“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.” –Samuel Johnson
We wanted to wait. Sure, we were being frugal just after the expense of our wedding, and yes, my wife did just start a new job and had a limited number of days off, but we really did want to wait. It was our choice to save our honeymoon for the summer and not any penny-pinching reservations or professional restrictions. We wanted to be careful in choosing this once in a lifetime destination and celebration. We did our research, spoke to friends and family, and eventually decided upon Italy, specifically Sorrento and Rome, and after four months of planning and budgeting for the trip that seemed like a mirage, it finally came to fruition. Now, after a few flights, many bottles of wine, numerous pictures, countless long walks, a couple of beaches, a handful of new friends, some historic museums and ruins, and a gluttonous amount of food, we can say without any qualms that our honeymoon was certainly worth the wait.
Why we chose Italy shouldn’t really need to be explained. Its beauty, culture, food, history, wine, and food are unparalleled by all of Western Civilization. It’s a world that transcends the descriptions exquisite, breath-taking, ancient, delicious, beautiful, memorable, etc. It is truly a state-of-mind that exceeds any and all expectations, and it is just as unforgettable for its majesty as it is for its simplicity. Amongst all of the amazing wonders of Italy, we chose Sorrento and Rome because we wanted a balance of the sun-drenched beaches and small town way of living of Italy’s miraculous coast and the historically unmatched experience and European hustle and bustle of its greatest city. The combination of the two during our seven unbelievable days and nights produced the greatest trip of both of our lives.
Sorrento, the longest and most consistent part of our trip, rests on the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, nestled in with many other coastal towns in what’s commonly known as the Amalfi Coast. The town was everything we had hoped for, providing easy access to a cove of narrow, intertwining streets all leading to the main piazza or town centre. In every direction restaurants adorn the streets, beckoning with their smells and calls from their diligent waiters. A short trip down steep steps and even narrower streets brought us to the most beautiful water we had ever seen. Hidden below cascading cliffs, the small beaches swell with a wealth of humanity, attracting tourists from all over the world and locals from Sorrento. Finally, with easy access to other coastal towns of Positano and Amalfi, as well as the historic ruins of Pompeii and the famous Mt. Vesuvius, Sorrento provided the perfect introduction to all that Italy has to offer.
Then there was Rome. While it certainly doesn’t elicit the same reaction as the beautiful natural surroundings of Sorrento and its amazing coast, Rome does produce its own sense of wonder and awe. With our short time, we decided to walk everywhere and discovered more than we could have imagined. Sure, there are the famous destinations- The Vatican, The Colosseum, The Pantheon, and The Spanish Steps- but Rome is best experienced without a plan. It should sneak up on you, appear suddenly around a corner of a street you didn’t realize you were on. It was when we were walking without a destination that we discovered the unexpected and the memorable. An unnamed fountain, a statue not on our map, an eatery that we had no intention of entering. It was on these streets and in these places where we managed to feel original in a city overrun with hackneyed tourists. These were the memories of our brief stay in Rome that we’ll recollect the most fondly. These were the experiences that made Rome so uniquely ours.
It is tough to say what was the best part of our trip. We both had our preferences, but we both agreed that there was nothing we didn’t enjoy. For two people that hate to wait, we managed to even adapt and enjoy the slow pace of Italian culture. Waiting for our food. Waiting for a shopkeeper. Waiting for a beer. Waiting in line at a museum. Waiting to cross the street. We certainly did wait, but man was it worth it.
*Writer’s Note- Since words can not do Italy justice, I’ll be sharing many of our amazing pictures over the next few days.
Patrick Edmonds is a co-founder, editor, and writer for/of The Lunch Break. His passions include Food, Arts & Entertainment, and Education. You can follow Patrick Edmonds on facebook and on Twitter @patrickedmonds1.