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Is August the worst time?

Los Angeles
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Is August the worst time?

Is the end of August the worst time to be in Italy? I've heard it's hot, touristy and some places are closed. Are they all true? Is is that bad or tolerable?

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Is August the worst time?

Depends on what you consider tolerable - for me, it isn't because I can't stand heat/humidity especially when I'm traveling and outside a lot of the day.

Some places will be closed but you will find enough places open that you won't have difficulty finding places to eat, shop or stay.

And, it can be touristy as some kids are usually still on summer break. The good thing is that you can find better prices for hotels than you will in September.

If you are fine with heat/humidity then it may not be a big deal for you.

Starting in May, it is pretty hard to find any time when there aren't a lot of tourists through to mid-October and in some places, to the end of October.

Treasure Island...
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2. Re: Is August the worst time?

We were there last Oct. and it seemed very busy. So you vacation is when it is, try not to let it spoil your time off. You will have a great time. Remember, you could be on the 134 heading to the valley at 5 o'clock. Good luck and have fun.

Norwich, United...
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3. Re: Is August the worst time?

Most of 60+ million Italians would tell you that August is the best month, since that's when they traditionally prefer and/or have to take their own vacations.

They though know to adapt their behaviour so it suits high summer in the Mediterranean.... anyone with fixed ideas about marching over ruins all day long may well find it a very poor choice!

As for being 'touristy', this comes from the most recent statistics I've found - tourist presences in 2006 (one head on a pillow for a night = 1 presence) in the hotels, apartments etc of the province of Rome.....

www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/126202609

Outside of the coldest months, it's surprisingly steady?

Some shops and restaurants will close for part of the month, but just about none of the public museums, galleries or archaeological sites - the bigger difference though will be that there are less Romans around, as they'll be off on their own vacations!

Personally, I've always found it a lovely time, and we go both to cool down from the temperatures here - and escape the crowds....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/romeaug08

Peter

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4. Re: Is August the worst time?

As always, beautiful photographs Peter. If I could stand the heat, it would be pretty nifty to see Rome so empty - but, I'll settle for just getting up very early some days while there for a wander before everyone is out and about. But, wow, Piazza Navona so tranquil? Nice....

If you don't mind, what is the model camera you are using?

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5. Re: Is August the worst time?

We travelled through Rome in August and we found it too hot, and basically couldn't wait to hit the coast for some fresh sea air. Its a fab city but I prefer seeing Rome out of summer.

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes especially regarding the weather.

EM.

Roma
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6. Re: Is August the worst time?

In August it is hot, but not more than in July (or in June), and September too can be stuffy. It depends how much everyone personally stands heat.

SOME places are closed, right. But in a city like Rome you won't ever find every shop closed, nor desert streets. Many Italians go out in August, but not all the month and not all together. Rome has its own seaside, so many Romans go to beach without leaving the city; and tourism is very important for the most popular cities like Rome, so tourists will anyway find something open. The 15th is the only day when findimg an open shop may (might) be difficult.

The cities which in August become relatively desert are some far from the sea and not especially attended by tourists (typical examples are Turin and Bologna).

Ravenna, Italy
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7. Re: Is August the worst time?

I agree Bologna is a ghost town in August..and hotter than a pizza oven. In Rome it is the better restaurants that are closed in August or part of the month..the tourist restaurants are always open. the shops along the via Condotti and the Corso are also open in August... La Rinascente the big department store is also open in August...enjoy.

Norwich, United...
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8. Re: Is August the worst time?

MC - thank you! Those were taken with a tiny little camera, the Ricoh Caplio GX100, which is particularly good for cities and indoor stuff as it has a fast, and very wide lens (24/72mm), and will shoot RAW which just sometimes makes the difference when there's both bright sunlight/dark shadows. Not long after it came out, Panasonic released their very successful LX3 and, if shopping now, I'd say that's the one to go for - but either would really suit those conditions!

One trend we've not mentioned is the tendency this last couple of years for more Italians not to be able to afford to take the whole of August off any longer - and the rather amusing newspaper stories that appear about people staying at home, but hiding, so the neighbours don't know!

As Naples does also, Rome puts on lots of special events for the stay-at-homes - open air concerts, cinema etc etc, many of them free...

http://en.estateromana.comune.roma.it/

Peter

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9. Re: Is August the worst time?

Yes- August will be hot and humid. Plan accordingly and you'll be fine. Don't try and cram in the whole city in two days!

Look for the vendors selling frozen bottles of water. Pricey yes, but the ice is worth it!!!! This year I am hoping our apartment will have a freezer and we can make our own ice bottles. Stay away from the alcohol until dinner.

I don't like heat or humidity - but I just go a bit slower... I wear floaty skirts and tank tops - and have a scrunchy shawl for churches. Good walking sandals and I'm pretty comfortable. Hubby wears light weight trousers and golf type shirts.

Safe Travels

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Is August the worst time?

Thanks Peter for the camera info - you have really gotten some fabulous photos from that camera.

For me, when I am in Rome - I can't bear to be indoors - so except for sleeping and indoor sites (museums), I am outside from early in the day until late at night - having my coffee(s) in the a.m., lunch, drinks, dinner all in outdoor restaurants - unless there is rain. I then just walk and walk and walk and I personally could never be outside in the July/August heat in Rome - but, everyone has their own threshold.

Last Fall, I was there the first week of October and it was pretty warm (around 80 degrees) - that I could handle; and this past late April, it was unseasonably warm again - a few days into the low 80s...but, in the shade and in the early evening, it became extremely comfortable - for me.

If you have a good idea about how you feel in heat and humidity, you will know what decision to make.