December in Rome

Vittorio Christmas

Though most visitors come to Rome during the summer months, the fact remains that the Eternal City is close to its best in December. The last month of the year is chilly and damp in Rome and it can often rain as well. This just means that you will have to carry an umbrella and possibly dine indoors instead of at street cafes. But there’s another side to it. There are fewer tourists this time of the year, and so you will be able to get hotel rooms at lower prices. That’s quite a savings. A lot of hotels in Rome also offer free upgrades to their guests. Many restaurants carry a special menu just before Christmas as well.

The_Colosseum_during_Christmas

And here’s one more good reason to visit Rome in December. You can be sure that there will be no queue for St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, or the Colosseum. This means you will end up spending more time there with less stress. With fewer people around, you can take more time to see some of the more important attractions closely. You will have the Trevi Fountain all to yourself as well. Is this reason enough to visit Rome in December? Perhaps the only time to avoid the city is in the week before Christmas, as Italians love to leave the shopping until the last minute and traffic can become difficult during this time.

Christmas Time in Rome

piazza navona christmasYou might not mind this if you are interested in spending Christmas in Rome. Head to Piazza Navona for the Christmas market where you’ll find all types of sticky sweets, handmade items, and fun toys at the various stalls. There is also a Mary Poppins-style merry-go-round that you may enjoy. During December in Rome, there are many other events and festivals in the city as well. The streets, homes, and churches are wonderfully decorated. It all looks very beautiful. You should definitely be at the Spanish Steps and in the St Peter’s Square. You will also have an amazing time at the skating rinks along the Tiber River.

st peter's christmas

Yes, it might rain or seem gloomy in December in Rome, but it’s not always like that. During winter in Rome, the travertine and winter edges are sharper. Colors are vivid. The low-flying sun makes the city turn into a big Baroque stage set. In some days of December, the sky looks like the Volare shade of blue.  And it’s an amazing time to visit Rome.

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Traveling to Italy in the Fall

Lake Como in Autumn

The geography of Italy is unique. There are water bodies on three sides – the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ligurian Sea on the west, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea on the south, and there’s the Adriatic Sea on the east. Because of this, the weather in Italy is quite hot, particularly during the summer. But travel north upwards of Milan, and you will see steep mountains around Lake Como and Lake Garda, plus there is a range of mountains called the Dolomites. It can get quite chilly here, even in the summer. The winter is of course much cooler.  But fall in Italy offers a special climate–one that is neither hot nor cold, dry nor wet.  It’s the perfect time of year to visit Italy and here is why:

Top Reasons for Visiting Italy During the Fall

Chianti in autumn

The main reason people believe that the fall is the right time to visit Italy is that the weather is just perfect, no matter where you go. The nighttime humidity does down considerably. But, aside from the weather, there are also plenty of other reasons for visiting Italy during the fall.

Most tourists have already left, so you won’t have the long lines at the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican, or the Leaning Tower. Therefore, you’ll get to spend more time seeing Italy’s attractions. Imagine seeing the Last Supper or the David from up close, standing there for as long as you want without any pushing or shoving. That’s a huge relief.

There’s another big reason for visiting during the fall – the price. With fewer tourists, the prices have come down too. Italy is not as costly as France, but price during peak season can still be high. However, with fewer tourists in the fall, you will have more bargaining power with vendors, hotels in Italy will be cheaper, and even entry ticket prices can also be reduced substantially.

Food Festivals

Eurochocolate in Perugia

Another reason to travel to Italy in the autumn is for the celebrations and festivals.  Sure, you can always find something going on in Italy year round, but in fall, there are lots of harvest harvest-related festivals. Foods celebrated in the fall are sure to thrill you. There are truffles, prosciutto, chocolate, and wine. It doesn’t matter whether you are a foodie or not–you’re sure to have a lot of fun savoring some mouth-watering delicacies.

Of course, there are festivals that have nothing to do with food. For instance, there is Italian soccer. This is also the time of the year when the Italian operas start up again. There are some fall music festivals in Florence and Rome.

Just remember two things.  First, early autumn can still be somewhat hot. These are the last lingering days of the hot weather. And secondly, the end of the fall season can get cooler. You might require an umbrella because it can rain.  No matter in which end of fall you choose to visit Italy, be sure to dress in layers–not only will you be comfortable regardless of temperature changes, you’ll also look quite fashionable!

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Top Excursions from Venice

Verona

Venice, with its canals, gondola rides, museums, and plazas, is certainly among the most impressive tourist attractions. Everybody should spend a few days here. However, there is much to see beyond Venice, too. Here are a few great excursions from Venice.

Padua
Padua (Padova) is a city that is enveloped by walls just west of Venice. One of the most-visited sights in Padua can be found at the Basilica di Sant’Antonio: Europe’s oldest Botanical Gardens.  A pleasant walk from the train station will take you to this historic landmark and through the city center.  You’ll fall in love with the cafes and restaurants en route.  But sure to check out the frescoes of the Scrovegni Chapel while you’re at the basilica.

Treviso
Treviso is a serene historic town north of Venice full of canals and alleyways.  The difference between Venice and Treviso is that the latter is always less crowded than Venice, meaning you’ll be able to discover what Venice was like before tourists took over the city. You can also see Treviso’s defensive walls, town gates, and moat. It’s a great little place to walk around with a pleasant drink in your hand.

