first time in italy - christmas

Nov 1st, 2001, 10:24 PM
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first time in italy - christmas

Hello everyone, this is my first time in this forum. We are spending Christmas (my parents and my sister's family including a baby) in Italy. We arrive on Dec 23rd in Rome. Our plan is to rent a car around 25th or 26th to spend a night or two in San G. or Florence and drive on to Venice for two days before coming home to New York. We simply do not have enough days there, but I really want our parents to get a taste of Italy. They have never been out of the country, and this trip is a far-fetched dream for them, so I want everything to be perfect. Would Rome be fine during Christmas? Is it a better idea to move onto San G on 25th? I am worried about 25th and 26th, which according to some information seems just rather dead cities over there. I would really appreciate any suggestions.
Nov 4th, 2001, 07:16 AM
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We were in Italy for Christmas last year and here's what I would suggest. I would skip the car & Florence and fly or take the train to Venice. Feast of San Stefano is December 26 and there is a festival in Venice at Campo San Stefano every year. If you want your parents to have a taste of the Italian countryside ala San G., you can rent a car for the day in Venice and drive up to Asolo for lunch. Ca'Derton is excellent and the restaurant at Hotel Villa Cipriani is very good as well. Arrange all rental cars in advance, even for one day. We had to rent one for a day sort of last minute and it ended up costing us $400.00. You are right about lots of things being closed. I would try to make as many reservations in advance as possible. This is against our grain but necessary if you want to eat since so many places are closed or overbooked with Americans. E-mail me if you have any more questions.
Nov 6th, 2001, 10:21 AM
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Casey, thank you so much for your advice. I will research on your suggestions and will email you if more questions come up. I really appreciate it.
Dec 5th, 2001, 11:14 AM
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My sons, ages 18 and 21, spent 10 days over Christmas break in Italy last year.
We rented a wonderful flat in Rome, virtually on the Pantheon square, and made it our home base.
From Rome, we ventured by train north to Florence and Bologna and south to Naples and Pompeii.
We spent all day Christmas Eve, which was Sunday in 2001, wandering through the ruins in Pompeii to the background thunder of Christmas fireworks.
The train connections were easily made, we used Eurostar exclusively for express travel.
2000 was the Vatican Jubilee year so there was much activity in Rome: Christmas markets at the Piazza Navonna and in the Campo di Fiore.
But Florence and Bologna also were delightful to the senses: lights, beautiful decorations and many, many people out on the streets.
Those cities are like any other big city: alive every day and into the night.
On Christmas Eve, stores, restaurants and attractions were open, with taxis and buses running as usual. On Christmas Day, the only closures we noted were in the major shopping districts. Food, transportation, and the ubiquitous "Tabachi" convenience stores were open for business.
You will find plenty to do and the drive through Tuscany to Venice will be a memorable highlight.
Dec 5th, 2001, 12:21 PM
Helen Donegan
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Hi Kim
I think I have given you these links on another thread but thought I would do so again just incase.
An Italian Christmas:
My dream:

I wish you a very Happy Christmas
Dec 7th, 2001, 03:50 PM
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we (my husband and I and our 2 year old son) are spending Christams in Italy too...and have decided to have Christmas day lunch with Helen D's group in Umbria...we won't be staying for her whole vacation package, but thought the Christmas meal might be should join the group! We'll be in Tuscany for the remainder of our trip....

Please feel free to e-mail me if you'd like...

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