I have been wanting to take my family to Italy before everybody is out of college and moved out. January is the only time that we can all go togehter. Am I crazy for trying to do 10 days in Italy in January? We want to do Florence, and a hilltown or two and Venice. Will it be way to cold?
It's not crazy! The cooler weather beats the heat of July and August. Dress in layers, have a hood and an umbrella. Plan indoor options as well as outdoor ones and take each day as it comes. I recently wrote about Venice as a mid-winter break here. Might be of interest and use to you.
Tracy, you don't mention Rome, but I can tell you it's a wonderful place to visit in January. I've been twice in Jan/early Feb. Both times, the weather was a little warmer than San Francisco was when I got back home. No lines. Time to enjoy sites in a more leisurely way. While I've not been to Florence in winter, there's certainly plenty to do inside, if you enjoy museums. In hill towns you are likely to find a meaningful number of hotels and restaurants closed (although I've been to Orvieto in January, as a day trip from Rome, and enjoyed it; the cathedral and the views are amazing). I'd guess driving to hill towns could be a little challenging if there's a risk of ice on roads, but you can reach some by train or bus. But regardless, if next January is the one time when everyone can go, I'd suggest going.
Yes it's going to be cold. I once was in Venice in February, and waves were lapping over St. Marks Square. We were walking on raised wooden sidewalks.
Great months are Sept-Oct and April-May. Italy sizzles in Summer.
Tracy, That's not the best month to travel in Italy, and you may find that the experience is not "pleasant" in some respects. Judging by the Italian news stories this year, there were some fairly severe storms with transportation disruptions. On the "bright side", it will be less crowded (but some sights may be closed or operating on reduced hours). Good luck!
Thanks for the replies! January is the only time of the year that I know for sure we can all go. I didnt mention Rome because I really want them to experience Venice (I have already been to Venice). I will definately look into Rome as opposed to Florence.
I have been to Venice in Feb. and while we expected it to be cold and drizzly (which it was part of the time) we were prepared with out layers and had a great time. Different than summer? Of course, but it's still Venice. There is a book called Watermark that I had read that described those dreary grey days so beautifully and I wanted to see a different 'face' of Venice. Rome was cold and windy, but there is plenty to do inside...and lots of time to hang out in cafes with a nice cappuccino and few tourists.
Thanks Laurel! I just read your blog..and now I am definately going to look into Rome and then Venice..for sure Venice!