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Canceled my solo trip at the end of the month

I can’t say how terribly disappointed I am. It took a great deal of courage (and guidance from the people on this site) to plan a solo trip overseas (I’d never even booked my own flights before). I was not very concerned about myself, but I have infants in my family and I work in a nursing home, and everyone has been worried about me bringing the virus home and exposing these vulnerable people. My travel insurance did nothing to help. They didn’t even respond to the email I sent last week. Fortunately I was able to get refunds for my hotels, tours and flights, although I’m not completely certain if the flight refund will be 100%. I haven’t heard about a refund for my museum ticket yet.

So, is late October or early November a good time to go to Florence and Rome? I’m trying to remember how blessed I am that I’m able to take trips that many can’t, but for today I think I’ll wallow in self pity a bit first...

Posted by
51 posts

Also, please ignore my latest post on my other thread. For some reason my topics kept disappearing, but I sent a message to the webmaster and it seems to be resolved. I’m so not tech smart....

Posted by
128 posts

I am sorry to learn of your trip cancellation as I can imagine how disappointed you are. But, planning another trip is like getting back on the horse. I would imagine late October, early November might be a good time as you will certainly miss the bulk of tourist traffic. I’m not sure of the weather so maybe checking on historical weather results would help with that information. Perhaps posting this question on the Italy forum might get some helpful information from people who have some experience traveling in Italy that time of year.

Posted by
77 posts

KRS,
I'm so sorry your plans didn't work out for you. But not canceled POSTPONED! Do not let this stop you from actually going.
Again so sorry

Posted by
2362 posts

I'm sorry you had to cancel but applaud your concern for people who actually should be afraid of the coronavirus. Unlike most of us, who have a lot more to fear from tornadoes in my part of the country.

Posted by
1493 posts

Hi KRS,

Sorry you had to cancel/postpone your trip.

Please keep in mind that October in Europe, especially Italy (Rome & Florence) is still considered "high season." For that, you may be paying higher prices for hotels, airfare, etc.

Around mid-November or so, pricing starts to come down. Crowding and line waiting will not be as crazy. And it is nice to wear Autumn clothes. Italians usually dress for the season. So, you will see some interesting and also beautiful clothes on people and in store fronts.

I have been traveling to Rome in the month of December for a few reasons. Very low airfare, low hotel pricing, very little crowding, and of course the start of the Christmas season in Roma -- magical and beautiful! Lots of fun. A couple of years ago, they brought back the Christmas Market at Piazza Navona.

Weather-wise, it is a comfortable cold in the air. At night, it usually dips to about low 30's or so. Still, it can be a bit hard to predict even that -- one year, Rome saw very cold and windy temps a few days -- mid to high 30's. The following year I went, it was very mild for a few days -- up to 70+ Phew! But as the day settled down, temps were about normal.

Check out this link: https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/italia/lazio.html Click on each cam for the Lazio / Roma area to get an idea of what's going on in and around the major attractions and piazzas during different times. Campo de Fiori can be a fun watch at times. And, the lovely (professional) street musicians usually hang out at night near the statue of Giordano Bruno.

I love Rome. Something new to discover every time.

When you re-plan your trip, have a good time!

Posted by
2313 posts

Sorry to hear. We are supposed to go to Italy in late May but if things continue as they are we will not. (I’m concerned about domestic travel restrictions at some point should cases continue to grow in the US.) As for planning future travel, my two cents: I would not do it. We all like to think that with warm weather this virus will behave as others have and fade. But, nobody knows. What could be worse than having to cancel a trip for yet the second time? If I have to cancel ours there will be no re-booking until the epidemic abates. I’ll lose my airfare, but so be it.

Posted by
51 posts

I’m really just planning a reschedule for now. I won’t make actual plans for quite a while. I need to think there’s hope though. On another note, my daughter lives in a major cruise ship port town and they’re quite concerned about the virus hitting locally.

Posted by
5405 posts

You have done the right thing especially with infants in your family and your working in a nursing home. Your compassion and care for your fellow man shines through. I know it is disappointing, but I do hope you will be encouraged to re-schedule and go in the fall. You will still have a wonderful time.

Posted by
329 posts

My daughter went to Italy in November a couple of years ago, and she thought it was a great time to go, in terms of being relatively uncrowded.

Sorry you had to cancel. I am going in early May and adopting a wait-and-see approach for now.

