It's where I met my wife!
by Robin Green
Hi, this is Robin I lived in Rome as a kid for two years - ages 9-11 - and I still remember the shock I had on my drive from the airport to our hotel in downtown Rome (we stayed at the Hotel Santa Prisca - this was in 1970) when I realized that people drove cars (albeit small ones) instead of chariots, and wore suits and dresses instead of togas.
My father had taken his sons to see Ben Hur a few weeks before we had left Canada, and for years had been telling us Roman and Greek myths and all about gladiators, so I had assumed that's what we would find when we got there.
I also remember the amazement of watching a man at a restaurant eat a peach with a knife and fork.
I think what made Italy the most memorable for me during the two years I lived there was the food - especially the pasta.
The school I went to (St George's English School) had a cafeteria that served pasta just about every day, and I loved every meal I had there. Whenever we went to a restaurant I would get Tortellini con Panna or Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Carbonara is now one of my kids' favorite recipes and I make it for them at least once a month.
Thirteen years after my first trip to Italy, I went back for 3 months to travel as a university student and to get the last credit for my BA at the University of Toronto summer program in Siena.
During my travels I met a cute American student who was doing the 2-month Eurail Pass trip. We met up in Padova and did a day trip to Venice the next day, got lost on the way home (got on the wrong train) and wound up in another town where we couldn't afford the only hotel, so had to sleep on the lawn of a used car parking lot.
27 years later we're still together but sadly have never been back to Italy together, although we've visited France, Ireland, Costa Rica, Africa, Japan, and the Caribbean together. I'm hoping to do a trip back to the Toscana area in the next year or two, if we can just scrape together the money for it - a month living in the Tuscan countryside would be my dream vacation!Maria's reply:
A really lovely story, thank you so much for sharing and I really hope you make it back to Italy in the not to distant future.
I have attached a photo by Maaike (a site visitor) of a little Roman romance which hopefully brings back some happy memories.
Honeymooning in Venice
A Wedding or Honeymoon in Venice
For anyone considering going on honeymoon to Italy, there is one location that trumps all others when it comes to romance.
That location isn't Rome, as you may assume, and it isn't Florence, although those cities have more than enough to keep you occupied if you do want to head in that direction.
The location that will provide you with more than your fair share of romance is in fact Venice, a city that will take your breath away when you arrive.
With so much to see and do in this most romantic of cities, the question can be: where to start? However, part of the charm of Venice is the fact that you can do not much at all yet be constantly charmed by the delights you find around every corner.
Simply glide along the canals in a private gondola or seek some shade in St. Mark's Square. Take a wander along the back streets or escape the city for a day or two, with a trip to Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet, always a favourite day trip from Venice.
You can also head over to the Valpolicella wine region, which is home to the wonderful Amarone wine, for a taste of romance in its purest form!
There are many travel companies that offer itineraries for those who don't wish to do it alone when on honeymoon, with five day trips always a popular option from the UK.
These travel companies usually offer a range of hotel accommodation that can fit all budgets and suit all tastes, so make sure you do some careful research before you commit to anything. After all, this is probably one of the most important trips you'll ever make!
One last tip. If you want romance beyond your wildest dreams then book at least a single night at the Hotel Danieli. I promise you a night you will never forget. A night of sumptous pleasure and ultimate romance.
Italy - A 40 Year Love Story
by John Jenkinson
(Bartley Green Bham UK)
My wife came to Italy exactly at the same time as myself. To stay in Cattolica in 1966 Hotel Belmar, after we met on the holiday we saw each other for a few years before we were finally married.
We were married for 40 years until my wife died but I still love Italy so much and Italy means a great deal to me.
I love your language and friendliness to your visitors. By the way I shall be coming in May this year to Lake Garda.
Maria's reply: What a lovely story John, thank you very much for sharing it with me. Italy is indeed a place of love and Italy is where my love for my husband Andrew reached new heights and Italy ( Torino) is where my only son was born.
By the way the Hotel Belmar is still going, perhaps you could visit them again?
Enjoy your visit to Lake Garda!. I hope you enjoy the photo of the lake shared with us by Oktay Kasman, one of our site visitors.