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Winter in Italy

Singapore, null...
Level Contributor
75 posts
2 reviews
Winter in Italy

It's our first time spending winter in Italy. Or rather first time for winter as we're from singapore 365days summer all year round. So we are really clueless.

Our questions are:

1) Will transportation be very troublesome in winter to get around places?

2) Will there be places for shopping/plenty of choices for food?

3) Is it a good time to visit in winter season?

4) what can we do actually in winter season?

We have the misconception I believe that in winter, there's not much else to do other than indoors. And we would like to explore actually. Can someone clarify that? :)

Thank you for your time to read and reply!

Liguria, Italy
Level Contributor
752 posts
1 review
1. Re: Winter in Italy

It is really hard to answer your questions without knowing where you are going in Italy and what weeks you are traveling.

You will certainly have no trouble shopping or finding meals. There are some foods you cannot find easily in Italy during winter -- like strawberries, or melon or good fresh tomatoes but there are other delicious winter foods to eat.

There are many places to go in winter where, if it is not raining, it can be nicer to enjoy walking around than in summer. Rome and Pompeii often have winter weather that is cool but not too cold to walk around all day outdoors, seeing sights. Still, if if you will be sad to come to Italy and not be able to enjoy the seaside, or you wanted to go to the Lakes, perhaps you should save your money and visit another time.

Winter in Italy is Dec 21 to Mar 21. When to you plan to visit and what would like to explore?

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
71 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: Winter in Italy

Hello fellow Singaporean :)

Transportation is the same throughout the seasons so don't worry too much. I presume you are taking plane, trains and buses and won't be driving. If you are driving and not used to driving in winter condition, it will be a pretty challenging.

The thing about winter is that the daylight hours are short and hence it gets dark pretty early. This means that many shops will generally close early though major restaurants should be open during normal dinner time.

All seasons have their nice features so I will say winter has its charm. Plus point is that there is generally much less crowd so better deals and less people fighting with u for photo space :) Also, u may get to see snow! Downside of course if the coldness and also the short day time. Are you going to Venice? During winter, there is a slightly higher chance of flooding in Venice (called the acqua alta).

On your last question, you can do exactly the same sightseeing in winter as you would have in other seasons minus the crowd. Also, if there's snow, you can possibly do a snow fight? Hahha. If u are keen on skiing, possible to head to some ski resort as well.

Net, winter is cool time to travel :)

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
21,433 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Winter in Italy

Italain cities are great to vist in the winter, The bigger cites do not shut down. Public trnasprot runs on and the restrauratns and shops atre open jsut like in the summer. Smaller cites can shut down to some extent and resort areas like Amalfi or Capri shut down a lot.

A lot depends on how cold you might feel. Cold is a subjective term that depends on the climate that you are used to. Many of us that come from cold climate think that Italy in the winter is jsut like spring and spend time outside walking the Appain way, taking the hydrofoil to Capri, or vsiting Boboli gardens in Florence. Often we eat outside in cafes in good winters. Winters in Italy can vary a lot. Italy as far south as Rome and further south is not all that cold in the winter. It's not Bikini weather but it's really moderate

Pictures to show Winter temp in Bay of Naples/Rome Foilage and clothing in picts show that it is not like visiting Jamaica, but it's pretty moderate. Maybe it's just me though coming from the Great Frozen American Heartland?

Average high/l;ow for end of Dec in Rome is 10/3 (deg C) or 51/38 deg F

www.wunderground.com/NORMS/DisplayNORMS.asp…

Rome Dec 2006

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Pompeii Feb 2006. it got too warm in the sun to wear my cardigan

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Capri Feb2007

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Ischia Feb 2007

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Sorrento Feb 2006

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Rome Feb 2005

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Rome Feb 2008

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
71 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Winter in Italy

Oh btw I have blogged on Milan but have not written about other cities yet. If u r interested, feel free to take a look or just drop me a comment on my blog and I can see what I can help :)

http://thecarefreetraveller.wordpress.com/

Liguria, Italy
Level Contributor
752 posts
1 review
5. Re: Winter in Italy

Hmmmmmm. I guess none of you have been on those Italian trains and buses that grind to a halt when it snows or gets too icy.

