I learnt two new things about Italians during my honeymoon: they have an inexplicable love for Enya, and they serve jam tart at breakfast. In fact, they play Enya quite a lot in the mornings, so if you so should wish, you can eat jam tart, while listening to Enya. Yes, forget your coliseums and winding Amafli Coastal roads, this honeymoon was just as memorable for the muzak and sugary breakfast goods.
Writing from the affectionate distance of a couple of weeks, with the tan but a distant memory (the boiler died while we were away, so it was cold showers for a week after we got back, not conducive to a regime of careful body scrubs and moisturiser, more an 'aghh, I'm going to dry myself with a hair drier on full heat or my toes will turn blue), there are of course many more highlights.
But first, I would like to thank the God of European Sat-Nav for ensuring my marriage lasted more than four days. My sister who recommended Grom as the very best place to buy ice cream anywhere (my waistline does not pass on its thanks). And my new husband for only complained about the fact I'd hired the cheapest car possible, a Fiat Panda since you ask, only, let's think, 438 times.
The plan was simple. Move around a lot, so new husband wouldn't get too bored. But lie down lots in-between all the moving, so I enjoyed myself. And, at every possible opportunity eat our body weight in mozzarella, washed down with plenty of 'vino locale'.
We started in Naples. Late. Because, of course, our flight was delayed. And survived our first screaming match at the Hotel Excelsior when new husband mistook me coming back from the bathroom in the middle of the night for someone breaking into the room. Ahh, married bliss.
We then tootled down to the beautiful Palazzo Belmonte in Santa Maria di Castellabate for a quick hit of beach life, some seriously good fish salads and only one English voice in three full days. Tourist central this was not.
From one extreme to the other, it was then onto the Amafli Coast for impossible chic at Casa Angelina (the whitest hotel in the entire world), Italian Riviera style as only the Italians do it at Villa San Michele and pure unadulterated luxury at Hotel Caruso in Ravello. (For my second marriage, when I find an aging millionaire, I plan on moving in here.)
Newly married couple cannot live by glorious views and infinity swimming pools alone though, so then it was off to Rome for some culture. We had thought this through though. It's June, it's boiling hot and we're going to be doing a lot of walking. So we stayed 15 minutes outside the centre at the Rome Cavalieri, which had a large pool for dunking yourself in once you'd done a hard day's sightseeing and a free shuttle bus to get you in and out from the sites. For the record, I found the Sistine Chapel slightly underwhelming, but loved the Trevi Fountain and found the chocolate fondant ice cream at 'Blue Ice' particularly good.
Tuscany was next and the famous, multi-award-winning Terme di Saturnia Spa, which smells, if you'll excuse the frankness, pretty awful. It's the sulphur from the centuries-old spa you see, which takes some getting used to. We also discovered that even after you leave, the smells stays with you, or more frankly, oozes out of you for a good 48 hours. The multiple bottles of L'Occitane shower gel we'd flinched from Casa Angelina came in extremely useful I can tell you.
We explored the rest of Tuscany with a little farmhouse near Cortona as our base, with the day trip to Siena probably my favourite excursion, over and above anything Rome or the final destination, Florence, could offer.
And then it was home, four-hour flight delay not withstanding, and back to real life. The first day back in the office, when 5pm came and went without someone proffering a glass of Prosecco, was rather a shock to the system, but the memories are still there. Well, when I find time to print the photos they will be.
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