Paris and Rome in November

Old Sep 25th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Paris and Rome in November

10 year wedding anniversary is in November and my husband has surprised me with an 8 day trip to Paris and then Rome. Nov. 15-22. I am a little concerned about the weather and I am looking for reassurance that we will still enjoy ourselves! Please give tips on what to pack. I have become consumed that I will freeze and won't enjoy the trip. We have never been to Europe and do not know what to expect!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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Neither place should be actually freezing in November although both can be chilly and rainy - less likely in Rome. (I've been in Paris in Nov twice and even at night I was plenty warm in a leather jacket - nothing like a winter coat - but it did rain several days.)

As long as you dress in layers, have some sort of rain proof coat or jacket, comfy walking booties and a sturdy folding umbrella you should be fine. Plan both indoor and outdoor activities - and when you get a nice day jump on the outdoor ones.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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"I am a little concerned about the weather and I am looking for reassurance that we will still enjoy ourselves!"

Would you not enjoy New York in cool/cold weather? or San Francisco?

Remember -- there is no 'bad' weather, just inappropriate clothing. (Well, North Dakota or Minnesota in winter could be 'bad' )

Take clothing you can layer and a warm-ish jacket. You'll be fine. And if you are unlucky and the weather turns horrid (not likely) there are tons of indoors sites.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:15 PM
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It's all about your clothes. Pack in layers and have something outer that is waterproof or an umbrella. And decent shoes or boots.

I personally can't imagine weather bad enough that it would spoil a trip to Paris & Rome!!!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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It's not very cold, by November is the rainiest month of the year in Italy, including Rome. It rains more in Rome than it does in NYC in November, and the rain can come down in sheets. Will rain affect your enjoyment of being in Rome? It does for me and for many people who plan to spend most of their time in Rome touring the city and its ruins, which involves spending long hours outdoors.

For people who plan to spend most of their time inside -- in museums, churches or stores -- it matters less.

It can be especially helpful to learn to use the buses and subways in case it rains. Taxis are hard to find in Rome without calling them.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...owded-cold.cfm

For what it's worth, I also didn't like being in NY in the rain. But I like to walk outdoors a lot. Although lots of people buy cheap umbrellas when they travel, I prefer to buy a really good one, even if I didn't pack one.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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"many people who plan to spend most of their time in Rome touring the city and its ruins, which involves spending long hours outdoors. "

Rain wouldn't deter me from any of that. Horrible, stormy weather -- sure I'd probably head indoors. But just rain/cool weather - a small umbrella and good shoes and you're good to go.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Ok, you will have a great time regardless of the weather! We were in Paris last November and had no rain, andnmild temps.

You must have a travel umbrella, gloves, really warm scarf, waterproof (or resistant) boots. A warm raincoat, also and a hat. I like a scarf that doubles as a wrap and can cover my head, just in case.

Check the forecast and plan museums and churches for the rainy days. Save the outdoor stuff for no rain (or less rainy) days.

Cafes are perfect to relax in with a chocolat chaud or vin chaud during downpours.

Last, if it is expected to be cold when you go, carry those hand warmers hunters use. They don't take much room in luggage and are great to have in your pocket. The do make body and feet warmers if you will be outside in cold weather. They can be a lifesaver.

We just returned from Rome and have been to Paris the past few years...love them both. Have a great time!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 06:42 PM
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Obviously with weather there are no guarantees - but I would be very surprised if you need hat, gloves and scarf - esp in Rome - unless you live in a tropical area and start wearing coats as soon as the temps head south of 70.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 01:59 AM
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janisj,

We get it that you are who are and travel a certain way. But you're not everybody. People who travel to see architecture have a hard time looking up with rain in their eyes. People who enjoy Rome for its outdoor culture (al fresco eating, etc) get less enjoyment when it rains.

But if horrible, stormy weather would deter you, then don't plan a trip to Rome in the rainy season. Flash floods and downpours have closed the Colosseum in Rome in November in recent years. It really can be "horrible, stormy weather."

I get it too that the OP came here asking be told what she wanted to hear. I'll leave that up to the rest of you. I don't know what kind of weather she'll encounter and if she'll like it, or whether she'll like her trip at all.

Romans wear hats, gloves and scarves in Rome in November.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 04:16 AM
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Here's a picture of Romans marching on November 4th one year. You can see how they were dressed:

http://www.fdca.it/fdcaen/labour/4nov-precarity.htm

Here are pictures of Romans celebrating in the streets when Berlusconi resigned on November 10 of last year:

http://www.mid-day.com/news/2011/nov...amid-jeers.htm

Undeterred tourists in the rain in Rome:

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com...s/131305/view/

Most people when they plan a trip hope it won't rain. There's nothing abnormal about that. There's nothing abnormal about feeling less enjoyment walking around all day in the rain, or cutting short some activities and feeling disappointed about that.

