Christmas and New Years in Italy

Nov 9th, 2015, 12:38 AM
  #1  
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Christmas and New Years in Italy

Hello! My husband and I will be visiting Italy for Christmas and New Years, arriving Rome December 22nd and departing Rome January 2nd. Neither of us have been to Italy before and don't know anyone who has traveled over the holiday season. We are both in our late twenties. We like to travel slowly and don't want to cram to much in, so reading about possible destinations and ideas has quickly become absurdly overwhelming. We love walking and meandering in rural areas but recognise that this isn't the best season for that. We enjoy museums for a day or two and love food and wine, although we are vegetarian. Any recommended itineraries/suggestions for a laid-back holiday trip for Italy newbies?
BrittanyZ is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 04:50 AM
  #2  
 
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I would stick mostly to cities at that time of year. My preferences would be Rome and Florence but you have to choose based on what interests you. You might consider Venice but we have never been in winter. From Rome and Florence you can take day trips depending on the weather. From Rome to Ostia Antica or perhaps Orvieto for a more rural feel. From Florence, try Pisa and Siena. Do some research on this board and in guidebooks to see what appeals to you.

Time to make some decisions as your trip is fast approaching!
mamcalice is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 07:46 AM
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Here's a trip report that covers roughly the same time of year in rome from 2013

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-rome-2013.cfm
Iahawk is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 08:00 AM
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We took a two week trip to Italy several years ago at almost exactly the same time of year you are visiting. We spent 5 nights in Venice and 8 nights in Rome; it was absolutely perfect for a city-based trip. Several years ago we also spent another week in Venice, one of our favorite places once you get away from the tourist crowds which all tend to be in just certain areas.

We live in Minnesota, so weather was fine for us. With the exception of one day when there were a few flakes flying around, Venice was cool, clear and crisp. We spent hours and hours every day just walking around and enjoying the ambience. With proper clothing you'll be fine. Rome was also very nice weather for tourists, perhaps in the upper 50s or low 60s each day.

Now I have another idea for you. We just returned from three weeks in Sicily. Sicily can easily be reached from Rome by various means of transportation. It has all of the historic places the mainland has and has gorgeous countryside. The weather there is sure to be better than the mainland, and Sicily is a delightful island. I am sure you could do some of that rural meandering around that calls to you. Food was fabulous. Are you vegetarians who eat fish?

I have an on-going trip report on Sicily in October. Check it out for ideas.

I am thinking you are going in kind of peak season, so you may want to make some decisions soon and get some lodging set up fairly soon.
julies is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 02:36 PM
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check this out:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-rome-2013.cfm

trip report for the same two weeks and its all in Rome with two side trips. If you've never been to Italy, stick with two of the 'big three' - venice, florence and rome. use trains to get around and expect that you'll basically lose Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as the country pretty much shuts down.
Iahawk is offline  
Nov 9th, 2015, 02:40 PM
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That being said, we've been to Rome alone three times and still believe we have much to see! The pope does a Christmas Eve Mass, a Christmas Day Blessing and a New Year's Day Blessing all in St Peter's Square - viewable on jumbotrons. You won't have too much trouble finding restaurants open on the 24th as many families eat out but on the 25th, I'd head to the Jewish quarter and plenty of options will be available. New Year's Eve - make a reservation for sure! Watch for falling garbage after the fireworks end as its tradition to throw 'stuff' out windows to create a new, clean slate for the new year. Enjoy!
Iahawk is offline  
Nov 10th, 2015, 01:13 AM
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The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is a favorite time to spend a few days in a rural agriturismo, if that's what you'd really enjoy most. There are even a lot of special offers, with traditional meals, for Christmas Day, which might solve the problem of what to do that day. I've never done this, but some of our relatives and friends have done it.

In central Italy, snow is rare unless you go into the mountains. There is a chance of rain, but the autumn stormy season is usually over by then. If you plan to spend just Christmas Eve and Christmas day in an agriturismo, you may not need a car, but any longer than that and you'd feel pretty stuck without a car.

I can't recommend specific places to stay, but if you search for "Agriturismo Christmas ------" (fill in the province that interests you) you should find plenty to choose from. Maybe someone else knows specific places to stay.
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 10th, 2015, 04:50 PM
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Try La Crociona just outside Montalcino. Barbara and her family have a lovely selection of apartments with a restaurant onsite.
Iahawk is offline  
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