Florence - January or August

Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 25
Florence - January or August

I know this is like asking how long is a piece of string, but here goes.

I have the bug to hit Europe again and we would like to go to Florence on our next trip. (We just did Rome for Christmas/New Year's 2007.)

Because of upcoming work and family obligations we have two choices - go to Florence in January 2009 or August 2009, with the obvious pros and cons for each. (Jan cold but uncrowded, August hot and crowded.) We are from NY and we know what cold cities are like and frequently visit Florida in the height of summer.

We would rent an apartment, stay for at least 7 nights and daytrip as well as see the city sights. I am an art curator, so camping out in museums to avoid bad weather is fine with me. Husband is congenial and will do just about anything.

Any suggestions? I am leaning towards January simply because I am impatient!

EvaBryan is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Go in January.

Not only will it be hot and crowded in August, it'll be hot and mobbed - infested with tourists making your visit then quite unpleasant, IMO.
TuckH is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:13 AM
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Without a doubt...January.
caroltis is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:55 AM
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I generally travel to Italy during the off-season - Jan through March and have been to Florence at least twice in Jan and much prefer it to the summer months let alone August.
PotenzaRon is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:00 AM
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It will be chilly but not heavy winter and the crowds - and hotel rates - will be smaller.

August will be hot as hell - think high 90s and humid - as well as packed to the gills and more expensive.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:19 AM
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January - for sure!
Margaretlb is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Hello Eva, you couldn't pay me to be in Florence during the month of August. Florence gets so hot and so humid and muggy. And yes the crowds! Everyone I know that lives in Florence flees that beautiful city during the month of August.

So I would chose January.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I've been to Florence a dozen times, though never in August. I usually travel off-season. I was there again this year in early March. At the beginning of my visit, Florence was the pleasant city of art that I know and love, with lots of tourists, but not uncomfortably crowded. The last two days of my stay were the beginning of Easter week. The center was amazingly crowded and full of tour groups, a total change from earlier in the week. There were immense lines at the museums. I felt I finally understood the complaints of many who tour Florence in the summer. I couldn't wait to leave the center of town for the quiet of my friend's apartment outside the center.

No contest for me--January!
ellenem is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Just be prepared for the fact that Florence will be MUCH colder than Rome in January. I was in Florence in January and absolutely froze even with the proper clothing. From there I went to Rome and it was much warmer so just keep that in mind so that you realize that it will be different from what you experienced in Rome.
LouisaH is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,255
January, without a doubt. You will be able to just walk into the Uffizi and Accademia. No lines.

The last time I was in Florence in January it was about 55F. On the Sunday before I left, it was a glorious 65F and sunny. I took my coat off to stroll around the Boboli Gardens.


Proenza_Preschooler is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,174
In January 2005, I went to the Uffizi and there was a long lineup at 10 AM. Luckily I had a reservation. So I wouldn't count on there being no lines in January.
WillTravel is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,255
You probably went on a Saturday. You have to go later on in the day, anyway, around 2-ish.

If you do have to stand in line, bring a flask of gin with you. And don't let any Japanese take photos of you--stick them with your hat pin if they try anything shady.

Proenza_Preschooler is offline  

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