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7-8 days December, first time in Europe(kind of), where to go?

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7-8 days December, first time in Europe(kind of), where to go?

Old Nov 21st, 2019, 07:58 PM
  #21  
 
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Eight days could be four in Rome and four in Florence. In Florence one day/morning take the train to Pisa. Next day the bus to Siena. That's very doable. The OP isn't going to get an in depth visit to Rome or Florence out of it but he can do the four stops. Obviously buy any entrance tickets in advance.
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 09:01 PM
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To be fair, most of the lines in Florence do seem to be due to a really inefficient ticket selling system at various attractions. I finally bought a city pass thing and zipped right in to almost everything. It was still busy, just not as busy as the lines make you think!

venice after Christmas was what it must be like in summer. Terrifying. Venice before Christmas was uncrowded and pleasant by comparison. So there’s still “low season” it would seem—dec 26-30 is just not it. But again, I think even “low season” has become much more busy as more international groups travel. For example, January is low season for American travelers, but not Aussies or South Americans. Or possibly Chinese but I haven’t figured out if there’s a “season” for their travel groups.
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 09:11 PM
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Mid December to the 6th of January is high season. Exact day it switches over changes with the calendar. This year the Epiphany holiday is a Monday so the crowds will linger into the week .

Kids are out of school. Some offices maybe closed. In general Italians and Europeans who any day of the year represent the vast majority of tourists will find it easy to travel.

Chinese seem to travel during their new years. But the population is so high they can likely fill most cities no matter what.
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 09:44 PM
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We were in Florence last year October and had the museum pass. The longest wait was 20 minutes at the Uffizi. We didn't go into the Duomo because of the long queue, but everywhere else was absolutely fine. The Duomo Museum first thing in the morning at opening time was almost empty. As was the Pitti Palace.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2019, 02:27 AM
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High season really begins with Christmas and lasts through Epiphany. Very few people go to Rome for the shopping or the Christmas lights.

I've seen long lines at the Duomo at all times of the year, but I've never seen long lines at the Baptistery, although there is often a big crowd around the Gates of Paridise door. This is only a copy; the original is in the Duomo Museum.

A funny thing: so many people feel as though the statue of David in Piazza della Signoria is "just a copy", and they "absolutely must" make a reservation to see the original in the Accademia. I never hear anyone say the same about the Gates of Paridise.

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Old Nov 22nd, 2019, 02:58 AM
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Few Italians go to Rome for shopping but I'm not far from the MacArthur outlet mall and it's packed with tourists every day it's open. They aren't buying trinkets either. Bags and bags of stuff. In the centre it wouldn't surprise me if many of the higher end shops are mostly dealing with tourists.

It's not an accident the cash limit for foreign tourists is 15K per payment
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Old Nov 23rd, 2019, 04:20 AM
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My point was that the high season in Rome begins at Christmas, not in mid-December. Shopping at peripheral malls is not a high season phenomenon, as you confirm.
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