Honeyjune Highlights


taking in the views of St. Paul de Vence, a village in the French Riviera we visited one evening
If you followed our honeymoon (appropriately dubbed #Honeyjune) at all, you know we were gone for quite some time. We decided to seize the opportunity this unique season provided in our lives between working in Houston and moving to Chapel Hill.

Roscioli came highly recommended from the priest who celebrated our wedding (and lived in Rome!), and it lived up to the hype.

Neither of us had jobs to return to or a place to call home in Houston, so we spent all of three weeks traveling from the coast of Italy to the coast of France. My hope is to dive into lots of details so you can plan your own sabbatical in Southern Europe, but for today, I'll share a highlight from all five destinations.

The amazing (varying!) views on the Amalfi coast.

our hotel is the one with the pool in the left corner!
I'd come across this cliffside scene of Positano on my Instagram countless times, so I was dying to explore more of what the Amalfi coast had to offer. It definitely delivered the most to-die-for views.

it rained during our leisurely lunch, but even the showers were gorgeous to watch as we sipped on rosé under cover

Our favorite excursion was to Ravello; we had lunch by the pool of the Belmond Caruso and the mountain views were nothing short of breathtaking.

this picture doesn't do this place half its justice
The next day, we took a ferry to Capri and had lunch at La Fontellina where the Mediterranean Sea waves make for calming background music as they crash over the rocks just beyond your table.

fresh tuna filet for me & Pasta Fontellina for WD - he won.

Your meal is also served fresh from the sea. We were especially excited to be seated and served after climbing to the top of Capri that morning. Many thanks to Morgan Allen for guiding us here!

when asked if we wanted white or red, WD said white and I replied red. what we didn't realize is that he would bring us out bottles of both.

Our dinner at the top of Positano at La Tagliata involved a drive, but it was well worth it when we got to enjoy our multiple-course dinner overlooking dimly lit Positano and the sea.

The city that exceeded my expectations: Roma!

We got a mixed bag of reviews on Rome: some said it was too dirty or touristy for their taste while others loved the rich history and hustle bustle. We found ourselves in the latter camp.

post-picnic in the Borghese gardens at twilight

I should have known I would feel this way with such an affection for cities like London and Paris. Rome has all of that without the towering skyscrapers, which makes the rooftops magical because your eye can span the whole city from just a few floors up.

we were seeking the best carbonara in town and were guided to Perilli, an old-school establishment that made a huge place like Rome feel homey

The dining is exactly what you're craving from Italy--classic and delicious. Yes, there are tourists, but there are also real people living and working there, which is my favorite kind of people watching.

Men were in their tailored suits racing colorful Vespas into the office, and chicly dressed women grabbed a quick bite in between meetings. We loved it by day and night and hope to be back someday.

The hotel that stood out amongst the rest: Ad Astra.

We truly loved all of our hotels, but Ad Astra in Florence was in a league all its own.

It's technically a bed and breakfast; the family that owns the property leases out the upstairs to the hotel group who has curated a handful of rooms into cool, contemporary suites.

you can see the gardens on a map just a stone's throw away from the popular Bordoni gardens 

The real bonus is sharing the lush gardens (the largest privately owned in Europe) with the homeowners. We got to explore the gorgeous grounds and bumped into the female owner, who was off to a music meeting for her daughter's wedding this September.

the decor in the lobby gives you a feel for the attention to detail throughout the property

As you can imagine, she will get married there, and coming right off ours, it was fun to share in the excitement during our brief exchange.

When selecting Ad Astra, we didn't even factor in its location on the opposite side of the river from the Duomo and major shopping streets.

Being on the "oltrarno" felt secluded in the best way as the entire city of Florence is still very accessible by foot.

The overwhelming out-of-a-movie scenery in Tuscany.

the view from the terrace at our B&B, Valdirose

Tuscany is too good to be true. William drove us to our various activities during our stay here, and I was in awe of how beautiful every square foot of the Italian countryside is.

the grounds of the hotel where we took a fantastic cooking class, Villa Bordoni

While a little research can't hurt, I think you'd be hard pressed to make bad plans in these surroundings.

Our bed and breakfast, Valdirose, was an idyllic basecamp for our three-night stay.

We enjoyed a wonderful vineyard experience at Tenuta Torciano and a really fun cooking class at the beautiful Villa Bordoni. Our stay in Tuscany was by far our most relaxing which was so welcome after planning a wedding.

The unique flavor of each town on the French Riviera.

Of all our trip, we poured the least amount of time into planning France, but it ended up being the perfect exclamation point to our trip.

We stayed in the charming cliffside town of Cagnes-Sur-Mer, and we were pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to navigate from one coastal town to the next.

It was well worth a visit to each one as they all have a unique flavor and can be explored by foot in half a day.

Saint Paul de Vence was my personal favorite; it's an artist village chocked full of charm and quaint cobblestone alleyways flooded with flowers.

Monaco was like nothing I'd ever seen. The yachts on the harbor complement the fancy cars along the highway, and our night gambling at the casino was a fun departure from our typical dinner date night.

Villefranche-Sur-Mer epitomized the colorful, happy visions I had of the Rivieria.

Nice had a lot more action--we went to the farmers market and spent an afternoon at one of the umbrella beaches with a bigger crowd.

Antibes has the most relaxing, remote beaches, and our sunset dinner overlooking the water was what romantic dinner dreams are made of.

The trip was nothing short of amazing, and we felt so fortunate to have this trip and memories to treasure forever. While our travel bucket list is long, we loved basking in our newlywed bliss in romantic Europe. More deets to come!

More deets to come - ciao for now!