My husband and I are traveling to Italy in May and we would like to know more about the weather (we will be in Rome/Siena/Florence/Venice) at this time as well as the tourist crowds? Is it Busy as this time?
I always consult Yahoo or Google weather for the cities I am going to. Just before I leave I view the 10 day forecast and pack accordingly. Rick's books also have general information about average temperatures and rainfall in the various areas of Europe.
I would guess that at least Venice will be crowded in May, because of all the cruise ship traffic it gets. Not sure about the other cities.
I was in Rome and Venice in March and Venice was busy. I got the feeling it is flavour of the month and is busy no matter what time of year it is. Having said that it didn't stop me doing what I wanted and the queues weren't too bad. Rome wasn't as busy. As it gets closer to summer no doubt things will get busy but i wouldn't let put you off - they are all wonderful places and I'm sure you will enjoy. Weather wise Venice was lovely and Rome rain and hail, but had been beautiful the week before I arrived. May should be lovely and the weather more consistent and do check google or yahoo weather closer to your departure.
Good news: The weather in May is delightful, slightly warmer then Chicago at the same timeframe.
Bad news: Expect crowds in all 4 places, especially Venice.
Get and wear a money belt. Have fun!
We went last year in May for several weeks and had amazing weather. It ranged from pleasant to v. warm by the end of the trip. Crowds weren't too bad- better than July. When possible make reservations at sites and follow the advice in Rick's books. Have fun!
I was in Italy in late April, early May last year. Weather ranged from cool and rainy, even snowy in the Dolomites (late April) to 80 in Rome (mid-May). I'd suggest packing layers, including a light waterproof coat (I didn't need it in Rome). The only thing I really needed and didn't pack was sunscreen (trust me, bring your own, it cost 14 euros, almost $20, for sunscreen at the farmicia!)
Everywhere you are going is going to have tourist crowds, especially on weekends. Rome wasn't bad during the week, but a I went to Vatican City on a Saturday and it was just overwhelming with crowds. Get off the beaten path in Venice (i.e., get away from San Marco area) and you'll have the city to yourself - just follow the "Per San Marco" signs and you'll get back to familiar territory.
If you have plans to visit musuems, make reservations online before hand if you can. The Borghese in Rome was wonderful and easy to reserve online.