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When's the best time to go to Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Amalfi Coast in '06, 2nd Week of Sept or Oct? Are kids back in school in Sept?

When's the best time to go to Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Amalfi Coast in '06, 2nd Week of Sept or Oct? Are kids back in school in Sept?

Old Sep 24th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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When's the best time to go to Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Amalfi Coast in '06, 2nd Week of Sept or Oct? Are kids back in school in Sept?

We're trying to go to Italy at the "perfect time" to avoid HUGE crowds, expensive rooms due to time of year, and incredible heat! We were thinking of leaving 2nd week of Sept but if it's still VERY crowded and lots of kids still around we could wait till October if need be. We'd be anxious to go asap though as our last big trip will have been a whole year before in Sept in Hawaii.

Thanks in advance.
Steve and Julia Robinson
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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I've never been to Italy in Sept. or Oct. At least American children are in school by the start of September. I'm sure the school year begins around then for European kids too.

I read that you define the 'perfect time' as being the season when crowds are thin, rooms are reasonable, and the heat is gone. The only time all three criteria are pretty much apparent is during winter season.
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 02:37 PM
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May and Sept. are said to be the nicest times to visit Italy. Last year I was there the 1st 2 weeks in Oct. It was very warm. Rome was in the 80s. It only rained 2 days and they were at the end of the trip. Rome was still very crowded. The least crowded time I've been to Rome is in August, but then it is too hot. Tuscany was beautiful as was Santa Marghrita. I think most of the rates drop Oct.1
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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We were in Italy from September 15th till the 30th last year and it was still fairly crowded and warm, though there were very few school children.

Many hotels rates don't change until after October 15th so it depends if you want to wait until that late in the year.

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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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We've just returned from those places (except Rome) Sept 1-22. Italian kids started school on the 12th (or the 19th, I can't remember which). Siena had lots of visitors on the 10th, but it had a festive atmosphere and it was enjoyable. We were in Florence on the 13th and it was mobbed with tour groups, many of which were university students of many countries (including U.S.). There were many 'senior citizen' type groups as well. The other Tuscan towns we visited were not offensively crowded.

The Amalfi Coast road on Sept 16th was surprisingly free of heavy traffic. Pompeii was very crowded on the 17th with all kinds of folks. We avoided the daytripper masses to Capri by staying there two nights - 19th,20th - and going to and fro at off-peak times. The path to the crater at Mt Vesuvius was full of people on the 21st and the tour busses were parked down the mountain road for about 500 meters.

Generally speaking, we were happier where we had only other people to contend with - in pedestrian-only zones - compared to those places where the noise, fumes and dangers of racing vehicles led to some stressful situations...
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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The off season starts at the beginning of November. September and October still have many tourists and the prices of hotels are still up. Last October we visited our family in Ischia for the last week in October and did our final week (the first week in November) last so we would get the cheaper prices in hotels.

Yes, kids are in school in September.
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 05:33 PM
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Wow - that was fast and furious. Thanks for the quick replies. So it sounds like mid October might be a bit better and November even better yet... Is there any downside to going in November? It's not cold in the beginning of November in Florence and Rome at those time is it? I went to Paris for 2 weeks once by myself thinking it would be tourist free and cooler - NOT! It was packed with people at all the museums and warm as heck.

At the least it sounds like October might be better than Sept... yes?

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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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Hubbie and I are leaving for Italy on 9/28 and will return in mid-Oct. We're assuming it will still be quite crowded. I'll let you know when we return.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 04:02 AM
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Steve - Two more thoughts...

As you know, the daylight hours dwindle as you go deeper into the calendar year. For us it was dark at around 8pm and, not wanting to do nighttime driving, I sometimes found it tough to get back to our lodging in time.

Also, we were surprised to find the countryside in Southern Tuscany mostly brown; the fields had already been harvested and tilled.

For the above reasons, I'd suggest you consider late Spring as an option...
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 05:39 AM
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Hmmm - late spring. We'll consider this! We kind of wanted to space our big trips apart by a year or so, and our last big trip was 2 weeks ago, which would put us at Sept-Oct. Also, the longer time between trips mean more free hotel nights with Starwood pts, all earned with our credit card (Amex Platinum Starwood Card). Our last trip to Hawaii we got 7 nights free (60000 pts earned over 1 year). 5 nights free between Florence and Rome will save us alot of moolah, so I think we'll have to wait till later in the year after we've earned a similar amount of points.

Steve R
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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We've just come back from the Amalfi Coast. It was still pretty crowded everywhere we went!
Schools start Sept 15 (end of schoolyear is June 15).
We've been to various areas in Italy every year in September which, for us, is the best time of the year: temperatures are good, weather is usually nice (had some pretty bad thunderstorms this year though), the cities are still pretty alive but the young crowd is gone.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Thanks MyriamC and lilianaman: Then around Sept 15 or so it is! I'd love to come in May or June to see the flowers but we have to space our trips out a year apart or so! Then we have something really great to look forward to all year, too.

I will email you lilianaman for that info...

Steve R
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