Italy in the winter

Oct 14th, 2007, 04:10 PM
  #1  
chb
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 51
Italy in the winter

Calling Italian Foderites to please throw your advice my way!!! Our trip to Italy is 2/1/08 thru 2/17/08,
arriving in Rome and departing from Milan. There is alot of Italy between these two airports. Okay I think some might think this is not the optimal time to go but...this is the time that we have and we don't mind cold weather. I have specific questions if anyone can answer, I'll be grateful.
1. How many days in Rome? I was thinking 4 for sightseeing. Where to stay? I have read good things about B/B's and Convents.
2. When to rent a car, and what will driving conditions be like this time of the year.
3. We would like to spend a few days on Sicely, is this to ambitious? I can book a flight from there to ?
4. Skiing the Italian Alps is a dream that we would like to do before we are much older (currently 50).
5. Is a base apartment a good idea? Where would this be a good idea.
As you can see I am all over the place with questions. I'm open to any suggestions.
Thanks,

chb
chb is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 04:32 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 189
Well if you can go to either or, i would start in Sicily, where the weather will be warmer than Milan, and work back to Rome, where it will be a little cooler, and finally Milan, where it will be much cooler. . So it sounds like light clothes, then jackets, and finally sweaters & jackets. 4 days is good for Rome,-I also wanted to stay at a convent for the experience, but couldn't, so if you can find one great. Otherwise, the B&B sounds good, what about a hotel? Can't help with driving, I always take public transportation. I can tell you that gas is incredibly expensive,but thats all. A base apartment won't work if your going to Milan, Rome, and Sicily. There preety spaced out from each other.Do you have about 12 days, and maybe a three extra for traveling?
virgi is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 04:12 PM
  #3  
chb
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virgl, Thanks for your prompt reply. We have 18 days total in italy with a travel day on either side.

I have e-mailed a few convents but other than that I don't knw how to get ahold of them.
This is a lot of planning.

chb
chb is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 04:25 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,111
First, the weather. We were there almost that exact time last year. And it was cold! Rome was mildly cold---needed a good warm coat at night or when the wind was blowing. Florence was really really freezing. And it snowed one day/night in Venice! (We like winter weather, too.)

4 days in Rome is OK, assuming they're 4 full days. Even then, you'll wish you had more. Need more info (budget) before suggesting hotels.

As for the "being all over the place", it's easy to do. Italy's a big place. I'm leaving soon for my second 2-week trip and I still haven't been able to work Cinque Terre or the Lakes Region into a workable itinerary.

Put together a sample itinerary. Post it here and let people have at it. It gets your head all turned around, but it works.

JeanneB is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 06:00 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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C,

Have you already booked your flights?

My first trip to Italy was a week ski trip to Cortina. We had a blast and the scenery was spectacular! We did a "drive by" of Italy for 9 days afterward.

If you are going in the winter and you want to ski, I'd say make the most of it! How about this?

fly into Venice
3 nights Venice

drive/bus up to the Dolomiti
3 - 4 nights, depending on how many days you can/want to ski

train to Florence
2 nights

rent car
3 nights Tuscany

drop car
5 nights Rome
fly out of Rome

Tweek a little as your interests dictate! I would save Sicily for another trip. I'm planning it for a May or October timeframe.

If you want to rent an apartment in Rome, it should be easier to get less than a week stay in February.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 06:54 PM
  #6  
 
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Bouncing some questions back to you:

Is this your first trip to Italy?

Do you think you're likely to make another trip in the next few years?

Are you more interested in the usual tourist things or in skiing? (Not asking you to choose between, just wondering which is the higher priority.) Further, which interests you more, skiing or Sicily?

And further to the "usual tourist things" question, what do you enjoy: art, museums, gourmet-level dining, ancient ruins, guided tours, strolling, people-watching from a sidewalk cafe, etc., etc., etc.

What is your hotel budget?

Are you the type of travellers who like the services and assistance of a hotel or well-staffed B&B or are you very independent?

If you tell us more, we can help you more.

