At Long Last

Our song not only rocks, it swings.

Now, I wouldn’t say I’m in this marriage just for the song, but it is a definite perk. I mean every couple needs a song, right? (Pipe down with those agonizing groans, gentlemen.) Ours is Frank Sinatra’s version of Cole Porter’s “At Long Last Love.” Given the fact that Tom and I married in our forties and didn’t take our honeymoon until the four-and-a-half year marital mark, it seems extremely apropos as well as romantic.

At Long Last We Found Each Other…

At Long Last We Took a Honeymoon…

At Long Last I’ve Found Time to Tell You About It.

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This past June/July we carved out ten days while Sophie was at summer camp to celebrate our honeymoon in Italy, and it was divine. It was a fast paced itinerary with many moving parts, but I spent eleven months (essentially 20.8% of the total time we’d actually been married) researching every possible travel detail — which was a joy in and of itself. I loved it! I loved the planning, I loved every morsel of Italy, and most of all I loved sharing it with Tom. It was sublime. This is the Cliffs Notes version of our itinerary:

> Fly into Milan and drive to Verona with a lunch stop at Lake Garda on the way

> Verona – 2 nights

> Venice – 4 nights

> Lucca – 3 nights

> Day trip to Cinque Terre

> Milan – 1 night

I could go on and on and on but for now, why don’t I just show you some pictures. How about a few from each stop on the itinerary? Now before you scroll through them and start to wonder if you’re on the wrong person’s blog, noooo…I haven’t lost my mind or joined a new age juicing cult that precludes me from eating delicious, succulent food. The reason you won’t see any food pics in this post because I have so damn many! They are going to follow in their own dedicated, gastronome gluttony post next week. So for now, at long last, here’s a peek at our Italian Honeymoon. Che bella…

LAKE GARDA

A gorgeous, sun-drenched, delicious jet-laggy lunch. Perfect honeymoon kickoff.

lake garda 1

Lake Garda…sigh…

lake garda 2

A little rumpled from a Transatlantic flight but so incredibly excited to be there.

 

VERONA

In Verona we enjoyed a darling apartment just off the ever-fashionable Piazza Erbe. We eased into the trip by wandering the banks of the Adige River, popping into the town cathedral, checking out the famous local marine fossils, and attending an opera in the ancient Roman arena.

verona erbe

Once the local Roman Forum, we spent a copious amount of time in the swanky cafes of Piazza delle Erbe. Copious.

verona adige

Crossing the Adige River on our way to lunch

verona tuw

Howler should have sponsored our honeymoon. Tom seemed to wear a Howler shirt a day.

verona duomo shrine

I love how subtle Italians are.

verona fossil

Who knew? The Bolca fossils come from a mountainous region north of Verona and are known around the world as being among the most well preserved marine fossils…ever? They were fascinating.

verona opera cjw

When in Verona…go the opera. We saw TOSCA. Couldn’t understand a word but I could tell most characters died, the pageantry was magnificent, and the arias gave me goose bumps.

 

VENICE

I literally do not know where to start. I love this exotic, strange, enchanting city on such a deeply personal level. It would seem traveling to Venice is not de rigueur, at least not with countless people we seem to know. For eleven months we told people we were planning a trip to Venice, and then we endured shockingly rude and blunt criticism about this decision. Venice is not an easy city to pop into, I grant you that. But after months of shaking my head in utter confusion at such unsolicited negativity, I’ve decided these people are simply doing Venice all wrong. Which is fine with me, I am not about to turn myself inside out to convince extra people to trample the magical streets and canals of what I think might be my absolute favorite city on planet earth.

We rented an amazing (and reasonable!) Airbnb apartment on a quiet canal with a private garden. We wandered and we got lost and we bobbed on water buses and we ate fresh seafood and we saw fascinating architecture and art. Highlights were the international contemporary art festival, The Biennale, as well as the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Peggy Guggenheim herself said that Venice is in fact not the ideal place to honeymoon because “to live in Venice or even to visit it means that you fall in love with the city itself. There is nothing left over in your heart for anyone else.” I can see her point but I fell in love with Tom even more watching him fall in love with Venice with me.

