Suggestions for smaller cities in Italy, France or Switzerland in January
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 8, 2012 3:52 PM Last Post By: jimcantwellmolt...
Nov 4, 2012 3:39 AM
In between those two bookend cities, we'd like to explore a smaller area with a less cosmopolitan feel. Rome and Paris will more than fill our appetite for museums and historical sites, so we'd like to visit somewhere with charms other than those (food, markets, scenery, outdoor activities). We're torn between going further south into Italy after our visit in Rome (to enjoy some warmer weather) or starting our journey north towards Paris and visiting somewhere in the Alps. The one potential complication with hitting the mountains is that we'd have to haul around extra winter gear for the weather there, but it wouldn't be a big issue.
We would love any and all suggestions or advice. It's been a bit difficult to research because so many of the guidebooks refer to summer activities, and winter stuff is either a footnote on skiing, not mentioned at all, or is only discussed in reference to huge cities (which we're trying to avoid for the middle portion of our trip).
We'll be sleeping in hostels and are open to traveling either by train or by plane via one of the low-cost carriers.
Thanks in advance for your advice! It really will help us narrow things down.
Nov 4, 2012 5:10 AM
1You been to Paris before?
Most people would consider 2 days there far too little......
Nov 4, 2012 5:13 AM
2Anyway...on the broader question,I would stop somewhere between the 2 cities.
You haven't really got enough time to go south of Rome,esp. if you are travelling overland.
One good bet might be Tuscany.Lots of nice smaller places there and things to see and do...and its on the way and easy to get to and from.
Nov 4, 2012 7:05 AM
3If you really want to visit Rome and Paris, you may stay in Rome from Jan 4th until 8th and in Paris from Jan 11th until 15th, that means 4 full days in each. There remain just 2 days in between. If you don't take planes or night trains, you need a whole day for the train ride.
You may spend the remaining day anywhere, Tuscany or Umbria, as suggested by Luca, would be a good idea. Check Assisi and Perugia, Orvieto and Chiusi, Siena, Lucca .....
Nov 4, 2012 8:56 AM
Nov 4, 2012 9:40 AM
Nov 4, 2012 3:38 PM
6Lucapal and Neckervd, have either of you spent time in Tuscany or Umbria in the winter specifically? I'm curious to know how the experience may differ, since all the information I have on visiting those regions is based on high and shoulder season travel.
And as for Paris, we're comfortable with two full days there. I've been before and, with respect for it's beauty, it's still very cosmopolitan. We're more interested in seeing some countryside after Rome.
Nov 4, 2012 4:37 PM
Nov 5, 2012 1:19 AM
8Yes, I was there in winter too. The many small medieval cities in Tuscany and Umbria are just the same all the year round. So are churches, museums and other sights. But there are less tourists and the weather can (but must not) be rainy and windy. So, for visits in towns, contact with native people (if you speak some Italian), winter is fine. Everybody has time for some chiacchiere. For outside activities, summer would be better.
Nov 5, 2012 2:14 AM
Nov 5, 2012 3:16 AM
10I've been there several times in December and January.
Certainly it is colder,maybe some rain as well......even snow at higher altitudes.
But for walking around small towns and villages it is great..few tourists,all of the sights are less crowded and there are lots of nice little bars and restaurants to warm up in....
Nov 8, 2012 3:52 PM
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