I am traveling to Florence and Venice

lcalligan Image
10/19/2014 - 18:02

I am traveling to Florence and Venice in November with another couple.  They were just there in February and said there were no lines for anything.  They are insisting we do not need reservations in November for Uffizi, Accademia & the Duomo Musuem since it is "off season".My question is this;  Is November similar to February in crowds?  Should we make reservations for tours we absolutely do not want to miss?  And is there anything you can recommend that is a definate "do not miss" in those locations.  We are also going to Cinque Terre, Pisa, San Gimignano, Lake Como & Lugano.



November is a quiet month. In any case, I would advise you to buy the "Florence Card", which is excellent value for money and you avoid the queues http://www.firenzecard.it/?lang=en There is a similar one for Venice. Simply Google "Venice Card" and you get the information. No problems for the other places at this time of the year.nWe went to Florence on Monday and the crowds had vanished... absolute bliss!!Enjoy your trip. Italy is great in spite of the crowds! smiley

The weather has been a bit... whimsical. Warmer than normal for this time of the year. A combination of fine weather and heavy rain. Right now, it is cooling down, particularly at night and it is quite windy. But... who knows? Bring an umbrella, but do not worry if you forget it at home. plety of street sellers carrying umbrellas for 5€...smiley

Hello! I would definitely agree about the firenze card, it is a great value. You can always come and buy your ticket a day ahead, there is a special office for that at the Uffizi. As for November, it is getting cooler right now so I would definitely pack layers and a coat. Also rain-resistent boots and an umbrella, the seasons change day by day it feels like. I think personally some awesome day trips would be to the thermal baths (bagno vignoni in UNESCO heritage site that is the val'dorcia valley, also make sure to pick up some olive oil as right now they are beginning the harvest. I think cinque terre might be a little cold during that season.. 

If the weather is fine and you want to go to the Cinque Terre, drive to La Spezia railway station, leave your car there and catch the local train to the Cinque Terre (get the Cinque Terre Card at the railway station) and go to the northern end at Monterosso. Then you make your way down south stopping at every station and finally do the last sector from Manarola to Riomaggiore by walking along the famous footpath called "La Via dell'Amore". Here you have all the informaion you need http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/cinque-terre-timetable

Oops! Forgot to mention... If you leave La Spezia early in the morning, you should be in Manarola at lunchtime. There, you can have "pesce della barca" (freshly caught fish panfried) that you can have while you drink one of the delicious local wines (mainly Vermentino and Albarola graprs). Don't ask for "Sciachetrà" as this is a sweet, fortified wine suitable for dessert and I do not advise you to have it if you wish to walk along the "Via dell'Amore" footpath... Enjoy!

It will all depend on the particular restaurant where you want to go. Some are busy throughout the year, as they do not depend on tourism alone. It should be understood that Florence does not live on tourism alone. It is a city where many people live and work throughout the year. If going to a particular restaurant is an important part of your trip, then, my advice  would be to book it. 

Some restaurants are popular at any time of the year, in Florence this could be ' La Giostra, Vini e Vecchi Sapore, Libreria Brac, Berbere, Il Pizzaiuolo, Cibreo Il Brindellone. I would make reservations just to be safe, maybe not for lunch (if not Sunday - then you would want to). If you need any tips, just let us know!