Posted by
98 posts

I don’t blame you. I think you’re entitled to indulge in a little self-pity. I’ll be right there with you if we have to cancel our trip in June.

Posted by
21 posts

KRS, I wish you all the best with regard to making your plans. I read your other thread and saw your consideration of where to fly out of. My wife and I are near BWI so we booked British Airways through London. Our flight out leaves 9PM, then we fly from London to Rome the next day. I've been to Europe three times, and the worst part of travel is the return flight. The way we have it booked now is a flight from Milan to London (which might change) then across the ocean, arriving at BWI 7:30PM with just a short drive home - and time to pick up the dog. People gave you great info on what to do over there so I'll leave that alone - though perhaps I'll chime in based on actual experience assuming our trip in April still takes place.

Posted by
999 posts

I am so sorry you have to postpone your trip but when you do go you will have a great trip. I can't speak for November but we have been in Florence and Rome a number of times in October and had beautiful weather! Had 80 degree weather one time in Florence in Oct. and many Italians were wearing puffer coats & scarves! Being from MN we were LOL! Also we have had beautiful weather in October on visits to Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Sicily, Puglia, Basilicata, Amalfi Coast and Bay of Naples including the islands of Ischia and Procida. IMHO anytime of the year in Italy would be fabulous! Have a great trip whenever you go!

Posted by
23 posts

Hello KRS:

So sad you cancelled/postponed. I do hope folks were also concerned about YOU and not just you being a potential transporter.

I have been to Italy in October. It is lovely. Things are priced for the High Season, as mentioned by other posters.
November is too cool for me, but I am sure you will be fine so long as nothing new stands in the way of you and your new decision.

I am still travelling to Italy for 75 days late May to early August 2020.
A refundable flight is amazing. Did you share which airlines? I am booked, but may consider them in the future.

Posted by
51 posts

My flights were with Lufthansa. I got an email acknowledging my cancellation, but it didn’t specify how much my refund would be. I called my credit card company today to see if anything posted to my account. They put me on a 3 way call with Lufthansa, who reported I would receive a full refund in 7-10 business days. My trip insurance was pretty much worthless, but both the hotels and tours I’d booked refunded my money, so I suppose other than the extreme disappointment I feel over finally having the courage to travel abroad solo only to have to cancel, I am lucky.

Posted by
30 posts

I'm in the same boat, my wife and I were planning to go in two weeks and may have to reschedule if things don't get better. My main thought is mid-late October. However, I have begun to think that all of the people who were planning to go in March, April, and May are also looking to reschedule. If that's the case, I also wonder if they're also looking at the dates of October and November. If all the people reschedule their trips for the end of the year, I imagine Italy will be very crowded with all of the rescheduled visits.

Posted by
51 posts

Cgreb, that’s a good point. I guess well have to wait and see how this all unfolds.

Posted by
52 posts

Schedule your trip in middle of summer.
It may be hot, prices may be high , but it will be safe time to visit italy.
As we may face the same corona problem all over the world once temp starts falling.
My family is travelling end of may to hungary and poland.
Not yet cancelled, but the way things are going , don’t know what to do?
Italy is lovely, people are lovely and kind ,heartbreaking whats happening there.
Hope things improve very very soon for them.

Posted by
51 posts

I thought I was hearing that this virus isn’t heat sensitive like the flu, which is one reason medical professionals are more worried about it. Also, I want to enjoy the trip, and I’m just not sure I would in the heat of summer.

Posted by
83 posts

I am sorry you had to cancel. I am booked to go to Amsterdam, Belgium and Paris for a few weeks in May and am watching everything like a hawk.

Back to your question. I have been to Florence twice in November - once with my husband before (US) Thanksgiving and once solo for a week around Veterans Day. Both times the weather was fairly decent, though we had some rain for the Thanksgiving trip. Both times the crowds were extremely manageable and I didn't have to wait much or jostle for anything. I am an early riser, so even on my solo trip I was out early taking photos and enjoying the empty city. I did get a Firenze card both times because I am museum addict, and it allowed me to pop in and out of places I liked without waiting.

Take some time in the Oltrarno. It's a beautiful place to wander. I did a huge walk from my flat near the Medici Chapels, across the Arno to Santo Spirito, and all the way up to San Miniato. It was one of the more memorable days I took on my solo trip.

Florence is my second favorite city (after Paris). There is a Disneyland quality to it, in that it is almost too perfect, but I wandered off the beaten track to see the real Florence. Have a wonderful time.