Q re: holiday season in Italy

Old Jan 19th, 2017, 08:44 AM
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Q re: holiday season in Italy

Every few years, we get lucky and are able to swing 2 Europe trips - 2017 is one of these years for us.

For the "bonus trip", we've got the following time window:

Depart USA late 12/15, arriving in Italy 12/16.
Need to return to the US either 1/1 or 1/2 so that the kids can get back on track before returning to school on 1/8.

We want to spend 7-9 days in Montepulciano. We spend at least a week there every year but have not been before during the holiday season. We'd like to spend the other 5-7 days in Bologna.

Here is my question: In the States, it seems as if the lively, festive part of the holiday season occurs prior to Christmas Day and things are quite slow/dead during the week after. By that, I mean Christmas markets, festivals, Santa's village - type things. Our kiddos will be 4.5 and 7 years old at the time of the trip.

From what I can tell from looking at the Montepulciano Christmas market website and other village Christmas market websites, it sounds as if the festive part of the holiday season in Italy is more of 12/24 - 1/6.

If that is the case, I'm leaning toward visiting Bologna first from 12/16 - 12/23ish. We'd like to see the archaeological collections in the museums and the churches and the kids love piazza time. Hopefully fit in a couple of day trips to Ravenna, Ferrara, or Parma. Then head to Montepulciano 12/23 and stay until 1/1 or 1/2 ***if this window of time is when the holiday season is in full swing***.

Many thanks for any and all input. If I've got the timing all wrong, please speak up . The boys are great travelers and Montepulciano is almost like a second home to them at this point, so I really want to get the timing right so that they can experience the holiday season there.
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 11:46 AM
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The holiday season in Italy continues until Epiphany, the 6th of January. It's true that the festivities are in full swing from Christmas until then. This is partly because most schools are closed for that period.
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 11:53 AM
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Thank you, bvlenci!!

Very much appreciate the confirmation from you!
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 12:00 PM
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TexasAggie we have spent the week between xmas and NYE in Montepulciano twice now and it is just lovely! In fact we are going again this year with friends and plans to do it every year going forward!!

You can see our pics here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...57639164500734
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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Really beautiful pictures! What lens are you using? (sorry to be off topic).
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 12:13 PM
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Hi jamikins,
Amazing, amazing photos!

Just heard back that our favorite apartment to rent is available 12/23 - New Year's Day, so we are going to book it! We will spend a few days in Bologna beforehand and then get to enjoy relaxation and fun for the holidays in our beloved Montepulciano.

We will have to touch base as it gets closer. Would love to meet you briefly, although as we will have our two young kiddos with us, it would probably be very briefly, LOL . Best chance of getting them to settle for half an hour is the Caffe Antico Poliziano, as they've made friends with the barista, Vicenzo, over the years
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 12:15 PM
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Thanks Maria_so

I use a Nikon D5200. I can't remember what the lens length is but it's a mid range so I can zoom in quite a bit but not like a very long lens...does that make sense?
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 12:17 PM
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Thanks so muc...we would love to meet up!

Is your favourite plan in town?

Have you been to Bologna? It's another one of our favourites if you need any food recommendations!!

Bologna pics https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...57634399182853

Be sure that you make reservations for NYE!
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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That should be favourite apartment haha
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 01:56 PM
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Hi jamikins!

We stay at the edge of town these days. It's easier with young kids. Our youngest is not yet 4, so his legs tire out quickly!

http://www.apartmentsinmontepulciano.com/en/

It's a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment, but it also has a small room with a futon in it that is meant to be a sitting room but works well as a 3rd bedroom for a child (our oldest one wakes hours earlier than our younger one!). It is owned by Antonella, the cousin of Giacomo Stuart who owns the popular Politian apartments (also great, just not ideal with young children).

As soon as the kiddos are older, we want to stay at the agriturismo owned by the wonderful Crociani family. They are lovely people and the apartments are wonderful!
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 02:04 PM
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Lovely! We actually stay on the other side of the large piazza down by via Degli archi.

We can't wait to get there, this year we are arriving on 30 Dec so sounds like it would have to be 31 Dec if we wanted to say hi!
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 02:16 PM
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P.S. We have never been to Bologna before. First foray to the E-R region! We were in rather of a Lazio and Campania rut for years

We will arrive late 12/16 and leave the morning of 12/23 to head to Montepulciano. Looking into apartment rentals now.

Hoping to spend the first few days seeing Bologna slowly (jet lag) and then do a day trip or two. Ravenna has been on my wish list for years and Ferrara also looks wonderful.

Just when you have time, I would love restaurant recommendations. 3 of the 4 of us are adventurous eaters. Still working on youngest kiddo...
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 02:35 PM
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Yes, sounds like 12/31 is the only day it would work with us departing by mid-morning on 1/1.
I would hate to subject you all to lunch with us as it is inevitably chaotic (fun, but not ideal for real conversation). Perhaps coffee?

How early do you reserve for NYE? I'm guessing we will need to reserve in advance for Christmas Eve as well.

Your Bologna photos are also absolutely amazing! We have the exact same camera. We have not produced the same results . You truly have a *wonderful* eye for framing views.
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 02:41 PM
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P.S. I am the only Jill on Fauxdor Friends if you'd like to connect on Facebook. No worry whatsoever if not! It's handy to be connected for GTGs, but I also completely understand not wishing to connect to people you don't know in person.
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 08:15 PM
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I agree, you have an amazing eye for framing. I too have the same camera! I asked because you do a wonderful prime lens effect but wider so not sure if you used a particular lens to get that. I just got the wide angle one to play with on an upcoming Italy/France trip.

Looks like fun to be there for the holidays! We're staying in Siena for 4 nights so trolling your post for restaurant recommendations.
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Old Jan 19th, 2017, 08:16 PM
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...I meant for Montepulciano.
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Old Jan 20th, 2017, 01:44 AM
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Hello there!

I have just asked to join the group - I didnt know it existed!

As for the photos - I found the biggest help wasn't my camera, it was learning about composition. I read a few books on it and it changed my photos! Anyone can take pics, even on an iphone, if they use good composition

We are going to be with friends so let's touch base closer to the time to arrange something. Coffee sounds good.

We always reserve our NYE dinner in October. We have always spent it at http://www.acquacheta.eu/ and will do again this year. They do two seatings, one early and one that starts at I think 9:30pm.

We also like La Dolce Vita wine bar for food and drinks. http://www.enotecaladolcevita.it/

And also the wine bar at La Locanda di San Francesco: http://www.locandasanfrancesco.it/wine-bar-tuscany.html they do really nice wine flights here.

I hope this helps!
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