Italy at Christmas: What to see?

Oct 20th, 2002, 06:07 AM
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Italy at Christmas: What to see?

I will be spending 12-14 days in Italy at Christmas. I am definitely going to Venice and Rome. Where else would you suggest I visit while there?
Thank you for any ideas.
Oct 21st, 2002, 01:01 PM
Eye Spy
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I love Italy so much it's hard for me to answer your question. There is so much to see and do.

You might want to check out Milan which, while damp in the winter, is no less interesting. It's the economic capital of Italy, very stylish, the Duomo is the 2nd largest church in Christendom after St. Peters Basilica (or the 3rd largest; I can't remember). You could get some great shopping bargains as the sales start right after Christmas - but then again, you could have great sales in Florence too). In Milan, there is the Pinocoteca Ambrosiana and the Brera art museum which are both FANTASTIC if you are an art history buff.

You could go down to Florence and catch some of the atmosphere there. I won't go on about the sights: you're probably already familiar with them. You could do Venice-Milan-Florence. Or stop in such places like Parma or Bologna for the day (Bologna is wonderful if you are a foodie: it's Italy's gastronomic capital). You could take a day trip to Assisi from Florence.

I wouldn't do too much though. Getting Milan in might be too much and it's a shot westward instead of down to Florence (which is direct from Venice by train). Venice-Milan-Florence-Rome is enough. But if you go to Milan, you could take the train from Venice, spend the day there (it's only 2 hours) and walk around the city center and then get back on the train to Florence. That might be too much with your baggage. All in all, don't wear yourself out. Take in the atmosphere wherever you are. There are other times to go.
Oct 21st, 2002, 01:02 PM
Eye Spy
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Sorry Shirley. I didn't mean to call you Sandy. My apologies.
Oct 21st, 2002, 02:43 PM
Eye Spy
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I posted this earlier for another Fodorite, so you may want to consider this.

While the idea of coming to Rome at Christmas sounds charming,
think twice before you make your reservations! Christmas is a family holiday for
Romans. They often leave the city to gather at parents homes or go to the
countryside. From Christmas Eve until the day after New Years, the city is shut
up and most shops and restaurants are closed. The Vatican and its museums
are closed during this period of time. Also public transportation runs on a
limited schedule and stops about 9 PM on Christmas Eve. Even if you get
tickets to the mass at Saint Peters you may have to walk back to your hotel
across Rome at 2 in the morning. If I still have not discouraged you, you can
apply for tickets through the US Bishops Center for Visitors to the Vatican. You
can contact Monsignor Roger Roensch at Via dell'Umilitá 30, 00187 Rome. His
office telephone number is 011 3906.690011, or better yet send your request by
fax to 0113906.679.1448. He can also be reached by email at:
[email protected] He will not promise you a ticket only the
possibility of a ticket! Address him as "Your Grace" in your letter.

In closing, I am the last person who will ever discourage a visit to Rome.
However, you want to keep the information above in mind for Christmas.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 03:17 AM
Posts: n/a
Hello Eye Spy,
Thank your for your responses. I will take your advice as we work on our itinery. So much to see in so little time. Thanks for your advice about public transportation on holidays.
It's so exciting, the thoughts of seeing all of these wonderful places that I have only heard or read about.
Thanks again.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 10:04 AM
Posts: n/a
I have been to Rome & Venice during Christmas holidays. Two or three resaturants on my list were closed. Other than that everything else I was interested in was opened. To add to the information above regarding public transportion, I would try to have the hotel arrange taxi service for you in advance if you will need it on Christmas Eve or any other holiday time. We had a tough time finding a cab on our own. I think you will have plenty to do in Rome and Venice for a 14 day trip.

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