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November Travel - Paris&Loire or Florence &Tuscany...

November Travel - Paris&Loire or Florence &Tuscany...

Jun 24th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 28
November Travel - Paris&Loire or Florence &Tuscany...

My husband and I are thinking of doing either Paris and the Loire Valley OR Florence and Tuscany region for our anniversary in late November. My question is, is it good to travel in these regions in late November? Or is it too cold? Too many places closed?

Also, from your travel experiences, which would you recommend we do?
Magsc is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 01:47 PM
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I would opt for Paris -- everything open, lots of romantic things to do, and some great food!!
Budman is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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Just about everything will be open in Paris in late November. We were there at that time in 2001 and had a wonderful time looking at the holiday decorations going up and eating the fine food available primarily in the fall (game, wild mushrooms, truffles). But I'd be inclined to stay in Paris and skip the Loire Valley, which is at its best in the spring and early fall. How much time will you have?
Underhill is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 05:28 AM
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I too was in Paris in late Nov a couple of years ago, and it was sunny, cool, and soooo romantic, I only wished I was with my boyfriend instead of my best friend. Even if it is gray, Paris lends itself to it. Prague seems that it would also be romantic in this season - have you considered this? I don't know a thing about it, but how are the fields in Tuscany in November? A large part of Tuscany is the gorgeous countryside, so that might figure in your plans if everything is going to be bare.

Have a great time wherever you go - I don't think you can go too wrong with either of your choices.
amcc is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 05:38 AM
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Hi mag,

What a terrible predicament.

When was the last time you were in Paris?
ira is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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Have you visited either or both before? The countryside in the Loire and Tuscany won't be as beautiful as at other times of the year. I think your best bet to go to Paris where cool and possibly rainy weather won't interfere with your enjoyment. We find that travel between November and March is more enjoyable in cities where there is plenty to do inside if it is cold or rainy. And, heaven knows, there is no place more romantic than Paris.
mamc is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 05:42 AM
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If you're hoping to visit the Loire chateaux just check on days and hours they are open. I agree, not having seen them yet, that I'd want to be there in a season when I can appreciate the gardens.

The weather issue in both areas will probably be rain more than severe cold, so just plan accordingly with waterproof footgear and jackets.

In iffy seasons I tend to head toward cities, because so many of their attractions are indoors. Have you considered Paris/London, or Florence/Rome? You can still do daytrips into the countryside.
elaine is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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..agree with all the comments re Paris in November..except the sunny..usually grey and drizzly but that doesnt spoil the trip! The "big" chateaux will be open in November..I think there are even 1 day tours run from Paris if you want the convenience.. Countryside road trips dont have a lot of charm in November.
travelbunny is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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I was in Tuscany and Umbria the last two weeks of October and the first week of November. I found the weather to be of two extremes, either terrible rains or sunny, gorgeous fall days. I based out of Florence, and also out of Perugia, since I use public transportation. On the rainy days, I did museums, churches, shopping, and when I woke up on sunny days, I zipped off to Lucca, San Gigminano, Sienna,Orvieto, and also to Gubbio, Toddi and Assisi. You definitely need a city on rainy days, as the other posters mentioned. Also, the same holds true for Paris. On nice days, you can daytrip to Versailles, Chartres, or do Giverny, and do a chateau or two, either on your own or do one of the tours. To get back to Tuscany, when it is sunny it will be gorgeous. Also, a big plus, no tourists and good deals on hotels, etc. For your anniversary, you could probably get a fabulous, swanky room in Florence for a good price. Also, Florence has tons of concerts and great exhibits in Oct/Nov.
italyss is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 06:42 AM
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Thank you all for your replies!

I have been to Paris a few times before, last time being in 1997 on a backpacking trip - so this trip will be a bit different since it will be with my husband, and he has never been to any of the mentioned places. We plan to take 10 days to 2 weeks...Based on comments, I am leaning towards Paris, maybe skipping the Loire at this time of the year...You really can't go wrong with Paris, right? Particularly for a romantic getaway...
: )
Based on your experiences, when will the cheap fall airfares become available?
Magsc is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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I was in Paris during the week of Thanksgiving, 2003 - 3 days were VERY warm...as too warm really to wear the coat (glad I had a raincoat with a zipout liner)...then on Wednesday, it was VERY rainy and got cooler. By dusk the rains had stopped...and THEN I could wear my "makes me feel good" coat.
Dusk falls very early (4;30?) and it does not get light out until after 8 am...I'd go to Paris! AND, if the "weather channel" ala France says you'll get some fine days, THEN train it down to the Loire, and find Chenenceux (my spelling is crap today...)
SuzieC is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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I love Paris in November. We've been twice over US Thanksgiving weekend, and were comfortable in long wool coats over turtlenecks, with hats and gloves for really cold days. Going in winter gives you the chance to wear cool scarves like the Parisians.

(The advantages of a long coat: covers your bottom at cafes, so you can sit outside without being too cold; easy to hang over your arm in museums; gives you a dressy "city" look, no matter what you are wearing underneath; easy to hide your purse inside so pickpockets can't get you.)

Paris November Pros: Wonderful Christmas decorations in the dept. store windows; great winter foods/wine (fois gras, beaujolais nouveau, game, cassoulet); beautiful yellow leaves and dark trunks on the trees in the parks; no crowds; chestnut sellers on the corners; roses still in bloom around The Thinker at the Rodin museum in November.

Airline Tickets:

In three winter trips, we've never paid more than 300 pre-tax from Dulles.

We found tix the first time on LastMinuteTravel.com about 2 weeks before for Sabena Airlines(sadly now gone...what other airline passes around huge baskets of Belgian chocolates all through the flight?)

The 2nd time we got an Icelandair deal in early September for a Nov flight, and stayed over in Iceland for a night (fun).

This past winter, we got tix for a January trip on AirFrance in late November or December during a sale.

Recommendation: Get a room with a nice bathtub. After a cold day outside, nothing is more luxurious than sinking into a hot bath. We buy french bubble bath on the first day to make the experience glamorous.

I've also done Venice, Florence, Bologna in the winter, so clearly love winter travel. I agree with the posts above that cities are a better bet. One advantage to your Italy plan is that they have the most amazing thick hot chocolate in the cafes in Italy to warm you up... Yum!
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 08:37 AM
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Hi mag,

Paris is a good idea.

There air good prices for Nov right now.

Take a look at http://airtravelcenter.com/onetrav.htm
ira is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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As ira mentioned the airfares are pretty nice right now.

See this thread:


indytravel is offline  

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