Are you one of those people who’s always known where you would travel to for your honeymoon? Have you been planning it ever since you were young? Before my heartmate and I traveled to the Amalfi Coast for our honeymoon, I hadn’t really had a set destination in mind. I had always wondered how people decided exactly where their honeymoon would be, and what made a visit to that location more special than any other?
When S and I were deciding on where to travel to, sure, there were a few top contenders, you know, the romantic getaways. Ultimately though, we had decided that no matter where we ended up, what was important was that, 1 – we’d be together, and 2 – we’d explore a new place. One that neither of us had previously been to.
Given the romance and charm that Italy seems to have forever held, we decided on my motherland. Though I’d personally been to Italy before; Florence, Rome, Vatican City and Venice… I’d never been to the Amalfi Coast, and neither had S. I liked the idea of being in Italy, a country where I could speak the language, and play both the tourist, and tour guide, as I mentally mapped out how I would navigate us through the city’s streets, attractions, shops, bakeries and beaches.
It was only once we’d gotten to Ravello that we’d discovered the true beauty and romance of the Amalfi Coast.
A friend of mine had recommended for us to visit an old castle with beautifully kept grounds and gardens: Villa Cimbrone.
I remember taking a mental note of it while S & I were in the midst of coordinating all of the wedding planning from Toronto.
This friend had visited the Amalfi Coast a number of times, as it held a special place in the hearts of her and her partner. Because of this, I knew that if she recommended a visit, I could trust her. She also mentioned that when her daughter would grow older, that Villa Cimbrone would be the place she would get married! How sweet right?
So in the books Ravello went, Villa Cimbrone in particular.
From a previous post I shared on the best restaurants in the Amalfi Coast, you may already know that S & I stayed in Positano for a significant portion of our time there. So when it came time to travelling across the coast and essentially getting ourselves to Ravello, we explored almost every option, from renting a Vespa, to sailing, to even hitching a ride with a local Italian. All three of which we did!
From Positano to Ravello, we rented a Vespa and drove along the beautiful cliff-side. The roads are extremely narrow, so unless you’re a self-declare Formula 1 driver (like myself), I seriously do not recommend it. The two of us were on one Vespa and barely had room turning the windy corners of the coast.
To this day I have absolutely no idea how a car, even the size of a Fiat could fit, let alone full-sized tour busses! But nevertheless, we all managed to successfully share the road without any injuries or fatalities! Mostly due to my excellent driving 😉
Once we parked the Vespa in Ravello, our hearts melted.
Together we wandered the narrow inner city streets, we shared pizzas in a piazza, and I kid you not, we found Villa Cimbrone by accident. Upon arrival at the front entrance, we stared at it in awe. It sat there, atop a hillside, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. So polished, so demanding attention by nature of its beauty, we couldn’t not gaze at it in any other way but admiration. The grounds were absolutely stunning, and most of the pictures you see here are on location.
The well-kept, 11th century manor is fully in tact with all of its original stonework. And the gardens have such an enchanting beauty to them, you can’t help but stop to smell the flowers. One of the groundskeepers mentioned that in May & June, their rose terrace would be in full bloom, so we missed that unfortunately, having visited in April. Though, we still felt the subtle hints of romance throughout the gardens as we walked hand in hand, admiring what was once an enchanting, historic manor.
The most beautiful thing about Ravello, is the deeply rooted artisanship throughout the city.
This brings me back to honeymoons, and finding the perfect destination. I never would have been able to imagine just how much we would love the cities that make up the Amalfi Coast.
It wasn’t about the location or the hotel. It wasn’t about the places at which we dined. All of the magic that comes with finding the perfect honeymoon location, lies simply in discovering and appreciating beauty together.
For us, the allure of Ravello and the Amalfi Coast were certainly conducive to a romantic honeymoon, but the magic came in the quitter moments together. Like catching his gaze over one of our dinner tables, or sitting on a cliff-side and admiring the sunset, side by side.
Ultimately, we create our own honeymoons, in the quieter moments of experiencing new things together, with the one person you couldn’t picture yourself travelling the world without.
Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick