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Italy in November

Old Oct 30th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Italy in November

I am planning a 3 week trip to Italy starting on 10 November - the plan is to spend 5 nights in the Lakes area (staying in Lake Como), 2 nights in Cinque Terre area, 2 nights in Rome, 7 nights in Sorrento and 5 nights in the Puglia area. Does this timing seem right? Are we spending too long in any area? I would be very grateful for any suggestions re places / sights to not miss. The intention is to have a car in the Lakes area and in Puglia but otherwise we will be reliant on public transport. I keep reading that Italy in November is going to be very wet, that not much will be open and that ferries etc will hardly run, if at all. Is this right - is it really that grim?
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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You're planning a trip that seems highly reliant on pleasant weather to make worthwhile. In rainy weather the vistas of the Amalfi and Cinque Terre and the Lakes sometimes entirely disappear. There is little outdoor dining in the evening (although someplaces have heaters) and hiking in wet weather is out of the question in le Cinque Terre (and the ferries don't run in choppy waters).

I've never been to Puglia so I can't comment.

Were it me, I would switch to more urban destinations and only foray out for the views when I was sure the weather was nice.

Thus: 5 nights in Verona

Skip Cinque Terre

Six nights in Roma

Six in Sorrento

And what you do about Puglia, I don't know.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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This is the wrong time for lakes and the Cinque Terre, seasonal closures, iffy temperatures, deserted towns, non-running lake transporation and uncertain weather make this a waste of your time and money.

At this time of the year, stick to the cities - not just the biggies, not just Rome-Florence-Venice but check out places like Perugia, nearby Assisi, Padua (the Giotto frescoes), Ravenna (the fantastic byzantine mosaics), Urbino, and on and on!

The concert season is in full swing - catch a concert or an opera, or simply a recital at the local conservatory of music (often free and during the day).

In Milan, see what tradeshows are on that might interest you, and fashion events - sometimes fun to attend just for the heck of it.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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CT and the lakes are not for November. Rome is always nice. I'd opt for Naples over Sorrento.


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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 02:14 PM
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I can't speak to Puglia, except to say please please drive to Matera in Basilicata. It isn't far and Matera is one of my all time favorite places that I've visited.

The rest of your trip is too dependent on resort areas for Novemeber.

Have you been to Rome? If not, you need a lot more time there. I've been several times, and still prefer to stay at least 3 or 4 nights. I can make a long list of places in Rome that I've yet to see after several visits, and we are busy tourists.

7 nights in Sorrento in November seems way off. What do you plan to do there? If the sea is choppy, or it is raining, you are sunk. Why not two, max three, nights in Sorrento?

The Cinque Terre is a hiking and water destination. It is far off course from the rest of your itinerary. I think you should skip it.

Where are you flying in to and out of?

How about someplace like Milan or Verona for three nigts? If you have great weather, you can day trip to lakes.

Bologna for a couple of nights?

Then maybe Florence or Siena or Perugia or Arezzo for three or four nights.

Then Rome for four nights then Puglia.

This isn't to say that you couldn't have fun on your current plans, but if the weather isn't unusually nice for November, there is no way I would want to be in Sorrento for a week. Or in the CT, or at the lakes.



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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 02:32 PM
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Hi L,

You have a nice plan for mid-April through June or mid-August through mid-October, but not for mid-November.

The most likely weather on the AC will be chill, cloudy, foggy and rainy.

If the seas are rough, the ferries don't run.

Ditto the Cinque Terre.

Tuscany is going to be rather dreary.

Can you change your dates?

If not, I suggest that you change your itinerary.

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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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I don't think going to Sorrento for more than a few nights in November is such a bad idea. In fact, what's risky is going for one or two nights, because you could get totally rained out. It seldom rains in Sorrento for days on end -- which means day trips to Capri or the thermal waters of Ischia are possible, or lunch in Positano, or a trip to Pompeii. On rainy days, one can go into Napoli (or even over to Ischia!).

It's good advice to change the itinerary -- although no place in Italy is guaranteed to have dry weather, and most tourists in Italy want to see things that require walking and standing outdoors most of the time. But if you've come to look at St Peter's, at least you can see it in the rain. You may not see much of anything in Cinque Terre or Lago di Como in the rain.

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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 03:31 PM
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PS: I don't think Tuscany is accurately described as "drery" in November. It can be lovely, even in the rain. It's full of color.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I will take your advice and change the plans. The cold doesn't worry me but I take your point that wet, cloudy days would not be much fun. I think I will take up the suggestion of Verona, Perugia, Rome etc. I have been to most of the bigger cities (Florence, Venice, Rome, Milan etc) as well as Tuscany but going back to anywhere in Italy would never be a chore! I am not sure what to think about Puglia. We will also cut the trip shorter and perhaps use the additional time to go to Spain (Barcelona) which is somewhere else I have been really wanting to go.
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