Travelling in the winter

Nov 18th, 2003, 03:05 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 216
Travelling in the winter


I am travelling next January to visit friends, and I have a few questions about travelling at that time:

1) will hotel room take up be sparse enough that I can roll up to a hotel and inquire about rooms, or should I still book before hand? (I am enquiring about budget hotels).

2) I will be mainly in Milan, Bologna and Florence, and also passing through Fano, on the east coast; what can I expect weather-wise. I mean, apart from cold. I am thinking more of atmospheric conditions. Should I expect cloudy and gloomy days all the time, or will there be sunny days as well? Will the streets be thick with snow or will it be a moderate to light cover?

3) Will there be a lot of tourists at that time (dumb question, I know, but occassionally you may get an answer that may surprise.)

Thanks in advance

Widya Santoso
Sydney2K is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You need to see if there are any trade shows scheduled for Milan, Bologna and Florence. Because if there are, you won't be able to breeze into town and find a room. The following site has links to schedules for all three. If you can visit these cities when nothing is scheduled, you'll be fine as far as finding a room without prior reservations.
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I was in Milan and Lugano last January and it was bitterly cold, well below freezing with a cutting breeze. However, it was an unusually cold period. It was sunny, though my Italian colleagues tell me Milan can be pretty grim (rainy, damp, foggy) in mid-winter. Snow would be pretty unusual, but stranger things have happened. The general view from people in Europe is that we had such a long, hot summer that an extra cold, snowy winter could be entirely possible.
BTilke is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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1. Generally hotels are less full in winter, but it's true that if there is a fair or trade show, you could end up franticly looking for a place to sleep.

2. Cold, gloomy often, but not always, and no snow. It occasionally snows in Milan during January, but it's never enough to stop the city. It doesn't stay long.

3. Vey few in January. Very few.

Ciao, Melissa
Melissa1 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 12:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 426
My husband's JV partner is located an hour north of Bologna, so we go there (and then take extension trips) a couple of times a year, and almost always one trip in late January (since it coincides with Chinese New Year and we live in China).

Bologna hotels are a little tricky, since for whatever reason, there seem to be fewer budget/moderate choices. I would book this one in advance if you can.

Milan should be no problem - several times we have shown up at the train station and looked at their list, called & booked immediately.

If all you want is a basic room, you should be fine with this route (although I second the idea to check for conferences). Unless you're unsure of the exact dates you'll be going to each city, however, I still recommend you research and book in advance, just so that you can choose a hotel with good reviews.

We had BEAUTIFUL snow in Milan once on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and it was lovely. It also snowed once when I was on a day trip from Bologna to Ravenna (in late Jan), but didn't really snow in Bologna. I'd check weather averages on weatherbase or (under "travel", "travel planner") to get a better idea (much more reliable than reports of weather from people who have visited there!).

There have always been tourists when we've traveled to these places, but few, which makes it fun (and makes up for the weather, IMO).

Have a great time!
Andrea_expat is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 01:34 AM
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I really appreciate all the replies- you have given me food for thought. Part of me wants to be hopping off on my trip tomorrow, but the other part tells me to wait until I have booked the rooms I need to book first ^_^

Widya Santoso
Sydney2K is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 368
Fano should be cold, although walking on the beach there is always pleasant if just to see a little bit of the Adriatic. Snow-wise, it shouldn't be horrible in Le Marche, especially along the coast. There might be some snow, but sunny days are definitely NOT out of the question: they are a good possibility.

Also: great choices on the cities you are visiting. Bologna will be wonderful. I went to Bologna in February (it could've been January, I forget) and it was fine and not snowing. It's a great great city. I can't wait to go back.

Buon divertimento!
Jackie_in_Italy is offline  
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