Hi, We will be in Italy for a month in June, going to Rome, the Amalfi coast, Tuscany, Cinque Terre and Venice. Is June a busy enough month for me to reserve, in the big cities, the smaller areas, or all of them? The last time I was in Italy was backpacking in '76 so I don't have any personal experience to go on. Many thanks, Jim
June is high season in Italy. Book ahead.
Jim, I would highly recommend pre-booking hotels for travel in June in all the locations you mentioned. That's just prior to the peak travel seasons of July and August, and I've found that it can be VERY busy in Italy at that time. If you don't pre-book, it will reduce your choices, and you may not be able to get decent hotels in some areas, or may have to pay more than anticipated. I would ESPECIALLY RECOMMEND pre-booking Hotels for the Cinque Terre. I often start booking in February or March for travel there in September, and often have problems getting a room. On past occasions, I've had to change my Itinerary to suit availability or split my stay between different hotels. If you're going to be travelling by train or other public transit in Italy, there are a few potentially expensive "caveats" to be aware of. As you haven't been there since 1976, if you need further information post another note and I'll add my usual "boilerplate" on the subject. Happy travels!
Ken, I'm curious about the "boiler plate" info. My sister and I will be in Italy in May, and will be training from Milan to Varenna, Milan to Venice, and then from Venice to Florence. Jim, we ran into some problems getting reservations at off-the-beaten-path places. Many were already booked, which forced us to change our itinerary. Book early and often. Get confirmations. Take printouts with you.
For 3 star hotels and higher, you'd certainly need reservations in every area you named in June, except less touristy parts of Tuscany.
And to expand on the last answer, if you're looking for good quality budget or moderately lodging, it's also good to reserve. Last time I went (in Sept/Oct of last year), I found many of my first choices already full when I started inquiring a few months ahead. Also, if you don't reserve, you're going to be spending time when you get there looking for lodging, time that would otherwise be available for exploring. However, you obviously lose some flexibility by reserving... you'll need to decide on that tradeoff.
In those places during June, I would make advance reservations.
I suggest booking ahead. I like booking.com or similar sites; you can sign up for last-minute deals via email, or you can reserve the next city before you leave your current location, and not use foot-time looking for a place if flexibility is important. For Cinque Terre I would book right away, small towns can fill up fast.
Thanks for all your advice, I spent the week online and have got all the places I needed to book, booked. Thanks again!
Spend the time to reserve rooms now. Better than roaming around and wasting time looking for accommodations on vacation time!