Italy Weather

Jan 11th, 2003, 12:42 PM
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Italy Weather

We are planning a trip which will include visits to Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento. Our dilema is deciding whether to go in March or in May. We are trying to balance the positives and negatives. May has the good weather but I hear it is more expensive and crowded, March is less expensive and crowded but the weather isn't as nice. I guess my question is how bad is the weather in March (how cold, is it sunny?)and how bad are the crowds in May (do you spend most of your time in lines)?

I appreciate any advice.
Jan 11th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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Hi Angelique!

Interesting that you are debating between the same two months in which I took my 2 trips to Italy. So, here is my experience.

Mid-March in Venice was cool and damp & deserted! We loved it. We wore wool coats and layers (had been skiing in Cortina), but didn't need hats or gloves. Florence was a tiny bit warmer and very hazy. Not what I had expected weather-wise or visually. The photos weren't great. Very busy the week prior to Easter with school tour groups. Amalfi Coast was much warmer and partly cloudy during the days. Again, almost deserted and very beautiful. We did have two nights of rian with lightening! Strictly locals only in March. (We visited family.) Rome on Palm Sunday was warm & sunny and very busy!

Next trip was in mid-May for nicer weather. Knowing the major cities would be busier, we did mostly countryside. Milan, Lago Maggorie, Chianti, Orvieto, Cinque Terre * Portofino, and finished in Venice.

Venice in May was much busier with lines that moved quite quickly to see the major sites inspite of scads of tour groups following thei flag-wielding guides. Weather was lovely & it was nice to see the water in the lagoon sparkling! This is why people fall in love with Venice. You could still avoid the crowds by walking a short distance away from Piazza San Marco & the Rialto Bridge.

All in all, I felt the extra cost was worth the nicer weather. Loved dining outdoors, seeing the red poppies in Tuscany, and visiting the Borromean Islands off Stresa.

If you go for May, make advance reservations for as many of the major sites as you can. They didn't have that option when I visited the major cities, & I sure wish they had. We stood in line for Ufizi for 2 1/2 hours!

Buon viaggio!
Jan 11th, 2003, 05:04 PM
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I agree with Dayle--go in May and enjoy the spring flowers.
Jan 11th, 2003, 06:33 PM
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We have gone twice to Venice and both times were in March. Had a great time, the evenings were cool but if the sun is out during the day it can be sweater or light jacket weather. We had plenty of sun both trips.
Jan 19th, 2003, 04:08 AM
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May isn't that busy. We've been to Italy in May and June. Even early June isn't mobbed. I'm looking at a photo of my wife and son taken in Piazza San Marco with B. San Marco in the background during the second week of June, and there are people in the background, but plenty of space between them. We never had to wait in lines anywhere we went except the Vatican and the Accademia in Florence.
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