April 23, 2013, 07:45 PM
April 29, 2013, 04:37 PM
First off, congrats on the upcoming wedding and honeymoon!
You'll love Italy - and even if you are not into the arts, there won't be any way to escape some form or other while you are here. Italy as a whole is a beautiful painting that you just have the chance to walk into and experience
Ok, so for your questions:
1. Stay in the countryside! Since you want to visit Florence and Pisa, and do some outlet shopping, my first suggestion is the Chianti area which is central for getting around. Here are some romantic B&Bs (I think you won't be able to get away from doing that on your honeymoon!).
- Palazzo Malaspina B&B
- Villa il Poggiale B&B
- Luna Apartment at Sante Marie - if you want to try an apartment where you can cook some of your own meals
2. Even if you're not into the arts, you cannot skip Florence! Just walk around, take in the view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo (there's free parking up there, so drive to Florence for the day, park at the Piazzale and walk down into downtown to just walk around and see the sights). Florence is small and walkable. You don't have to visit the inside of any museum, just enjoy the setting and atmosphere!
3. For car rental: you can either rent in Rome and drive up or take the train up to Florence and rent the car here. Here are the locations closest to the rail station in Florence.
I'd say spend a day driving to Pisa and just enjoying the countryside... stop in San Miniato on your way back for dinner.
Spend another day in Florence, and another day shopping (The Mall and the Prada outlet are in the same general area although not in the same town... there is a new shopping outlet center across from the Mall called Fashion Valley... the Dolce and Gabbana outlet is close by too -- here's info on all of them with info on getting to them).
If you can afford the 4th day in Tuscany, I'd spend it driving around Chianti - stop at the small villages and along the wineries you find along the road to do wine tastings or simply enjoy great wine with your meals (remember at tastings to spit out ). Ask for local wines at meals: you're in Chianti and Tuscany so all of it is local! Many of the wines here you won't find abroad as they are made by small family owned farms that do not make enough to export... but even local wines change as you move across Tuscany so if you're in Pisa, ask for a wine from the local area, when you're at the outlets, ask for wines from that area... as you drive around, you will have LOTS of opportunities to stop to admire the views and take pictures!
You don't have to spend a fortune for good food in Italy - the small towns have great restaurants, osterias and trattorias where you'll enjoy delicious food and wine. You have a greater chance of spending too much for mediocre food in Rome and Florence (stay away from restaurants in the main piazzas that overlook monuments, those are for enjoying the view rather than the food - and I never eat at any place that has someone outside trying to get you in) ;-).
Hope you both fall in love with Italy and decide to come back, even if it is full of art!