I would manage with a stupid plastic comb and like 5 bobby pins when I usually use around 90 pins and roll brush? this was not a space saver...
- backpack research pays off - they get heavier the hotter it is, take time to adjust the straps correctly (Osprey FTW)
- leopard print accesories go with everything
- I don't get sick of pasta
- I can get sick from eating too much calzone
- a bikini would have been fun
- you've definitely forgotten something, but you will likely survive
- always charge the camera the night before!
- airports are boring - take playing cards
- booking direct with the hotel is best - sometimes there are perks!
- airbnb is pretty great
- something will break, but you will likely survive
- you need both less cash than you think, but more than you actually have
- Southern Italy's transport takes some getting used to...
- public free water fountains are great
- but always pee whenever you have the chance!
We had our taxi booked (Glasgow Hampden Cabs) for 5.50am, at GLA by 6.05 and were in the air by 7.30. While we should have had plenty of time (we were already checked in and know the airport well) security was mad busy as there was some problem so it was a frantic dash to the plane - we JUST made it. At Gatwick we had a couple hours layover and were heartbroken we could not have breakfast at Comptior Libanais as we were in a different terminal but enjoyed the food at Wonder Tree. We also set about buying all the things we'd forgotten (SD cards doh!).
We finally arrived are Venice Marco Polo airport and tried to find the ferry/ticket to said ferry. Here due to extreme tiredness we flapped a bit being very confused, but you literally walk out of the arrivals and to your left there is a counter which sells the vappretto tickets you need to get onto the island (staff here friendly and speak English). We were headed to Fondamente Nova so it was the blue line for us.
Equipped with a good kitchen/living room, good wifi, comfortable quiet bedroom, air con and nice compact bathroom we definitely landed on our feet with our first Airbnb stay. (our apartment - https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/2224008)
One of the best experiences I've ever had! Completely loved rowing! I had never tried any kind of rowing before. Row Venice is a non-profit female managed organisation aimed at keeping traditional Venetian Voga rowing skills alive. We went out with two team members including Cristina who is a native Venetian voga campionessa (champion rower). We pre-booked the lesson through their website some months in advance.
The meeting point was not too hard to find and our instructors were there waiting for us. First we were given a chance to practise while still docked to get used to the motion. Rowing Venetian style is different than in the UK, you push rather than pull and you also stand rather than sit. Once we looked like we were turning our oars ok on our batellina coda di gambero (traditional boat), we headed out to sea (or down canal, then a bit of the sea, but mostly canals). The lesson lasts about 90 minutes and we both got to try rowing at the front and standing on the back under the watchful eyes and helpful guidance of our tutors.
I found the back much easier and Roy preferred to row at the front of the boat. Taking turns at the beginning of the lesson meant we were able to take some photos too. It was so much fun! At first when I had some dificulty getting the right movement I felt a bit like crying - why wouldn't my body do what I was telling it to?! I get like this - extremely emotional and stressed over physical activities I don't pick up straight away. However it only lasts a couple of minutes and I keep it to myself mostly, but for like five minutes and I silently chew my lip blinking away tears and cursing my lack of skill! Attempt two went much better as it suddenly clicked what my muscles were supposed to be doing, then I was off! To the point where the instructor told me to slow down or I'd knock Roy completley off his stride (and possibly off the boat). Apparently I am very a 'strong and powerful rower', but my technique needs work... The instructors were so nice and friendly and it was a truly unique way to see Venice. You feel far more you are living part of it's history by actively taking part in a centuries old practise. Also it's just so much fun, we both felt a tremendous rush at the end and couldn't wait to try rowing again!
Visit rowvenice.org for more info! Highly recommended 10/10 experience.
We didn't do a gondola ride - originally I thought this just seemed like a tacky tourist trap overpriced thing to do, but having been there and seen them up close I have completely changed my mind - yes they are mostly carrying tourists and yes it is expensive, but there is a real magic to them. Watching a newly married couple sail in the shimmering sunshine (and their party following behind in more gondolas) down the Grand Canal, faces beaming as they were serenaded was so lovely. Next time Gondolas (and more rowing).
We had a lot of great little moments and took 700+ photos of Venice so we have a wealth of shared honeymoon memories to drawn on from just those 4 days. It was a long time in the planning, but even three years after the wedding a honeymoon is a worthwhile investment in your relationship. Although we've been together 13 years we work opposite shifts and have lived long distance before so its still really good to discover you can cope with each constantly in close quarters for 16 days. Didn't get sick of each other once! Result.