Italy in November? Any suggestions?

Old Sep 6th, 2000, 01:37 PM
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Italy in November? Any suggestions?

I'm planning a trip to Italy for the dates November 16-27. My friend & I are pretty strapped for cash, but she's entering a Master's program & this might be the last time we can take our trip (that we've already put off for 5 years!) for quite some time, so we've committed to seeing Italia this year!

We've bought our plane tix at a rock-bottom price ($550 r/t from LA!) and I'm proposing an itinerary of the following: Florence from the 16th - 20th and Rome from the 20th - 27th. We might take a side-trip to Pompeii while in Rome as well.

A few questions:
Is it a bad idea to split from FCO & go directly to Florence, then come back to Rome to wrap up the trip? The reason why I'm planning this way is so I don't have to worry about coming back to Rome & finding a hotel for one night before returning home. Plus, we arrive at FCO at 8am... giving us ample time to get to Florence & find a room... which brings me to my next question:

2) We've heard that it's possible to rent rooms in apartments and the like for super-cheap (about $40/night). We are not picky about phones, TV's, private baths, etc. Has anyone tried this before? Is it extremely difficult & more trouble than just paying for a pre-reserved hotel room? Will we have trouble finding a room or hotel during November? Which brings me to my last question...

3) Has anyone been to Italy in November? How is the weather? I've seen the averages & means, but I'd prefer some first-hand info. Will the low-season mean lower-quality service for tourists?

I realize I am asking a lot of questions. Any information will be appreciated. Thanks so much!

Old Sep 6th, 2000, 04:25 PM
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Jenn - It is simple to get from Fiumicino to Florence. When you buy your ticket to the Roma Stazione Termini at the train station in the airport, also purchase a ticket for Florence. There is a train leaving Rome for Florence every half-hour, so the connection will be quick. The trip is only 1:30 hours.
The weather that time of the year should be fine. Dress in layers because it will cool down at night.
If you wish to visit Pompeii you may want to reconsider your itinerary. Try 3 nights in Florence, 3 nights in Sorrento and 4 nights in Rome. From Sorrento you can easily day trip to Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Naples, and a number of other wonderful places. This itinerary will provide you more diversity.
The least expensive hotel I have stayed at in Rome is the Hotel Pensione Italia. A double, with the shower down the hall, should cost around US$55 a night. Their email address is: [email protected].
Others will, no doubt, offer less expensive alternatives.
Enjoy your trip.
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 04:25 PM
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Enjoy your visit to Italy! I was there last November, and it was unusually cold in Florence, so I suggest you take a scarf and warm gloves (or buy them there!) You can always peel them off or leave them in your luggage if you don't need them, but you'll be glad to have them if it's chilly.

Recommend you skip the room in apartment thing for the length of time you'll be there. There are plenty of one/two star hotels which should be in your price range if you're willing to share a bath, and they'll most likely have better heat and hot water than an apartment.

In Florence, I can recommend the Pensione Bretagne, which is quite basic, but inexpensive and well-located. They have a great English-speaking staff. (Check out Rick Steves or Cheap Sleeps in Italy for other hotel recs.) Most of these hotels/pensiones are fairly small though, so even in the off-season, I'd reserve ahead.

You will not find lesser service because of the low season; in fact, you may find wuite the opposite. With fewer other customers and more time to talk to you, the shop owners, restaurant staff, etc. will be glad to see you. And you won't have to fight the crowds!

If you think you'll have the energy after your flight, I think your plan to get a train directly for Florence is probably a good one.
Old Sep 6th, 2000, 11:00 PM
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Lesli is correct about the Pensione Bretagna. I have stayed there twice. It is well-located and inexpensive -about US$55 a night for a double. Here is their email address for reservations: [email protected]
Old Sep 7th, 2000, 08:53 AM
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Jenn, we were in Italy almost the exact same days last November. The weather was mainly in the high 50s, though as a previous poster wrote, it did get chilly a couple days in Florence. Also, bring an umbrella, as you'll probably have some rain. But don't despair, the wet weather never stopped us!
As for how you'll be treated as tourist, not to worry. If anything, you'll have a better time because there will be far fewer tourists. Among other things, that means the lines won't be nearly as long at the popular spots!

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