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For Angela and Paolo Morra, this alluring country checked all the right boxes: art for her, history for him, and awe-inspiring landscapes for both. Plus, it’s a quick flight from Rome, Paolo’s hometown and the site of the couple’s June 2011 nuptials. Hooked and booked.
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Once the Houston residents -- she’s an art professor, and he’s a nuclear engineer -- touched down, it was go time. Their whirlwind tour included mosques and palaces in Istanbul, underground cities and “fairy chimneys” (huge, spindly rocks) in Cappadocia, ancient wonders in Ephesus, and otherworldly hot springs in Pamukkale.
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Stay: 9 days
Flight Time: 11 1/2 hours to Rome; 2 from there to Istanbul
Travel Agent: Mysia Travel
Insider Tip: “Use a travel agent!” says Paolo. “Since it was our honeymoon, it was nice to have someone else deal with all the planning.”Highlight: “Riding in a hot-air balloon over the moonlike setting of Cappadocia,” says Angela (goremeballoons.com).
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Paolo haggled hard for this brass oil lamp in an antiques shop.