Ask any bride-to-be and she’ll quickly tell you that honeymoon dreams come true in Hawaii. This tropical paradise has been king of the hill when it comes to honeymoon destinations for nine straight years. But this year, the king was dethroned. Instead of finding Hawaii as big kahuna, Italy took the lead.
In previous years, Italy ranked third, but in the 11th annual Modern Bride survey for 2007, it surpassed Hawaii, followed by Tahiti, Costa Rica, Mexico and France. The 11th annual survey was conducted through a network of 6,000 luxury travel agents who ranked their 50 favorite honeymoon spots. The results appear in the magazine’s August/September issue. But what doesn’t appear is the answer to the question “why?”
According to Hawaii’s state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the trend has been building over time. The number of honeymoon couples traveling to the Aloha State fell to just over 200,000 as of June this year. That’s a 1.2% drop from 2006. Hawaii certainly has beauty and a playground with enough adventure and romance to keep couples busy for weeks. But Italy is beginning to be appreciated for many of its unique features.
For instance, Venice charms young and old alike with magical waterways stretching throughout the entire city. The gentle trickling of water through the canals is romantic on its own. Add to that a dreamy gondola ride and you’ve set the mood for the entire trip. Truth be known, Venetians travel by gondola because there are no cars, not because of the romance! You also won’t find any motorbikes or motorized scooters. Why no cars? Because there are no roads to drive them on!
What you will find in Venice is gorgeous scenery along with palaces, museums and art collections. Open-air food markets are also plentiful and make for wonderful shopping. Or, of course, you can dine at any number of restaurants where you’ll delight in truly authentic northern Italian cuisine.
You won’t want to leave without participating in Carnival. Remarkably, the term “carnival” comes from the Latin “farewell meat!” Similar to Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, Carnival began the practice of throwing huge parties in order to use up all the meat, eggs and butter before the fasting of Lent started. To make Carnival unique, Venetians wore masks to disguise themselves. This way they could participate in all types of debauchery without being found out. While Carnival today is much more civil, the enormous levels of fun still run high.
Another unique destination in Italy is Capri. An island (as is Venice), this region has wooed the world for decades. Countless movies have been made on Capri, emperors have visited and honeymooners have strolled along her hillsides. Part of the allure of this island lies in the aromatic fragrances that overtake you as soon as you arrive.
The scent of ripe natively grown lemons in addition to the intense perfume of indigenous basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley and thyme waft through the air with every breeze. It’s something almost everyone is pleasantly surprised by.
One of the most popular attractions is The Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) – a must-see. As daylight enters through an underwater opening located immediately below the entrance to the cave, the light is filtered by the water. The red tones are absorbed, leaving only the blue ones to pass into the cave. The result is an astonishing aura of blues that simply defies words.
Whichever you choose as your top honeymoon spot, you’ll find plenty to do and see. Cruising to your destination offers the flexibility to see more of the region for less than you might think. Explore online first and then decide which location will offer more of what you and your spouse-to-be will love.