My husband & I are trying to plan a trip to Italy and looking at going the week of Thanksgiving. Our kids are 12 & 15, and that week works well as far as work/school schedules. First of all, is that a crazy time to go? Will weather be tolerable & will attractions be open? We are thinking of flying into Venice, staying there 2-3 days, then taking train to Rome for 3 days then flying home from there. We would have 8 days total including travel days. Does that sound reasonable? Will be our 1st trip of many (hopefully) to Italy so we just want to get a taste of major attractions.
It's better than the summer, however, it is still pretty busy as a lot of other Americans will be doing the same thing. We have done it in the past, and yes, everything is open and the weather we've had in Rome in late November has been cool and bright,however, can't speak for Venice, which I'm pretty sure will be much cooler.
I would start nailing down hotels now.
I've been to Italy twice over Thanksgiving week and really enjoyed it. It's busy but not nearly as busy as high season. Attractions are open, although some may have shorter hours. I've not been further north than Florence. Weather in Rome was cool but generally pleasant. You could potentially encounter the acqua alta (flooding) in Venice that time of year. I found hotel prices to be quite good in late November and had no problem booking nice accomodations about 2 months in advance.
I've been to Italy three times during Thanksgiving break--it's a sweet time to travel. Crowds are gone and everything is open. Be prepared for cool weather and rain.
I've also been to Italy in the deep off-season (not Thanksgiving exactly, but late December), to Florence and Tuscany and to Rome and the surrounding area. I love traveling in the off-season because adding intense heat on top of crowds of tourists is not part of my definition of a vacation. It was still crowded in Rome, but not unbearable as it would be for me in the heat of summer. My trips were not impacted at all by closures. In fact, there were things happening (holiday-related events) that would not have been possible to enjoy during the high season.
Excellent choice. I recommend the Secret Itineraries tour at the Doge's Palace in Venice. Book in advance - there aren't many tours in English and the tours are small. Lots of info on the history of Venice and life there in the Middle Ages.
Most of my trips overseas involve leaving thanksgiving week. Plane tickets cheaper.....accommodations cheaper......crowds a bit less......except in Rome where throngs of people still walk around at a super slow pace, side by side, taking up the whole sidewalk, knowing you are behind them, still not going single file to let you by, now you have to step out into the street where traffic is insane and dangerous, you almost get ran over and killed. But yes, it is a great time to travel.
Thanks for the advice everyone- very helpful. We are looking at flying out on a Tuesday night, arriving in Rome on Wed evening. Would spend Thurs, Fri, Sat in Rome, then take the train to Venice on Sunday. Would have Mon, Tues to explore Venice, then fly home on Wed. Does that seem like a good itenerary?
I think 4 nights in Rome and 3 nights in Venice is the perfect minimum for those cities. We enjoyed Venice better than Rome and was never bored with our 3 nights there.