Italy in July - good idea?

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Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:00 AM
  #1
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Italy in July - good idea?

Hi all. Having just gotten back from a trip, I am of course thinking about another. A friend and I are thinking about a couple of weeks in Italy. We're still very much in the "hmm, maybe we should think about this" phase, but due to her work plans, next July would be the best time for us to go. Is there anything weather- or tourism-related that we should be aware of before deciding to go? We both live in Tennessee, so hot summers are nothing new, and the averages for Rome in July don't look horrible to me - but I know A/C is less prevalent than we're used to. Also, I know August is prime vacation season in Europe, but I'm hoping July isn't as popular. Am I just being way too optimistic about the numbers of people who will be there? Basically, I'm wondering if it will be hot and crowded enough for us to want to postpone the trip for potentially several more months.

Our trip would probably involve some combination of Rome, Venice, the Cinque Terre, Florence/other towns near, the Amalfi Coast and/or the Lakes (don't worry, we won't try to do all that in two weeks, just possibilities). Thanks to all for your advice!
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:08 AM
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We alwaya vacation in Italy in May or early June to avoid the summer heat and crowds - which can be absolutely unbearable - esp take together. July will be slightly less awful than August - but not by a whole lot. Fall is better - but spring is best because of the longer days.

Did Venice first week in Sept for a meeting one year and it ws incredibly unpleasant outside the hotel.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:21 AM
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I spent about about 10 days in Italy in July of 2007. I guess we got really luck. It was not hot in Florence... our tour guide told us how pleasant and unusual it was. It was crowded but only a few times was it unbearable. I liked to get up early and wander the streets when it was still very quiet. We were in Rome for about 5 days and it was hotter. But again, not unbearable. I am not sure if it was because it was the beginning of July but it was crowded yes, hot, yes, but still Italy and not unpleasant. I would not have been happy without A/C though.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Thanks to both of you for the input. The complication arises in that if we don't go in July, we won't know for awhile when we CAN go (my friend will be starting a new job in July/August, but she doesn't know where yet, much less when she'll be able to take vacation time). I would love to go in May or early June, but it would have to be 2011 to do that. So, we'll talk and see how we feel.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 11:32 AM
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Oh, go in July. It won't be any worse than Tennessee, so the only issue is AC. Frankly, I've been in Italy in July and August quite a few times, and except for that summer when the heat wave killed 10,000 people in France and it was darned hot in Italy, too, I've always just been so glad to be there I managed fine (lots of water and gelato).

Also, you could head to northern Italy or to the beach. Both will be crowded, but not oppressively so.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 11:49 AM
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StCirq - if gelato is the sacrifice we have to make to go in July, well, I guess we'll have to deal with that. I kind of figured we'd feel the same way you did - it's not like we go to Italy every year!

You're right, though, that northern Italy starts to look a lot more appealing. Rome is a must, but after that we might head to the Lakes or Cinque Terre.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 11:53 AM
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I've been only to Venice, but twice, both happened to be summer (July/August). It was hot but I had a great trip regardless.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:14 PM
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We were faced with a similar issue -- my wife and I wanted to get to Italy this year, but the only time that would work was August. We put together an itinerary that includes Venice but also devotes a significant amount of time to the Dolomites. It's not your classic "Rome/Florence/Venice" tour, but I think the mountains are a good option in summer.

We're hoping for some weather luck for the Venice leg of the trip, but we're also formulating a "plan B" to get out of the city on day trips if it gets unpleasant. We're also hoping we'll have the discipline to get up early, do our sightseeing in the morning, and be someplace cool in the afternoon.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:49 PM
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Matt - thanks for the ideas! I'll be looking forward to your trip report to see how it went. (No pressure. )
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 02:45 PM
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I'll report in....
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