Italy in December?

May 28th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Italy in December?

I am intending taking my family (wife and two daughters, aged 16 and 13) to Italy (Florence, Rome and Venice) in December and was wondering if the weather that time of year is likely to make such a trip a misery for all concerned, given that we will be coming from sunny South Africa into a Eurpoean winter. The trip will also entail hiring a car and driving from Florence to Rome and I was wondering if I would need to have my head read to even consider driving in Italy, taking into account the fact that I will need to drive on what for us would be the wrong side of the road?
BazzaK is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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take the train. only you can decide if winter time conditions will be alright with you. my wife and I come from always sunny Arizona to Europe either spring or fall, AND every Jan or Feb, we love the contrast.
richardsonsnm is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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I also would suggest taking the train for those three cities. It is much easier than the logistics of car hire imo. Just go to the station, buy your tickets, and hop on.
suze is online now  
May 28th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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Hello BazzaK, the weather in Italy like a lot of the world is unpredictable. Many people really enjoy Italy in winter as there are less tourist. The downside is you will have less hours of daylight. The "winter" food in Italy is wonderful. You will want to pack mufflers, gloves etc., or you can buy them when you first arrive in Italy.

Unless you plan on making stops between these three cities I too would strongly urge you to utilize the trains. You will not want a car in either Rome or Florence and of course you cannot drive a car in Venice so you would be paying a lot for your rental car to be parked plus the parking fees as well as the high cost of gasoline etc. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 01:17 PM
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I am looking to hiring the car for one day only to travel from Florence to Rome. For four of us it works out a lot cheaper to hire a car than to take the train. Does it still not make sense under those circumstacnes to hire a car?
BazzaK is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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No, it makes no sense from many standpoints -- cost, time, safety, convenience. Take the train, city center to city center. Italy in December can be cold, wet, even icey.
USNR is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Hello BazzaK, I agree with USNR, you will be much happier, even if it cost a bit more, that you took the train from Florence to Rome for all of the reasons that USNR stated. Even my Italian friends in Florence take the train when they go to Rome.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 11:38 PM
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Thanks for all the helpful input. You have all convinced me. I will rather take the train. Actually, when you factor in the cost of getting from the city to Florence airport (from where I would have hired the car) and again from the airport in Rome (where I would have dropped off the car) into the city, I think that the car option would have actually worked out more expensive and, as mentioned by someone above, I think would take a lot longer than the train. So the train it is then.
BazzaK is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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I was in Italy in December and in January. Expect some rain and temps averaging in the 40s or 50s during the day for Venice and Florence and a bit warmer for Rome. Of course, anything can happen with the weather but that is what we experienced.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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Good choice to forget about the car BazzaK. We really enjoy just sitting back on the train and watching the scenery go by. Take some nice italian munchies with you, buy coffee on the train, and you'll enjoy the ride instead of being stressed out in the traffic.

I am also South African and quite enjoy the cold weather in Europe, and of course Italy isn't as bad as places further north.

We travel mostly during the European winter because we find it so much more pleasant without the huge crowds (but if you're going over Christmas it will be crowded).

Just make sure you have warm gloves, scarves, socks and jacket, then you can get by with our usual winter clothes underneath, no problem! We alway find that the shops, museums, etc are always so overheated and it is nice to just peel the coats and scarves off and be comfortable in normal gear.

We always under-pack rather than take too much and always plan to buy a few lovely items of warm clothes over there because it's fun to get stuff we don't get here and of course everything is made for the cold weather there so the stuff is super warm.... oh boy, I can't wait for our next trip

Is this your first trip to italy? Have you chosen accommodation yet?

You're welcome to mail me if there's anything you'd like to ask. [email protected]

Happy planning
Mischka is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 03:19 AM
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Thanks, Mischka. I have e-mailed you with more details of my plans.
BazzaK is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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Just to be contrary...We have always leased or rented a car. The amount of freedom was wonderful. With three kids (first trip they were 9,12,13) the ease of baggage and eating was unbeatable. In Rome we stay in the outskirts and took buses in and in Venice there is parking at the mainland station. FYI, they do not drive on a different side of the road!
wendymc55 is offline  
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