Chioggia
Chioggia is a fishing port in the lagoon of Venice. It is often referred to as “Little Venice” and boasts a wide alley for pedestrians lined with plenty of good cafes and restaurants. There is a huge seafood market at Chioggia. With beaches located just two kilometers away, Chioggia is a splendid place for relaxing.

Vicenza
One of the most important cities during the 15th and 18th Centuries, Vicenza was famous for the renaissance architect Palladio. There are some fantastic buildings and town squares here. Explore the city to find Basilica Palladiana, Teatro Olimpico, Gallerie di Palazzo Leoni Montanari, Piazza dei Signori, Villa Almerico Capra detta La Rotonda, Ponte San Michele, Palazzo Chiericati, Villa Valmarana ai Nani, and more.

Verona
Verona is known as the Florence of Northern Italy and is famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s classic love story “Romeo and Juliet.”  A visit to Verona means being able to see the house and balcony which is rumored to have belonged to Juliet’s family.  Verona also houses a 2,000-year-old Roman Arena where summer opera performances take place every year. Even the bridges in the city are historic and picturesque.

Other great day trips from Venice include visiting the world famous Dolomite Mountains and the lakes of North Italy – particularly Lake Como and Lake Garda.

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Food, Wine, and Luxury in Rome

Rome offers you with some of the outstanding and breathtaking eateries in the form of restaurants and food counters in the world. Some of them define their culture and some of them represent modern era as in the ‘global village’ concept. They all come with exciting and attractive aesthetics. There are also some of the great open-air restaurants, which are particularly meant to serve you during evenings. These restaurants are very luxurious in terms of quality food, excellent service and comfortable seating facility.

As they say “while in Rome do what Romans do,” so choose a residential location where native Romans live and eat for a great dining experience. Romans have a good appetite for culinary activities, thus offering a wide range of food for everyone. One simply can’t think of Italy without having pasta and pizza in mind.  Continue reading

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Boutique Hotels in Venice

Boutique hotels in Venice are a novelty, but fit quite appropriately with the enchanting city. Venice has a look that travelers fall in love with. The elegance and unique ambiance with the canals and gondolas of Venice already make an impression, imagine with distinctly decorated and particular boutique hotels spread among the romantic city.

You can find boutique hotels in some of Venice’s main squares like the Palace Bonvecchiati Hotel in Saint Mark’s Square or, for example, the Ca Nigra Lagoon Resort Hotel on the Venice Grand Canal. Boutique hotels in Venice, aside from being well located, are also particular and theme orientated. Some themes include a modern style with a historic and local touch.

Other boutique hotels in Venice are in a romantic style with marble and fine glass. If, on the other hand, you like a more modern ambiance with particular attention to comforts and extra facilities like a fitness center, Turkish baths, and saunas, you can find that type of Venice boutique hotel too, one being the Palace Bonvecchiati Hotel in Calle dei Fabbri.  Continue reading

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Where To Stay In Florence

Florence is similar to the city of Venice in its beauty and opulence. ITravelers usually visit this old city to take observe the splendid architecture. There are a number of hotels and apartments in Florence and it is not difficult to find good accommodation in this city. Some of these hotels are located in the center of city and some are on the periphery of the town.  Continue reading

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Some Other Things to See in Rome

The city of Rome is full of attractive tourist destinations that include various ancient monuments, museums, catacombs and churches. Rome has a rich ancient history that is exemplified by the ancient ruins and beautiful places all over the city. You can even enjoy small, delightful parks and other fascinating attractions.

Sightseeing in the metropolis of Rome is hugely enjoyable and this is augmented by the excellent transportation facilities available in Rome. Some of the wonderful places that you can see while traveling in Rome are:   Continue reading

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Luxury Hotels in Rome

Rome is one of the world’s most-visited and sought-after destinations. It is Europe’s most famous capital city. always full of tourists from every corner of the globe. Some come to see its historic side while others come on a pilgrimage. It has also become a shopping haven.

Luxury means comfort, calmness, sophistication, and value for the amount of money you spend. The city of Rome offers world-class luxury hotels dotted around the city.

These hotels are situated at some of the prime locations of the city and offer everything that comes with the definition of luxury. They have all the facilities that you need while staying there in pursuit of luxury. They are a bit costly but a little cost means luxury worth thousands.   Continue reading

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Attractions In Florence

Florence is a beautiful city of Italy and travelers come to appreciate the art, culture and architecture of the city. They usually prefer to see the top attractions of the city. Some of these major attractions are as listed below.

Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)
This is one of the ‘must see’ places of Florence. Santa Maria del Fiore is the famous church designed by Brunelleschi and is mostly known for its Italian architecture.

Ponte Vecchio
This is the oldest bridge in Florence and the only one to have endured the 2nd World War. There are many fine stores of jewelry sellers near the bridge. This bridge connects the Medici Palace with the Uffizi.   Continue reading

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Transportation in Rome

Transportation is an important concern while travelling to Rome. There are many things that one should take into consideration before embarking on a trip to Rome – Are you travelling alone, with family, or in a group? What is the itinerary? Do you want to have your own convenience or hire a car?

Once you reach Rome, there are plenty of options that you can choose from. It largely depends on your budget and your plan; if you want to see other parts of the country as well you can use air services. If you want to stay in Rome and explore this city, then you can choose many land transportion options. You can hire a taxi and the good thing is that most drivers can speak and understand English, so there will be no hindrance in communication. There are also limo services, which you can charter if budget allows.

There are several car rental companies where from you can rent a car. In addition to the traditional rental companies some international names have entered the rental market as well, including Enterprise and Hertz.   Continue reading

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