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Rome (or southern Italy) in the last 2 weeks in January?

Rome (or southern Italy) in the last 2 weeks in January?

Old Nov 28th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Rome (or southern Italy) in the last 2 weeks in January?

Does anyone have experience with off-season (way off-season) Italy?

We cannot go to "sun" destinations, because of my spouse's recent treatment for melanoma. But I hate the Canadian cold.

So: Rome -- an urban holiday -- is a definite possibility.

But what about points south? We like dramatic scenery, good food, good value-for-money, history, "charm".

Off-season I like -- but some places are like morgues when the crowds depart...and all the shops and restaurants close. Can anyone suggest what would be a good destination for 1 week or 2 weeks, preferably in an apartment/ villa rental?

BTW: If there is anywhere outside Italy you prefer for that deadly period, pls. mention, too
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Old Nov 28th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Would you consider Sicily?

If you are thinking of points south of Rome, I am one who thinks resorts are for resort season. So, if it were me, I would choose cities. Naples would be fun. How about Matera? Pretty far off the beaten track, but also pretty dramatic.

Calabria, Puglia, or Basilicata could all be great, but again, if it were me, I would avoid resorts and go to "regular" towns, villages and cities that aren't oriented to summer activities.

I think Rome is great in the off season (been there several times in late February, early March). There is so much to do indoors, and we still catch nice weather for outdoor activities.
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Old Nov 28th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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I completely agree about city holidays for winter. I have been to Rome in March -- superlative.

But my last visit south to Naples was -- uhh -- around 1973. And I have never been to Sicily.

So I must admit ignorance of Matera, Basilicata etc; can you amplify your suggestions a bit? I am intrigued...
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 01:53 AM
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ttt
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 02:41 AM
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I have some trip reports that include Calabria & Sicily:

Sardinia, Calabria, Maratea (Basilicata), Taormina (Sicily):

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34526714

Rome/Calabria:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34449517

Sicily:

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34412340

Turkey/Calabria:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34644385

It would be a great trip (if you rent a car), to fly into Lamezia Terme. You could spend a few nights in the beautiful (but resort) town of Tropea, drive down the coast, cut over to the east coast and see Stilo & Gerace. I would then drive to Reggio Calabria annd take the ferry over to Sicily and spend 10 or more days there.

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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 04:39 AM
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Hi there! The advantages in the off-off season are: no (or much shorter) line-ups for attractions, cheaper hotel rooms, and less crowding. The disadvantages include the weather and the hours of store/attraction operation (i.e. early closures, etc.) For us Canadians, the weather is not so cold temperature-wise, but it is overcast and rainy much of the time. You have to watch your March timings, as mid-March (or so) is when the European schoolkids tend to travel within Europe to tourist destinations, making for crowds and increased costs. My understanding is the further south, the better the weather, but keep in mind that Italy is only 1500km long so the weather doesn't vary quite as much between, say Rome and Firenze (only 1.5 hrs apart by train) as you might think. OF COURSE there are local variations depending on altitude (Milan vs. Rome), and coastal locations, but generally speaking, you should go really south to get the best weather. Or, if you like, you might want to look into something like a cruise through Greece/Turkey if Europe is a must.
Hope this helps!
 
Old Nov 29th, 2005, 08:16 AM
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An Italophile for over 30 years, I've fallen in love with Sicily and go there every year (with an obligatory week in Rome tacked on).

Palermo, while a little wild and wooly, is not at all dangerous, as some people would think, and would offer you enough points of interest to keep you occupied for a week.

For a quiet week, you could go to Taormina. It was a year-round resort at the beginning of the last century, and I don't think that has changed.
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 04:19 AM
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Hi all!
Me again!
I was thinking about off-season travel and recalled that several years ago, I travelled to the island of Mallorca several years ago in the off-off season and had an absolutely wonderful time. The island is small and extremely convenient to get around, and there is a TON of stuff to see and do, most of it nature-oriented. The temperature is in the low-60s, and sunny but not resort-type weather. My husband and I rented a car and drove everywheres. I really, really enjoyed this, and there is tons of dramatic scenery, caves with stalagmites and stalagtites (remember, the mites go up and the tites come down!!!), parks, history, great restaurants, great hotels and overall enjoyment. I loved my winter travel there. Try www.mallorca.world-guides.com - there is more detailed info re: this island and accommodations. My husband and I can't wait to go back.
Just a thought!!!
 
Old Nov 30th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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AP6380: Your trip report about your travels with your father have a great angle on family dynamics! I will research some of the destinations that you (and otehrs) describe.

Mallorca sounds intriguing too though, having consulted the website listed, I don't seem to find too many interesting places to stay.... Suggestions?

Thanks for the recommendations and keep them coming!
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Old Dec 1st, 2005, 08:46 AM
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Hi there!
With respect to good hotels, a great source is Expedia.com. Type in Mallorca Spain, and they list all classes of hotels and their facilities and locations. Remember that Mallorca is a small island, and I have found that as it is so small, the actual location of the hotel (i.e. what place it is in, etc.) may not be as important as the location of a hotel in, say, NYC. We got a beach-side hotel for the view, and as my husband and I are sun-phobic (red hair, freckles, and family histories of skin cancers), we found that the off-off season was perfect with respect to temperature, sun, and sun intensity even by the water at that time of year. Also,almost all of the hotels offer car rentals, and my husband and I rented a car for PEANUTS and beetled around Mallorca for a week. We were NEVER bored, and had some really great experiences. For example, we went to the Cava de Horta (spelling???!!!) which is a HUGE underground cave system with stalagtites and stalagmites (the centre of the cave is 120ft high!!!) and we were the ONLY ONES ON THE TOUR!!! Loved it!
But, I digress! Check out expedia.com, and perhaps Fodors for destinations, and you will have plenty of food for thought.
 
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