If it’s one thing I love to do it’s planning a trip.  When Judy and I married last year, we weren’t able to have a honeymoon because of her Visa entry restrictions with Australia.

Fast forward a year and a half and now with her temporary visa status firmly in place we’re able to travel outside Australia.

Not that there’s anything wrong with only travelling within Australia, cos’ it’s huge with lots of things to see and do but it’s no Europe or North America!

So, this past week I’ve planning our honeymoon trip to…  where else but Italy!

You know it!

For those that don’t know me, I published a coffee table book full of my photography from the many trips I’ve made to the various parts of Italy.  Check it out in the store.

If I was to hazard a guess as to how many times, I’ve visited Italy over the years it would have to be more than 20 times.

Rarely are visits to the same location, although I do have a soft spot for San Giovanni di Bellagio on Lake Como.

I’ve spent a couple of months over the years writing and editing my books prior to publishing in this gorgeous village.

Fortunately, for me Judy hasn’t been to Italy, so the world is her veritable oyster when it comes to planning a trip of this magnitude.

She also has a wish list!

With all good planning exercises you need a general idea of the things that are most important to see and do…

As you can imagine it is a long, long list!

All good as I began to map out the places to stay to ensure we maximize our visit.

My favourite saying is “adventures begin where plans end”, and the way my planning a trip is just that – minimalistic!

Firstly, I begin by defining a handful of places or regions to visit.  Next in my planning is to look at the total number of days and calculate the drive times and more importantly the places to stay.

Ensuring that the planning takes into consideration the “experience” aspect of a trip is vital to ensure that it’s both fun, but more importantly unforgettable.

With all this in mind… let the planning begin!

So, we’ll fly into Rome and spend a couple of days exploring.  As I’ve said before my favourite place to stay is in the Trastevere neighbourhood and away from the tourist crowds.

This bohemian neighbourhood is one of Rome’s best kept secrets as it’s only a stone’s throw from all of the tourist attractions, but chock full of great little places to eat and meander.

Next, we head south to a hilltop B&B overlooking the village of Cassino in the Liri valley before heading into Naples.

Many people avoid Naples, but I’ve always found it to be an amazing city almost devoid of tourists.  Yes, it has its challenges, but it also has a strong Neapolitan culture.

At the center of this is the incredible food!  Check out this link for just a few of their local delicacies…

Next on our hit list is the Amalfi coast.  I think this is the place out of all the places that Judy is looking forward to most.

When most people think about Italy it’s locations like the Amalfi coast that often spring to mind.

For starters Positano is shrouded in the mystique of romance, with its colourful houses perched high above the stone beach on steep terraces…

Limoncello anyone?

After a couple of days exploring all the Amalfi has to offer we’re making our way down to Puglia in Italy’s heel.

This unique province is another of my favourites (what isn’t?) with its rich history, whitewashed walled towns and villages, UNESCO world heritage sites (there are four) and the unique architecture of the Trulli.

Clearly lots to see and experience in this often-neglected region of Italy.

Next we plan on driving up the Adriatic coast to Pescara before heading inland and across the Apennine mountains to Tuscany and all that this world renowned region has to offer.

We plan to spend the last week exploring the hill towns of Tuscany.

I’ve found us a villa to stay in set just outside Siena for the first couple of nights before heading into Florence.

The challenge you have with Italy is that it’s difficult not to over program yourself, but rather plan only a couple of things and let the rest fall into place.

There is nothing like finding yourself on a beautiful spring day eating a gelato just watching the world go by without feeling like you need to visit the next thing on your endless list.

Don’t worry I have a favourite gelato shop in Florence that we’ll have to visit most days during our explorations.

Our final couple of days will be spent driving down the Tyrrhenian coast before our final night at a spa and resort just outside Rome.

In all, I’ve planned a 21-day extravaganza and all the best southern and central Italy has to offer.

Nothing like having an insider plan and book your honeymoon in Italy…  Interested in learning more – message me.

Until next week