Italy in winter break or spring break?

Old Sep 24th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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Italy in winter break or spring break?

I have a choice to go to Italy (Venice, Florence, Rome) for 8 nights before Christmas, after Christmas, or during the first week of April. I presume it will be warmer in April. There could be more rain, too. More tourists in April? Higher hotel prices? Why choose one time over the other?
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Old Sep 24th, 2006, 06:32 PM
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I've been there at Christmas time and in April. I would choose April because it will be much warmer than December -although it could be cool and damp. Venice would be nicer in the warmer weather, Florence's geographic location may make it cool and dreary at either time of the year (although it is one of my favorite places and not to be missed), and Rome will be warmer in April, but you will need to bring things to layer because it could get cool during the day. Not too sure about hotel prices --- stayed with family both times and at pensions or tourist level hotels. I am going to Rome in February so we know that it will be cool at that time. We'll just layer and enjoy.
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Old Sep 25th, 2006, 04:12 AM
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Hi J,

You might get lowest airfares before Xmas.

Try www.mobissimo.com and www.kayak.com.

Also check the airline websites for specials.

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Old Sep 25th, 2006, 06:22 AM
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I can address the "after Christmas" timeframe. We went in late January this year.

We didn't buy air tickets until November, got a great price: $615 from our small airport - Rome, return from Paris. Hotel prices also very favorable. We stayed at Foscari Palace in Venice, superior double overlooking the canal, 130eu a night. Our centrally located Rome hotel was only 85eu. Merchants, market vendors and hotels bent over backwards to welcome "the Americans". There were few tourists anywhere we went---even the Vatican.

Downside: It WAS cold. The weather didn't slow us down anywhere but Florence---too bitter there to do it justice (we will return!). It snowed in Venice, very beautiful with all the colored glass reflected in the flakes. The Doges Palace was so cold I felt like my legs had turned to stone. But there's always a coffee or wine stop nearby to warm and cheer one up.

What did we miss? We're going back next May to find out. I hope to experience the "piazzas" filled with happy Italians soaking up the sun, music and good company. Outdoor dining, you won't find it in winter. I fear the crowds will be a lot worse, but it's worth it to see Italy as I suspect it really should be seen.

In summary, Italy in winter was wonderful. We wore mid-weight silk underwear with layers, long coats, boots and scarves. We rarely removed any layers.

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Old Sep 27th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. January would definitely be the low season. Right after Christmas including New Year's won't be as cheap, unfortunately. But good hotel rates can be had.
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Old Sep 27th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Peronally, I love Italy (Europe)in the winter. I live in always sunny Honolulu and the cold weather is a nice change. My DH and I went on our honeymoom last January and we felt like we had Italy to ourselves. Yes it was very cold but we didn't notice that much because we were surrounded by beauty.


Upside: Cheaper airfares, airplanes are half empty.

Cheaper hotels.

No lines going into museums. Everthing is on SALE.

Downside: NONE! I AM IN ITALY!
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Old Sep 27th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Oops, sorry for the spelling.
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Old Sep 27th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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I can't compare Dec. to April, having only been there the first 2 weeks of April. But crowdwise Rome was fine, Orvieto empty, Siena and Florence were busy with people who appeared to be locals. The weather was great (one day of drizzle), usually light jacket weather - sometimes feeling downright hot when we were hiking the Cinque Terre or on the Amalfi Coast. Coming from cold Michigan, seeing green trees and wisteria beginning to bloom was very welcome!
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