So it was a win win.

venice salute by boat

Water taxi on the Grand Canal

venice fondamenta ca bala

Fondamenta Ca’ Bala in Dorsoduro…our “street”.

venice windows

I am obsessed with Venetian windows.

venice grand cancal

great light on the Grand Canal.

gondolas

early morning before the gondolas were put to work

st mark's square

We arrived in St Mark’s Square at 6.45am and enjoyed it all to ourselves

venice giudecca canal

Dinner on the Zattere overlooking the Giudecca Canal

venice elisabetta

our fabulous guide and native Venetian, Elisabetta

venice HTD

yes I took a copy of my book and left it at the world’s coolest bookstore, Libreria Acqua Alta

bellini

a beautiful Bellini and a wonderful example of Sacra Conversazione (yes the drink was invented in Venice and named for the famous Venetian artist Bellini)

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The Israel Pavilion at The Biennale

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The Japan Pavilion at The Biennale…incredible!

venice calder

a little Calder on the canal

venice real peggy glasses

iconic shot of Peggy Guggenheim wearing her famous sunglasses and lounging at her palazzo along the Grand Canal

venice peggy glasses

me wearing my Safilo tribute sunglasses to Peggy Guggenheim…at her palazzo along the Grand Canal

venice leaving by boat

back to the train station

“To live in Venice or even to visit it means that you fall in love with the city itself. There is nothing left over in your heart for anyone else.”–Peggy Guggenheim

LUCCA

As sad as we were to end our time in Venice, we were quite smitten with Lucca. This was Tom’s request as he wanted a touch of Tuscany mixed in with our Northern Italy agenda. I had never been to Lucca but immediately felt its warm Tuscan charm and relaxed pace. Our first night in town Bob Dylan played a concert in a piazza near us. And our apartment was above the Puccini museum so we enjoyed intimate opera performances outside our window on breezy afternoons…

lucca francesco di gregori

we really liked the band that opened for Dylan. an Italian musician named Francesco de Gregori. he rocked! couldn’t understand his Italian lyrics but we were instant fans.

When Dylan finally came on, I understood less of his lyrics than I did the Italian singer. But this sound was undeniably Dylan…

lucca walls

the city’s old ramparts are wide and tree-lined, perfect for a stroll or bike ride

lucca duomo stained glass

it was a hot hot hot afternoon when we visited Lucca’s cathedral. at first I thought I was hallucinating this cool effect from the stained glass windows.

lucca

happy in our little piazza before walking around the corner to the dinner spot

One lazy afternoon we were awakened from a nap by a hot summer breeze and the sound of opera out our window down in our little piazza. A perk of staying above the Puccini museum I suppose…

 

CINQUE TERRE

We were originally slated to spend three nights in Vernazza, one of the five towns of the Cinque Terre. But at the last minute Tom suggested we switch to Lucca, which of course we absolutely adored. But we decided to venture to the CT on a day trip and had a blast on a boat tour that traveled along the coastline to each of the five towns. We had THE MOST FUN with the people on our boat!

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Prosecco with our new fun friends!

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I was mesmerized by the rock formations

CT view

the colorful houses of The Cinque Terre

 

MILAN

After laboring through every page of Ross King’s Leonardo and The Last Supper in preparation for our one day in Milan, we were pretty much singularly focused on seeing the famous masterpiece. And it did not disappoint; I cried in front of the painting, literally. But in addition to this emotional arty moment, we also wandered through the throngs of people (Milan was the only place that felt crowded to us) and soaked up the high design style of big sexy Milan.

milan duomo night

There really is nothing quite like the duomo in Milan.

milan giacomo arengario

When in Milan….dine at chic restaurants where models go during fashion week. Like the sexy bar at Giacomo Arengario. (With an early morning flight, we were a little ahead of the jet set crowd.)

milan hotel door

Even the door to the bathroom in our hotel room was well designed. I am obsessed with the wood grain pattern on this door.

These are but a few highlights of a very special trip. Feeling the wanderlust? For more pics feel free to visit my Instagram @flyfishchick or search our Instagram hashtag #HoneymooningAtLongLast. IT WAS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE TRIP! A beautiful honeymoon. It was almost like a song…

4 Comments on “At Long Last

  1. Hi Christine it has been a while your honeymoon looked wonderful. I think you and the professor make an awesome couple and i am delighted you are both so happy. It is a rare thing indeed to find this sort of happiness in life. But life is what you make it is it not? On that note i reconnected with my high school sweetheart after 41 years who retired from Orvis and transfered to Fort Worth to finish my career with AA. So life is very good. Im loving Texas and all the great stuff to do. However i miss fly fishing for trout close to home. But from DFW i can get anywhere to fish just have to go. Heading Austin for F1 next month then Joe Bonamassa after thanksgiving. Who knows maybe our paths will cross. Take care and Congratulations on such a wonderful honeymoon. …… Mike

    • Welcome to Texas!! I am thrilled life is treating you so well. what a wonderful new chapter. Perhaps we will cross paths on a water or in the Lone Star State…Happy for you, Mike!!!

  2. I could not be more jealous of your life right now. Looks like an amazing trip! I think I may have to order Italian tonight to weakly try to satisfy my cravings for Italy that you have just created.

    • I’m kinda jealous too and I am the one who went! it was SUCH a special trip, am grateful yall let me relive it here with you. and get ready…..the food posts are imminent. I am really going to be torturing the both of us! 🙂

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