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Would we be insane to plan a January trip to Florence?

Would we be insane to plan a January trip to Florence?

Old Apr 16th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,257
Would we be insane to plan a January trip to Florence?

Hi all,

Several of you have been helpful this week in the planning our trip to Florence, many thanks. Originally we thought we would travel this fall, or perhaps April 2006.
Because of my husband's business, actually January is excellent time to be away (previous years this is when we always travel, however it is usually to a warm weather destination, ha).
I have been to Florence once, traveling alone, it was during the first week of May, and it was lovely. Great walking weather, I would always prefer cool weather for walking to warm, however would January be too cool?

So the question to you all, would we be crazy to go in January?

Thanks again for those of you who gave us hotel recs and apt. renting recs this week. I appreciate it. If you ever get over to the Carib or US boards, I will gladly return the favor!

Happy travels, T.

p.s. Oh my, wait, as I am ending this post, I am remembering, the Winter Olympics, isn't it next Jan, didn't I hear something about northern Italy????? Hmmmm, I must find this out, this could be the deciding factor...
Tiff is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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NO--its not crazy. In Jan you would actually get to stand next to David!! The crowds at these tourists sights can be overwhelming in season.
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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Thanks Farihope, I concur!

New info... all clear, Olmpics are not until February, in Torino.

The average high is 50, that is warm to us, ha, we live through COLD winters about 45 degrees cooler than 50. The average rainfall per weather.com is 2.9", same as May actually.

So I say go! (Did I just answer my own post, indeed I believe I did.)
Tiff is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I agree with the previous posters--January is a great time to go. I was in Florence in Jan. 2002 and it was great. The weather was very pleasant, mid-50s during the day, with a bit of rain on some days.

The real advantage is that it's not crowded in January. There were very few tourists, so I felt like I was seeing a more genuine Florence than I would have in June-August. The museums and restaurants weren't crowded at all. I'd take another January trip there in a heartbeat!
Chris_Lovell is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Just be prepared to be outside in cold weather. The average high might be 50 but there are many times when the High will be in the 40's, and morning and afternoon lows will feel cold.

Unless they're skiing, snow shoveling, etc, most people in the US dress for winter weather considering they'll be outside only long enough to get from the car to a store, work, school, or into their home.

Consider that you'll want to be outside much of the day and pack/dress accordingly. As long as you're prepared it should be a great time since nobody else will be there.

I was there in mid March a few years back and one of us was fine while one of use was constantly cold. Cold stone benches don't offer much warmth.
J62 is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I was in Florence from Dec. 31 - January 4. It was great. There still were crowds, though. But I think they might have abated by Jan. 3-4.

I did find it a little too cold to go strolling after 9 PM, but I did plenty of enjoyable walking during the day, so that wasn't a big problem.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Definitely true about the lack of crowds. We were in Florence in February several years ago, and walked right in to the Uffizi -- no line at all.

In addition, I think January is normally the month when most of the stores have sales. So if you're in to shopping, you could probably find some bargains.

I believe the dates of the sales are set by the government. If no one here knows when they are, check the SlowTalk message board -- there are quite a few people there who live in Italy and could probably give you specific info. On the other hand, if you don't particularly care about shopping, the sale dates might mean there would be more people there -- I don't know how much of a tourist draw the sales are.
nonnafelice is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 09:06 PM
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Thank you all for your input! I appreciate your thoughts and promise to pack accordingly. One thing is for certain, while in this beautiful city, I know my heart will definitely be warm! Ciao, T.
Tiff is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 09:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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We went during a particularly chilly November. Our best purchases: silk underwear for everyone in the family from REI or your local outdoor store; and warm scarves at the street vendors.
chickachicka is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2005, 03:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Yes, chickachicka is right about the silk underwear. My husband and I work in Manhattan and we have a long-ish walk to work - silk underwear makes all the difference.

I would also keep in mind that you won't have as much daylight as you would in the summer, so plan accordingly.

January will be fun - cheaper hotels, fewer tourists, cozy dinners...
hunnym is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2005, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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You're not crazy at all to go in January! We went this past January and loved it. It gave us something to look forward to after the post-holiday blues set it. It was cold but we came prepared with warm walking shoes and layers of clothes. But there we no crowds or long lines at all. Keep in mind that January 6 is the Epiphany religious holiday and everything closes down, just like on Christmas. We really enjoyed being out in the cold crisp air everyday and then coming back to the apartment we rented, fixed hot tea, and then headed out again for dinner at night.
basta is offline  
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