Jean is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:20 PM
  #7  
 
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Posts: 971
Hi C,

We did a 4 week trip in December / January last year. We were lucky with the weather as it really was not cold for most of the time.

This seemed like it could be a problem since a main focus of the trip was one week's skiing in the Dolomites. Last year was terrible snow but it did not matter. Of the 1200 kilometres of area available, 1100 was open to ski. Much was man-made and groomed but it was still great skiing. The scenery is spectacular. We are plannin gto go back really soon (not this year unfortunately due to finances, but probably next year). We stayed in Campitello di Fassa. Any where in the Sella Ronda area is recommended and it is all linked.

Regarding the rest of the trip - we spent 5 days in Rome (enough but never enough if you know what I mean). We spent 4 days in te Tuscan countryside which was lovely. 4 days in Sorrento which turned out to be perfect as the weather happened to be warm, 3 days in Florence and 3 days in Venice. Venice was actually the only place we ever felt cold (I think it has something to do with the damp wind blowiing right into your bones).

We drove part of the way (Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Tuscany) and then took trains. Both methods of transport easy.

You can read my trip report here but I warn you it is quite long and detailed. I also have not finished the part about skiing, which I have promised to do in the next few days.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...ssiefive&fid=2


aussiefive is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 01:02 AM
  #8  
 
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Hi CHB - The Dolomites are some of the most spectacular mountains - and the biggest ski area - in Europe.

As Aussie says, anywhere close to the Sella Ronda - Val Gardena, Val Badia, Val di Fassa - makes a superb base.

Personally I prefer Val Gardena - and recommend staying in Selva (- main ski resort) or Ortisei (- attractive Tyrolean village 20 mins down the valley).

The villages and ski-lifts are well-connected by regular ski-bus.

http://www.valgardena.it/

http://www.val-gardena.com/eng/page4.html

www.dolomitisuperski.com

Hope this helps ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 06:10 PM
  #9  
chb
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 51
Oh my Gosh...I feel so blessed that you all answered my plea.
Let me answer some questions. I Love bed and breakfasts as oposed to hotels. I am budgeting 300/Euros/day plus or minus. I think this will house us and feed us. I'm sure we will purchase a few things but probably not much will be brought home. I think what i am asking is this amount do able? My husband and I both love the antiquities, out of the way places, and good food and good wine. I think we are very independent travellers. I don't want to say never but it is unlikely once we leave italy we will return. The world is so big and there is so much to do. Hope this offers some in-sight.

Here's where I am with the plans

Taking the advice of Dayle with the schedule flying to Venice and departing from Rome.

January 31 Overnight flight to Venice

Febuary 1,2,3,4 AL TEATRO Bed and Breakfast located in San Marco. 160 Euros/night Our good luck I was able to get a room during Carnevale.

Febuary 5,6,7 pick up a car and ski. I will look up the suggestions by Steve.
no reservations just yet ) Does anyone know if I can rent a pair of snow blades small 36 inch skies locally.

February 8, 9, Train to Florence no reservations yet open to suggestions regarding B&B 's and things to do.

February 10,11 Tuscany. Again no plans yet.

February 12,13,14,15,16 Rome staying at the Convent II Rosario. We are looking forward to this portion of the trip so much. Any suggestions for dining, cafe's expresso shops etc off the beaten path shops or any other cool things especially where to dine Feb 14th.

Depart February 17th.
Thanks
Chb

chb is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:59 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm not a skier, but I'm sure you can rent ANY ski equipment you may want in top Dolomite resorts like Selva - or Ortisei.

If you're looking for a good value 3* B&B, I regularly stay in Ortisei at -

www.hotelvillapark.com

You will not need a car in the resort - the Val Gardena resorts are extremely well connected to the main lifts by the skibus service.

An alternative - conveniently reached from Venice - is Cortina, of course (- though it tends to be more expensive ...)

Hope this helps ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 04:48 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 971
Like any ski villages there are plenty of rental places avaialbel to rent all types of equipment.

You do not need a car - everything is linked and you will probably not use it much. It is also possible to drive to some resorts that are further away and are part of your lift ticket. But there are connecting buses everywhere also.
aussiefive is offline  

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