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Italy between Christmas & New Year's

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Oct 1st, 2012, 09:23 AM
  #1
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Italy between Christmas & New Year's

My husband and I are trying to plan a trip between Christmas and New Year's and we would love to go to Italy. The cold weather doesn't bother us, but we are nervous if the cities will be closed down during that time of year.

Will a lot of restaurants/museums/shops be closed for just Christmas and open the rest of the week? We are mainly looking at going to Rome, Florence and possibly Tuscany.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Oct 1st, 2012, 09:31 AM
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We spent that week in Rome last year and had a blast. The only day where things were closed was New Years Day, and even then it was still lively in the main tourist areas like Piazza Navona.

Here is our trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...s-20112012.cfm
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Oct 1st, 2012, 11:33 AM
  #3
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Great, thanks for letting me know!

We'd most likely arrive on Dec 23 and stay until Dec 31. Should we expect everything to be closed on Dec 25? What about the 24th or 26th?
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Oct 1st, 2012, 11:53 AM
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Lots of things will be shut right around the holidays, although churches will be open and in full swings. You need to check the websites of the specific sights you are interested in. But generally speaking, Italian families like to start to gather on Christmas eve, and stores like to shut, and many restaurants will close too. Christmas lunch at a restuarant is a popular Christmas tradition. Most everybody likes to take Dec 26 off (but museums are likely to be open).

Florence and Tuscany are the same place (Tuscany is a "state" like Arizona is a "state" and Florence is its capital. What is true of Rome is also true of Florence. If you are thinking of going into the Tuscan countryside, you have to stay very loose with your plans. To the extent that it snows in Tuscany, the most common window for it is Dec 15 to Feb 15. When it snows, traffic and hilltows are pretty much paralyzed until however long it takes to clear the snow.

You should expect things like the Vatican museums to be very crowded during the holidays, and overall for prices to be higher. But there can be very pleasant aspects to be in Italy at what is generally a cheerful time for families, who are such an important aspect of Italian cultures.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 03:43 PM
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I went to Rome for 5 days over New Year's this past year and never had a problem with stores, churches, museums being closed. Yes, some are New year's day but I went to St Peter's Square for the Pope's blessing and then spent time in the Basilica. I wandered and had lunch.
The Piazza Navona has a fair/festival every night - you must visit! Lots of people and families walking and shopping every day. I had a wonderful time. Heading back next month!
New Year's in Rome is lots of fun. Buy a bottle of champagne from a street vendor and head to one of the main Piazzas where there are fireworks.
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Oct 5th, 2012, 05:23 AM
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Hi Jamikins,

My husband and I are planning the exact same trip, we actually have bought the tickets already. Following sound advice from the wonderful people in this forum we decided that upon arrival to Rome (on the 24th) we'll take the train to Florence, spend 3 nights there, skip the car rental original idea and just take one or two 1/2 day trips (by bus or train)most likely to Siena and maybe also to Orvieto, then head back to Rome for the last 4 days and fly back on the 31st.
Good luck with your trip and maybe we'll meet making wishes at the "Fontana Di Trevi"
Patricia
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Oct 5th, 2012, 05:27 AM
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Oops! I should have addressed wish2trvltheworld instead of Jamikins, I am sorry!
Patricia
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Oct 5th, 2012, 06:53 AM
  #8
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Thanks so much for all of the advice. I studied abroad in Florence when I was in college and I'd hate to go back and have my favorite restaurants closed while we are there!

It's Italy, so I don't think we can go wrong, and hearing that other people are going is making me think this isn't the craziest idea.

Thanks again for your help, I'll let you know what we decide.
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