How much sunlight in December????

Sep 13th, 2007, 11:50 PM
  #1  
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How much sunlight in December????

My husband and I, plus two other family members, are planning our trip to Rome and Paris for December of 2008. I have read on a website that there is only like 6 hours of daylight in Rome during December...is this true? Do the museums and attractions close early because of the lack of daylight??? Please let me know the pros and cons of a trip in December. We really don't mind if it is rainy and cold...to us the colder the better. We live in Alabama so it will be nice to actually feel cold weather for once Thanks in advance to anyone who posts any information for me...also...any advice you have on traveling to rome or paris would be much appreciated! I.E. best places to go, things off the beaten path, tid bits of information on customes...so forth...Thanks!
heartofthesouth is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 01:17 AM
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Well, I believe you have been misinformed. We were in Rome in February and dawn was at around 7am, sunset close to 7pm. Daylight may be slightly shorter in December, but still much longer than 6 hours. Paris is more north so it would be different than Rome but I can't imagine that daylight would be so short even there.

We did find that most everything was open in the evenings, just not too much sitting outside at restaurants for evening meals. And not nearly the crowds of summer, which was wonderful. The weather was much cooler than I am used to, but not bone-chilling. Perfect for lots of wine and coffee or hot chocolate to warm you up!

We were very happy with our trip, not impacted by the weather at all. When I return, it will probably be in the spring, but I would never go in the summer (unless, of course, it was a free trip )
LCBoniti is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 02:15 AM
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Consider that Rome is slightly farther north than, say, New York.
Daylight hours are hence very similar.
I would say that they range from about 8 hours in December to about 16 hours in June.

I would say that, around Christmas time, sun rises at 8:10 am and sets at 4:10 pm, more or less.
stefm is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 02:31 AM
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You can see sunrise and sunset for every city/every month at this site:
http://www.sunrisesunset.com/custom_srss_calendar.asp
cristine27 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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You'll have around 9 hours from sunrise to sunset. Roughly 7:30 am to 4:30 pm in mid-December.
Jake1 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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These are times for Prris on Dec 25th:

Sunrise: 8:42am
Sunset: 4:56pm

So a little more than 8 hours.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 05:29 AM
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Don't worry, neither city goes to bed just because the sun has gone down. I've been to Rome twice in December and it was fabulous (I have also been there in June). The city is gorgeous at night during the holidays, with strings of white lights decorating many streets, and the ancient monuments are lit up year-round. Some of the outdoor attractions do close down at sundown, like the Forum and Palatine Hill, and you might not see as many street artists and performers, but otherwise I can't think of any disadvantages to being there in December. I remember it getting dark around 5 - we would go back to our hotel in the late afternoon and rest for a bit before heading out for dinner and visiting some of the sights at night (Trevi Fountain, Piazza della Rotunda, Piazza Navona, etc. are all gorgeous and very active at night). Most museums will have pretty much the same hours as in the summertime.

There are tons of threads on this forum about these two fabulous cities. Do some reading and come back with specific questions (you'll get more responses if you post with a more specific title).
hausfrau is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 10:02 PM
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Those cities don't close early because of the short days but I personally strongly dislike stumbling around unfamiliar cities (sepecially when I'm there for sightseeing) in the black. You will definitely be constrained by the short days and sloshing through puddles on ancient sidewalks won't brighten your mood. This is just a personal opinion of course but I think it's a mistake to go city sight seeing when the days are short and the weather potentially awful. Renting a cottage in the country and spending time in front of a roaring fire is a different matter.
toscoman is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 05:18 AM
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I have been in Paris and London in December and have a wonderful time. While the days are short, it won't constrain you. Yes - sitting by a fire in the country sounds great but do you want to do this for a week?

Do your outside sightseeing during the daylight and hit the museums mid afternoon. The Louvre is open on Friday evenings. I'm sure there are other late openings.

Look for evening services at the churches.

The restaurants and bars have a lovely ambience. I remember wondering around the latin quarter after dinner and passing a seafood restaurant with all the seafood on display outside. The wonderful man looking after the display opened oysters and sea urchins for us to try.

BTW I've never found Paris to be slushy.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Well, you won't necessarily be sloshing through puddles! I was in Rome over Christmas and New Year's last December and did not have a drop of rain the entire time (except for a couple sprinkles late on my last night). The weather was beautiful. Sunny, blue skies, most afternoons I walked around carrying my jacket. Of course, it did cool down a lot at night. Then a medium-weight jacket, scarf and gloves were necessary.
SusanP is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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cristine - thanks for the sunrise/sunset link! Great site!
scdreamer is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Thanks to all for the great responses. I had actually found the link right after posting my first message on the sunsets. They were saying in December you will have 9 1/2 hours of daylight. should be plenty to get all my site seeing done if I'm going to be there for a week.
heartofthesouth is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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It sounds like the web site was talking about Stockholm - not Rome or Paris.

The weather will be much cooler than you're used to - but not heavy winter like NYC or Boston. More like a VA type winter - snow possible but not a lot likely - rain much more common.

Seeing the indoor sights will not be a problem - everything doesn't shut down. but - obviously the countryside is not at it;s best and you won;t be able to do a lot of cafe sitting/people watching.

Be sure you have a sturdy umbrella, 2 comfy pairs of water resistant walking shoes and a variety of clothes you can layer - depending on temps.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 11:07 AM
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I am a travel professional so I get free tickets to Europe every year but can only use them in November or December. I love that time of year there. No crowds. It makes me feel less of a tourist, more like a local. And being a Californian, it is the one chance I get to actually wear accessories like scarves and gloves! Just note that the Vatican museum has shorter hours in the off season. I think you have to get there before 1:00 or maybe even noon. In summer, it is before 3.
bianca1975 is offline  

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