Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his new bride, Priscilla Chan, could have gone anywhere in the world for their honeymoon (ah, the perks of being worth $17 billion). But to my surprise they chose a classic romance destination: Italy. If a couple is heading to Europe for a honeymoon they usually pick Italy, a carb and art lovers dream, with sexy cities like Venice and Florence, and sexy islands like Capri and Sicily.
Mark and Priscilla kicked things off in Rome where they hit up all the major attractions: The Vatican's stunning Sistine Chapel (thank you, Michelangelo), the Trevi Fountain (toss in a coin and make a wish), and the Colosseum (gladiators, games, and fun). The pair reportedly stayed near the Spanish Steps at the super-mod Portrait Suites hotel. We'd bet money they took over the 860 square-foot penthouse, which comes with a living room, gym, private sauna, and a 24-hour concierge. Another fabulous place to stay with a little more celeb-traffic is the nearby Hassler, below. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes took over this iconic hotel for their 2005 wedding, and everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Jennifer Lopez has slept there. It's old-school fabulous with a great lobby bar, featuring dark wood and red leather.
Photo: Courtesy of Hassler
Thinking about escaping to Italy? Be warned that summers can be steamy, and the Europeans don't know A/C like we do. If you aren't worth a cool $17 billion, and want to do the major Italian cities on a stricter budget, travel in the winter. Sure, you'll be wearing a coat, but there are zero lines and scoring reservations at top restaurants (like Pierluigi, where the Zuckerbergs dined) is easier.
A note on tipping: In Italy, the service charge is usually included in the bill, so it isn't necessary to leave the 20 percent tip most Americans are accustomed to. At small, casual restaurants, you're just expected to leave a little extra change. For example, round a bill for 32 Euros up to 35 (leaving three Euros on the table) if the meal was nice. If the service is exceptional at a fancy restaurant, leave 10 percent extra. Italians have become used to Americans over-tipping, which is unfortunate for the Zuckerbergs, who have been bashed for following local custom and not leaving extra tip.
Next the honeymooners are off to the Amalfi Coast—and we can't wait to follow. Stay tuned for more scoop from Italy.
— Jacqueline Gifford
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