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Northern Italy Itinerary in Late October, Early November 2015

Northern Italy Itinerary in Late October, Early November 2015

Jan 1st, 2015, 09:29 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Northern Italy Itinerary in Late October, Early November 2015

I will be traveling with 3 other women (ages 28 to 64) to Italy for 16 days, departing 10/26/15. The first 1/2 of our trip will be in northern Italy on our own. On 11/3 we'll be joining a tour group in Rome for 4 nights then 3 nights in Siena with day trips Assisi and Viareggio.

We'd like to see Venice, Florence and Cinque Terre. I've been told Santa Margherita is a great location as I really want to see the coast, i.e. Cinque Terra and/or possibly Portofino. Should we fly into Venice or Florence? I'd like to book an apt and perhaps take day trips depending on transportation ease in this area. Does this seem plausible? If so, what city should we stay in? Venice isn't a must see for us.

I've used Sleep in Italy with great success in the past. Thanks for any suggestions.

Kathy
Socia is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 09:53 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I struggle with american style dates but you seem to have from 26th October to 3rd November for the first part of your trip, which gives you 7 days - really only long enough for Venice and Florence before you go to Rome.

if you gave yourselves 3 nights in Venice [a great place to fly into to start your trip] and 4 in Florence, [which is dead easy to get to on the train from Venice] you would have time to see some of the main sights of Venice and do a trip out to Burano and Torcello, [islands in the lagoon] and in Florence to do a day trip, perhaps to Pisa or San Gimignano.

then from Florence, Rome is an easy ride on the train.

November is not the best time of year to go to the CT - the weather can be very iffy and lots of things will be closed. So i would concentrate on places inland and leave the coast till a time when you can visit at a better time of year.

From Siena you could fly home from Rome or Florence [or Pisa] - it really depends on the best deal you can get on an open-jaw [multi-city] ticket, which would work best with this itinerary, as opposed to a round trip.

enjoy your planning!
annhig is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 02:22 PM
  #3  
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Thank you so much. I'd really prefer earlier in the Fall, but unfortunately we won't be able to leave much earlier. Will Venice be o.k. in late Oct, early Nov??
Socia is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 09:11 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Socia - IMO Venice is great any time of year. I've been in the summer, in Spring and in November and the best weather for sightseeing was definitely in November. Also the least crowds.

you might get some "acqua alta" [literally high water] but generally people seem to be able to cope ok with that so long as it's not an actual flood, which could happen any time.
annhig is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 11:00 AM
  #5  
 
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At the time of year you are traveling it is best not to book a hotel in the areas where the acqua alta most typically occurs. That is because should the acqua alta -- which is caused by tides and moon phases -- occur at a time when you need to be hauling your luggage for your arrival or your departure, it isn't easy to deal with at all.

Generally speaking, the areas of Venice that are on the side of the city that include the piazza San Marco are most prone to getting high water inundating the walkways. That is true for both sides of the Grand Canal. The areas of the city that are nearer to the Rialto Bridge and the train station are on higher ground and much further away from the problematic tides. But all of Venice is small and walkable, so staying out of areas prone to tidal flooding doesn't inconvenience your sightseeing.

Most acqua alta only last a few hours before draining away, and quite a few happen in the very wee hours of the morning and thus are scarcely noticed by visitors. However, October and November are prime times for major storms with wind and rain that exacerbate the tides, so best to stick to higher ground.

The much riskier bet you are making is to go to the Italian Riviera after mid-October through November. In recent years, most of the Riviera has suffered bouts of torrential rain in this time frame, including one catastrophic flood in le Cinque Terre which buried 2 of the villages in mud, and two floods in the city of Genova that cost loves. Although Santa Margherita Ligure was generally spared, train service in and out and all along the coast was disrupted for days, and roadways were closed due to landslides.

If you are absolutely determined to go nonetheless, you should book reservations you can easily cancel and you really MUST watch the weather forecasts before you go and solicit the opinion of Italians about what they mean. You must have a plan B in case it is inadvisable to go or you need to cut your stay there short.

Sorry to sound so directive but the beautiful landscape of the area is beautiful because of the drama of so many steep cliffs. If too much rain falls too quickly, it can wipe out the towns on along the coast. There is no predicting the phenomenon much in advance, so you need to pay close attention to short term weather forecasts.
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