Italy or London in December?

Oct 9th, 2001, 11:12 AM
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Italy or London in December?

Our first real trip to Europe. We are meeting our daughter and husband for a week on their way back from the Middle East the first week of December. Though not the best time of year to go, it is on their way as they come home so they are giving us the gift of the week and we are going to rendevous with them and having a difficult time deciding where to go. I have since learned that Southern Italy has its rainiest season in December (4 inches) so even on the coast we may incur bad weather. I've heard that London is magic during Christmas, though wet and cold as well. So, anyone with advice as to the best place to go, please let us know!
Oct 9th, 2001, 03:00 PM
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We were in Rome & Venice last December for 2 weeks. The weather was very pleasant. One rainy evening in Rome and one cold day in Venice--and being from So. Calif. I don't enjoy bad weather.
Oct 9th, 2001, 03:19 PM
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2 years ago I had to work in the UK about 2 weeks before Christmas. My husband decided to meet me in London for 5 days. The streets were lit up and Christmas trees were everywhere. Fires burned in small wood burning stoves in pubs and there was a nip in the air! I loved it. I thought it a unique experience to be there during the holidays. Rome may be warmer but London was truly charming!

Hope this helps.

Oct 10th, 2001, 10:59 AM
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Thank you so much! We have decided on the UK. Any wonderful memories of places we might see during the holidays?
Oct 10th, 2001, 11:08 AM
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Just walking in central London at this time of the year is a real treat. Oxford street and Regent street are decorated with lights and ornaments and are quite a sight. The theatre district is also all alight. There are wonderful little speciality Christmas shops open with neat wares, and the chestnut vendors are out in force. I like it even though it can be cold. Nothing better than walking around a bit, getting a bit chilled, then walking into a friendly, warm pub and having a nice ping and chat with the locals. Ah, London, my favorite city in the whole wide world. London, London, London, how I would love to be in London right now.
Oct 10th, 2001, 01:22 PM
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Be careful before you commit to London. MUCH closes right at Christmas. If you have no friends or family in the immediate London area, it can be a bleak situation. Be sure you know whether what you are interested in will be open while you are there. Insist on specific Christmas closing dates!
Oct 10th, 2001, 02:12 PM
Ben Haines
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I offer two kinds of places to visit. First, if you look at the Theatre Fringe listings in Time Out or What's On, sold at the airport and at any newsagents, you'll find Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and other pantomimes. The best are in the suburbs. I encourage you to take a suburban train and go, probably best to a matinee, surrounded by cheerful children. Second, south of St Paul's Cathedral is a tourist information pavilion that has a free list of music and events in City of London churches. If you use that, or (less good) the classical music pages of a listings magazine, you'll find one-hour lunchtime concerts in seventeenth century churches of Christmas music by Corelli, Bach, Britten, and others, often with carols for the people, and with mulled wine and mince pies. To see the city workers celebrate a baby in a manger is quite something.

Oxford Street is to my mind impossible for walkers, but there's much to be said for riding up front on the top of a bus that runs from Piccadilly to Marble Arch, about four thirty, in the dusk or the dark, looking down at the bright shop windows and the crowds out shopping.

From 23 December to 2 January the city is almost dead. We sit at home watching television, or hoof it presto to a warm island.

Sam and Jeannine write with feeling, and I'm glad they think thus of my city.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to London

Ben Haines

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