I have never seen shops close early in winter. They stay open til 7.30.

There are several dozen Italian destinations I would not go to during winter in Italy because it would be too cold for me to do the sightseeing I would want to do there -- and I am not coming from Singapore. I am coming from the Italian Riviera. I'm not just talking about the Alps (which are popular in winter for skiing.) Even leaving aside the likes, I'm talking about places like Verona or Perugia in late January. There is more I want to see outdoors than indoors in those places, and I don't want to be outside all day in low temps or facing risks of ice and snow.

Edited: 15 October 2012, 19:41
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
71 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: Winter in Italy

HappyOnTheRiver - You sound just like my Italian friends who commented that I went nuts whenever I travel to Europe or other places in winter hahaha. but for someone who experienced summer all year round, maybe we get heated up for far too long and find winter refreshing and cool (literally and figuratively) lol

The shops I have presumed it is similar to other parts of Europe where they are closed early during winter (by the way I mean small shops which I prefer compared to the larger chains). Glad to hear that Italy doesn't.

Oh yes to some extent if where it has too much snow or too icy, the trains will halt and flights will be cancelled and so. Maybe coming from a tropical climate, I am too willing to take chance so as to experience the coldness ;)

7. Re: Winter in Italy

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Latina, Italy
Level Contributor
1,773 posts
8. Re: Winter in Italy

If I understand the question correctly this will be your first winter *ever*, anywhere. Well, you'll need a new wardrobe for a start. Don't imagine that because in summer Italy is a sunny Mediterranean land, that in winter it has a mild climate. It hasn't. As Happy on the Riviera says, some places get really cold, wet, clammy and foggy. If you are happy with museums and art galleries (as I would be) then plan your trip based on indoor things to do. From Rome southwards the weather may be a little better, but you can't count on it.

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
21,433 posts
7 reviews
9. Re: Winter in Italy

"I understand that you or Lupaling don't care how cold it gets. But I sure do, and I would be terribly disappointed if somebody told me that Italy in winter wasn't any different when it came to sightseeing outdoors"

I mentioned in my post that people from cold climates really enjoy Italy in the winter. I posted info about the average tmeperatures expected. The OP is from Singapore and this might be too cold for them if they consider the temperatures that I referenced. On TA more than jsut the orginal OP might someday read this thread.

I understand that there has been some recent snow in Rome in the winter. I also understand that previous to that it had been almost 20 years since anyone in Rome had seen snow from anywhere closer than the Appenines. One can contrast that to the what many of us experience in the yearly accumations of several feeet of snow that stat often in Nov and does not melt entierly until April. The is a yearly phemonimium all over the north central Midwest.

I am hardly unique in enjoying winter weather in Italy because there is a significant portion of the world that is much, much colder that most of central to southern Italy in the winter. I have often thought that Italians should be more enteuoerial in promoting theri country as a winter vacation destination to get more toursist dollars, and they don't even have to stetch the truth to do so.

One can visit Italy in the summmer when it is very crowded and hot in the cities; often one has to wait in line for everything at this time of year. Many of the sites and hotels do not have A/C, and Ice is something that even in the winter seems to exist in the Alps only and not in one's drink.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
71 posts
9 reviews
10. Re: Winter in Italy

Yes happy on the riveria. I do not disagree with u. Just voicing my excitement for cold weather but surely not trying to influence anyone. U are right that it's up to the ones going for the trip to see what they want. That's why such forums are great for gathering information and different perspectives so that the planner can consider all aspects before coming to a decision.

Saw the point that it may be wet... I love cold but surely not wet weather. Ok this is random :p