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needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

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London, United...
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needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

HI, i am planning to go with my wife to Sienna / Umbria in january next year. Could you let me know whether it would be too cold , i am coming from UK so cold weather is not a big problem. We are planning to land in pisa and rent a car from there for a night in sienna , then drive to perugia/ spoleto for 3 nights. do you think thats enough or should i do 2 nights in sienna and 2 nights in perugia. we have seen pisa/florence earlier this year. Hope driving would be pleasant. Your thoughts appreciated.

Montepulciano, Italy
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1. Re: needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

I live on the southern Tuscan / Umbrian border and every Christmas / New Year I have friends from London to stay and every year, although they have a great time and love it here, they moan non-stop about not just the cold but the combination of extreme cold and extreme damp. On bright cold sunny days (of which there are many) it is a beautiful winter destination and personally I would far rather visit the Tuscan / Umbrian towns in January than in August. But you ask a valid question and the truth is, it's colder even than London. The upside is everywhere will be deserted after 7th January so you'll have every town you visit virtually to yourselves. Stay in Siena, there are hotel options within the city walls where they'll take care of your car but after that I'm not so sure about your itinerary. Perugia old town is worth a visit (briefly) for it's very beautiful but the town itself is not one of my favourites and I've said so often on this board, and sometimes received a bit of flack for it. You may have read about Amanda Knox in yesterday's Daily Telegraph and there's a paragraph that I'd like to quote for it sums up my long-held views on this town: "But beyond the museums, medieval palazzi and sun-dappled piazzas lies a dark underbelly. The walled historic centre is undeniably attractive but it is ringed by a grimy industrial and suburban sprawl populated by struggling immigrants and a legion of drug-pushers who sell their wares to foreign students intent on making the most of what is, for many of them, their first time away from home." There's a marvellous old hotel, the Brufani, that we've stayed at in the early '90s several times but, to be honest, the idea of an overnight in Perugia today doesn't appeal to me one bit, for it's rough there in the evening. Why not consider Assisi (fabulous in mid-winter) or beautiful Spello, both have hotel options open year round. Spoleto is one of my personal favourite towns in Umbria and that does merit an overnight but possibly not two unless you're simply using it as a base to tour. Please don't forget to go to Todi and also Orvieto.

London, United...
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2. Re: needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

Hi,

Thanks for you prompt reply, i think i would change my iternary if its going to be that cold and may be head off to lake como or amalfi coast. Thanks for your thoughts on perugia and i would make sure i wont stay there and move to spoleto. I would like to tour umbria but may be best time would be next spring. Plan was to stay 2 nights in siena ( do san gimignano) and then go to assisi or spoleto(base) for 2 nights. Do you think amalfi would be better choice due to weather. We may end up going to Spain (seville-granada) if italy doesnt work out. Any other destination you may think off for january. Thank you again for your thoughts .

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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3. Re: needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

Being further north Lake Como will be even colder! Anywhere in western Europe will not be particularly warm in January. I used to live in southern Spain and on the southern coast you would often have bright sunny days (good chance of rain too), but as soon as the sun goes down in the early evening it gets pretty damned cold and of course there is precious little heating down there. Up in the mountains near Granada you will get snow- they ski in the Sierra Nevada mountains near there!

If you want guaranteed warm sunny weather in January you need to go to the Canaries or out of Europe.

Edited: 21 September 2011, 17:46
Montepulciano, Italy
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4. Re: needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

You have to go as far east and south as the Red Sea resorts in Egypt Sharm or Hugharda for even North Africa can be wet and cool in January. It's a common mistake that many visitors make (including my own friends) that we have year round warmth and sunny weather. And although our spring's are often quite mild, it's usually not warm enough to swim in pools (or the sea) until early June.

NJ
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5. Re: needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

I am also planning a trip to the region but for the first week of November. How is the weather then? I wanted to go in early October, but the cost of the trip is much higher (probably because the weather is better). An alternative itinerary is the Amalfie coast. Suggestions?

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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6. Re: needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

The further south you go, the better the chance that the weather will be slightly better, but by November it will certainly be pretty cool and there is a good chance of rain, and that goes for both Tuscany and Amalfi.

7. Re: needed help for deciding trip to seinna/ umbria region

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