First trip to Italy

Sep 1st, 2010, 08:50 AM
  #1  
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First trip to Italy

Hello,

My husband and I will be traveling to Italy in December of this year. This will be out first trip to Europe. I am getting a little skeptic about going in December as I have heard that the days are shorter and that by 4 p.m. it is dark. I have also been reading that it tends to rain a lot and the days are gloomy and really cold. My husband and I are not use to the cold weather as we live in Florida, neither of us mind the cold we actually both love it so that would not really be too much of a problem. We have thought about changing our dates to travel and maybe go in March. The airfare seems to be the same price just about $100 more, which is not too big of a problem.
Our tentative itinerary is Rome> Florence>Venice>Naples>Rome. I have looked at flying in and out of Rome as the price from a multi-destination ticket is not that much cheaper.

Any advice about my traveling date and my tentative itinerary would be appreciated. Thanks
StateofMind is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 08:54 AM
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It's hard to answer for someone else, but yes, if you are concerned about the lack of light and cold weather, waiting until March would most likely give you better conditions.

If plane ticket prices are similar, I would fly into Venice and out of Rome (or into Rome and out of Venice) to save having to make a backtracking loop on the ground.
suze is online now  
Sep 1st, 2010, 08:55 AM
  #3  
J62
 
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I think March is a much better time to visit. You have heard correct - the days in December are much shorter. By mid March the length of the daytime will be once again equal to nightime, and the days will be much warmer. That is especially since you'll spend a lot of your time outdoors in all those cities.
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Sep 1st, 2010, 09:03 AM
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Hi, I write you from Italy.
Yes, December is cold and the dark comes at 5,30 / 6 pm! March (end...) is better, for sure.
Itinerary: from Rome go (only) north... this time avoid Naples and keep the south for another trip. You can visit big towns like Milan,Turin, Genua or small beautiful /old places as Pisa, Mantua, Bergamo...
Ciao,
Gianni P.
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Sep 1st, 2010, 09:37 AM
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Ok Thanks for your guys inputs I think we will reconsider the dates of travel...

@ Gianni- If we do travel in March it will be from March 6-22 because those are the dates that I can take off again, as i am in school. Do you not recommend early March? is late March better. How is the weather in the month of March?
StateofMind is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 09:44 AM
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I have seen snow in Venice and Florence in early March. I've also seen lovely days in early March. Late March will have consistently better weather.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 11:35 AM
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The later you go in March, the longer the daylight hours. It will still be chilly and quite possibly rainy, but probably better than in December.
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Sep 1st, 2010, 12:20 PM
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I quite like Italy in December. Crowds are less and so are prices. I live in Florida and find the crisp weather a nice change. It does not bother me to have shorter days as I am not a fan of Daylight Savings Time anyway.

Weather is always unpredictable but I enjoy Italy - and Europe in general - in the off-off season for lots of reasons and I personally would stick to it.

Different strokes.
kfusto is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 01:14 PM
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This site is wonderful for figuring out what time it gets light and dark. www.mindspring.com/~cavu/sunset.html On Dec 15 it gets light out between 7 and 7:30, and dark between 4:30 and 5pm -in Rome. On March 15 it gets light out between 6 and 6:30 and dark between 6:15 and 6:45. So close to three hours more daylight in March.

Weather is much harder to predict. I go to Europe almost every March. Some years I've had 70s and lots of sun. Some years I've had 30s and lots of sun. Some years I've had lots and lots of rain. I also go in July. It hardly ever rains much in July (in Italy) but then again, it's hot.

So I wouldn't really pick March over December for weather. But I might for daylight.

Besides plane ticket costs there are also hotel costs. Both March and December can be low season but it can vary depending on the exact dates and the city. If money is an issue I'd check it out. It's so easy to do since usually even small hotels have on-line price and availability checking.

Even if it doesn't save you money to fly in and out of the same city, it will save you money and time to to not have to back track. I'd on into Venice and out of Rome. If you only have two weeks skip Naples and concentrate on Venice, Florence and Rome. If you really like to move around a lot there are plenty of day trips from all of them.
isabel is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 08:47 AM
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I have looked into flying into Milan and out of Rome, or Into Venice and out of Rome but i can't seem to find a nice but not to expensive hotel in either Venice nor in Milan. Can someone please give me some advice I have searched through the forum but have not really found too much.
StateofMind is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 08:55 AM
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www.lacalcina.com is a very nice place in Venice (not sure if it meets your price range or not)
suze is online now  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 09:05 AM
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Tell us the top price you are willing to pay for a hotel room and we can advise better. Your "expensive" may not be ours.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 09:24 AM
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I have used Priceline several times in Milan and "won" Le Meridien for under 150 USD per night including taxes. Convenient location, lovely hotel and luxurious room.

I also really enjoy Melia Milano and they offer very good rates quite often.
kfusto is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Ellenem- am looking to spend no more than 120-150 dollars a night. It does not have to be something very fancy just something nice, clean, and walking distance to some places or even close to public transportation...
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Sep 2nd, 2010, 11:01 AM
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I am still working on my itinerary and could use some help.

From what I have researched so far looks like we will be arriving at Venice and Departing from Rome.

Venice -2
Florence -4
Naples-3
Rome-5

I have read a lot about skipping Naples all together but I really want to make it out there to do a day trip to Pompeii or Sorrento, not sure if maybe I should be looking to stay in one of those places instead of Naples. I have thought about exploring the option of taking day trip to Pompeii or Sorrento from Rome, but that does not seem like a good idea. From what I have gathered on my research it says a train into Naples takes about 3 hrs or so and then from there I need to take another one into Pompeii or Sorrento. Is that correct? I feel like I will be losing too much time with that travel that maybe I should just stay there instead of doing a day trip. Any comments on this idea?

Now as for my stay in Florence I would like to visit all the main sights and still be able to visit Pisa & Sienna. Should I just do those as day trips? Should I rent a car or use public transportation for my stay in Florence? Also, any other sights or cities to visit in Florence that I should be thinking about instead or in addition to the two?
StateofMind is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Do not rent a car if all you want to do is visit Siena and Pisa.

To visit Siena, it is better to take the bus from Florence, trip takes about an hour. The bus is preferred since it stops in the center of Siena, while the Siena train station is outside town.

To visit Pisa, it is better to take the train from Florence, trip takes about an hour.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 12:47 PM
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I think 2 days Venice is too short. Especially since it is your first city, so you'll be getting over jet lag. I'd shave a day of Rome at the end and add it to Venice at the beginning.
suze is online now  
Sep 9th, 2010, 04:24 AM
  #18  
 
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Hi - My financee are planning are honeymoon to Italy between April and early May. We are jsut beginning our research. We would like to stay in a really really nice hotel. Any suggestions? WE are thinking 10 days and are thinkign about Rome, Venus, Milan, Florence. We would love any suggestions. Thank you.
nancy326 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2010, 05:02 AM
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My suggestions are to use the search feature to read the many threads about hotels and to go TripAdvisor.com and Venere.com for comprehensive hotel reviews.

Easter is April 24th so if that is within your dates expect high prices and big crowds and book early.
kfusto is offline  
Sep 9th, 2010, 09:21 AM
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State of Mind, I agree you need 1 more day in Venice for the reasons given.

Nancy, you should start your own thread with an appropriately detailed title so you can get the info you want. For starters include specifics, like your interests, where you are traveling from and how many days you have ON the ground in Italy. 10 days and 4 major cities is too many destinations.
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