I tend to think the OP will be very, very happy if she gets sunny skies, and she jolly well might in November. But it is childish to keep insisting a rainy day won't make any difference at all to enjoying all of Rome. She might be much happier with indoor activities than she would be doing outdoor activities anyway. But to tell you know for sure how she's going to feel -- even if she asked for that -- seems a bit odd to me. It's not the end of the world if people can admit travel isn't always "woo-hoo" under all circumstances, or weather can mean a change of plans.

She needs to pack for the possiiblity of rainy, chill weather and have some rainy day plans. I wish her sunny skies for her trip.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 04:36 AM
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We have been in both Paris and Rome in November and had great vacations. We purposefully travel in the "off-season", as we don't like to travel in the summer in the heat and crowds. Yes, you can have rainy days and you might need to bundle up a bit more. But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The key is to plan several potential activities for each day and be willing to switch if the weather isn't working. Also make sure you understand the hours of the sites you want to see (they may change to "winter" hours in November). We also did a trip to Rome in late May and it was extremely hot and the crowds were about 2-3x the size when we were there in November. I would not go back in May due to both of those factors - but that is my preference.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 05:24 AM
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I've been to both Paris and Rome in November and would do it again. That said, it's not my favorite month to go but you can still see two wonderful cities. You can't go by other people's experiences, or even weather site's 'averages'. You could get a rainy week or a sunny one. But you should plan for rain - bring umbrellas, waterproof footwear, a raincoat. Bring things you can layer cause it could be sunny and warm. But the good thing about city trips is that there are things to do inside if the weather is bad - museums, shopping, etc. as opposed to a trip to the countryside.

It WILL get dark early - there are pros and cons to that. Less daytime for sightseeing - but both cities are beautifully lit after dark and so more time to enjoy them.

I did trip reports for both trip, you might find some of the info useful. It doesn't look like I ever finished the one for Italy/UK but I do give my overall impressions of pros and cons of November travel. I also give links to photos I took but I've changed the galleries so there aren't dedicated galleries to those trip (eg all the Rome photos from several trips are in the Rome gallery).

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...and-the-uk.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ote-dazure.cfm
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 06:19 AM
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I, like Isabel, have been to both Paris and Rome (Paris multiple times) in November.

Had one thunderstorm the first day in Rome, otherwise sometimes overcast but always pleasant for walking around (~70 F) and eating (mostly) outdoors.

In Paris we have had occasional showers, but we spent one whole November trip visiting gardens.

No guarantees, of course.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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Something getting being overlooked in this thread is that one of the huge attractions of Rome as a destination is the robust public outdoor culture of Rome. The daily evening passeggiata, the life of the piazza, the open-air markets (uncovered), restaurants with outdoor service, is a huge part of Roman life that makes Rome Rome and it isn't duplicated in other cities. Sure, it's a big capital city with museums, theaters, mega-stores like the other major cities. There is plenty to enjoy under a roof. But Rome has a distinct personality shaped by how much of its life takes place outdoors, in public.

When it rains or there is a cold snap, Romans themselves mainly skip the outdoor activities and head indoors. You miss seeing something essentially Roman if you go to Rome and all it does is rain. You may not be deterred from seeing monuments, but you'll see fewer people and markets.

I'm not predicting the weather, which could very well be shirtsleeves and favorable for al fresco meals. I'm not saying you can't find anything interesting to do in Rome if it rains, or that it is impossible to do outdoor sightseeing in the rain in Rome. Just trying to convey the realities of Rome as a destination with highly unpredictable November weather.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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http://www.romanlife-romeitaly.com/c...ome-italy.html
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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Actually pporter - when we were in Rome in November - even with some colder temps (around 40-50 at night) there were still plenty of people out and about walking around at night (specifically the Piazza Navona area). We got gelato every night amidst lots of other people.

I am interested to know if the OP is from a more temperate region - if so this may not work for them. We are from the upper midwest so 40 degrees is completely acceptable to us for getting out and about and walking around.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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"janisj,

We get it that you are who are and travel a certain way.
"

For someone who joined Fodors yesterday, that is a huge jump since I doubt you know all that much about me. But in any case, this is a forum for discussion - and opinions, and mine are as 'worthy' as yours . . .
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 09:40 AM
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nytraveler, better to have the gear if the weather is cold. We had one day in Rome two weeks ago that was chilly and wet! The OP is also going to Paris where is will likely be cooler than Rome, so the suggestions are for both cities, just in case.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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I've been to both Paris and Rome over Thanksgiving and the weather is chilly but it is better than sweating in the heat IMHO! be prepared with layers and good walking shoes, raincoat with hat and either long sleeve silk underwear or Cuddleduds t shirts which really warm your core and are not bulky at all! In fact, I am going to Paris again this Thanksgiving and this will be my 4th time traveling during that period. Have a wonderful trip
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