Packing for Rome in December

Packing for Rome in DecemberWondering what to bring and what to wear when you visit Rome in December

Tritone fountain in DecemberRome in December is not as chilly as you might expect during the day, but it definitely is cold at night, so make sure to bring a good winter jacket with you!

Find out what kind of weather to expect, how to dress, and what not to leave at home.

Packing for Rome in December - what to bring and how to dress

Rome in December can generally be pretty chilly, but winter doesn't officially start until December 21 so it doesn't get too cold, especially during the day.

It's an iffy month with some rain, but you can also expect plenty of clear sunny days in December in Rome.

Whether you're visiting Rome in early December, mid-December, or at the end of December, I recommend packing plenty of layers, along with a warm jacket, scarf, hat and gloves.

On this page you'll find:

The BEST packing cubes!

One of my favorite things to help me pack are these high-quality packing cubes.

They are super-sturdy, waterproof, and expandable.

They help me organize everything and keep stuff from moving around in my suitcase.

The packing cubes come in different sizes so it's also great for lumping together workout clothes or toilettries.

Dressing for the rain in Rome

There is a chance that it will rain during your trip to Rome in December, but if it does, don't worry, it never really rains for long. Rain in Rome shouldn't affect your trip, and may even give you a chance to get some interesting shots of the Eternal City!

I highly recommend bringing a good-quality travel umbrella when packing for Rome in December, as well as a rain hat and a waterproof coat/jacket, just in case you do get caught in a rain shower while out exploring the city.

PS - If you're wondering if we get snow in Rome, we normally don't, and if we do, it's usually not in December.

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Packing for Rome in December - Essentials

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I walk around Rome a lot.

I love to walk everywhere when I can, because in Rome there is always something new to see.

I also love looking at things I know well, like the Colosseum, and seeing it in a new light, or finding a new detail. I walk around Rome at many different times of day, throughout the year.

So believe me when I tell you, I know just how to dress in Rome year-round.

These are my personal recommendations for what to include when packing for Rome in December, many of which I own or use:

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When visiting Rome in December you will want to wear a warm cozy winter hat.

These ones are easy to pack and keep in your bag as you walk around. Trust me, when the temperatures drop when the sun goes down, you will want a hat!

I own these e-tip gloves and just love them. They are perfect for cold weather, and I don't have to take them off while I use my phone to make calls or take pictures.

I've washed them plenty of times and they still look brand new.

A scarf is a must in Rome at all times of the year, but especially when it's colder.

In winter I love having a large pashmina with me, which I find more versatile than a standard oblong scarf. And I like a blend of cashmere and silk because it's not overly hot, and it doesn't make me itch.

Bonus - these are great for the plane ride too!

In Italy, men wear scarves year-round.

It's partly for the fashion and mostly because Italians have a firm belief in always keeping your neck warm.

These men's scarves are both stylish and functional.

The best jacket to include in your packing for Rome in December is a waterproof hiking jacket, with removable warm lining.

I have several like this for when I hike, and I wear them out in Rome in winter. It's really 3 jackets in one!

Here is a men's version of the same kind of jacket: waterproof, sporty, and with removable lining.

It's the perfect versatile travel jacket for Rome in December.

You won't regret including a good travel umbrella in your packing for Rome in December.

You can always buy one here, even off a street vendor, but they tend to be poor quality.

I love mine, that has features like wind-resistant ribs, and a cool open AND close button.

Heavy cotton pants or comfortable jeans are an excellent idea for men, women, and children alike.

warm cardigan, pullover, or turtleneck is a good idea, so even when if you want to take off your jacket, you will still stay warm and cozy.

half-zip or full-zip fleece is another great way to be warm and comfortable while you're sightseeing in Rome.

A fleece is also easy to pack in your luggage, and to ball up and carry around in a small backpack during the day.

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When packing for Rome in December, don't forget to also include the following items:

  • Comfortable closed shoes, like sneakers or good walking/hiking shoes. You definitely don't want to be wearing sandals or open-toed shoes in December!

The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

What to wear in Rome in early, mid, and late December

Winter doesn't officially start until later in December, so at the start of the month the weather is more fall-like than winter.

The temperature in Rome in December averages around 56-60 Fahrenheit/14-16 Celsius during the day and 42-46 Fahrenheit/6-8 Celsius during the night at the start of December.

By the end of December winter is really starting to get going, so it feels a lot cooler as we head towards the festive season.

At the end of the month daytime temperatures average 10-12 Celsius/50-54 Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures average 3-5 Celsius/37-41 Fahrenheit.

Campo di Fiori in Rome in DecemberPacking for Rome in December? The weather is getting colder, especially at night time, so make sure to wear warm clothes and a heavy jacket - and don't forget your scarf!

Whether you're packing for Rome in December for the beginning, middle or end of the month, you'll want to include clothes that are suitable for the cold weather, so heavy pants, good quality warm pullovers or cardigans, as well as a waterproof winter jacket.

To be more specific:

Packing for Rome in early december

In early December, the weather in Rome is generally cool, but if the sun is out it will feel milder than you might expect.

It's best to wear layers that you can take off or put on as you need, depending on what you're doing, so think long-sleeved cotton tops, cardigans or sweaters, and a jacket with removable linings.

Once the sun goes down it will feel much colder so you might want to add a cozy hat and scarf to your outfit if you're exploring the city in the evening.

Piazza Navona in Rome in early DecemberIn Piazza Navona in early December, you can see the sun is shining so people aren't as wrapped up against the cold

I always recommend bringing a scarf with you to Rome, and you'll definitely want to wear one in Rome in December!

A scarf will fit easily in your day bag ready for when you need it.

Packing for Rome in Mid-december

The weather in Rome by mid-December is starting to feel a lot more like winter, and you're more likely to see some rain during your trip.

Make sure to pack heavier clothing options so you stay warm, and waterproof shoes and jacket are essential so you stay dry if you get caught in a rain shower.

how to dress in rome in mid-decemberThe weather in mid-December can be wet and it is getting to feel like winter, so make sure to bring a good quality waterproof jacket with you when out exploring Rome!

Packing at least one scarf, hat and a pair of gloves is a great idea, especially for nighttime.

You'll likely want to wear a pullover or cardigan as well as a jacket when you go out for dinner!

Packing for Rome in late december

By the end of December, winter is truly here.

While all the festive decorations bring a wonderful glow to the city, you will feel cold if you haven't packed the right things!

how to dress in rome in late decemberThe end of December is definitely winter, so everyone is wearing heavy coats and warm clothing

If you're packing for a trip to Rome in late December, bring a good selection of warm tops and pants, as well as a heavy winter jacket.

You may also want to bring a fleece to make sure you stay cozy and warm.

Rain showers are definitely a possibility so it's best to be prepared and bring a travel umbrella that easily fits in your backpack.

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General Rome packing tips for any time of year

So what else do you need to consider when packing for Rome in December?

These are just a few of my personal recommendations for what is essential to pack for Rome, any time of year:



Any medications you take, along with a list of these medications - I would recommend keeping these with you in your carry-on, rather than packing them in your checked luggage.


Photocopies of your passport.

Plug converters for your dual-voltage appliances. Voltage in Italy is 220, and in the US and some other countries, it's 110. Most electronic devices (cameras, cell phones, laptops, electric shavers) default to dual voltage, but you will need a plug adapter as the plug shapes are different here. This universal adapter covers you in multiple locations if you travel to different parts of the world.

Carrying a well-stocked first-aid kit will ensure peace of mind when traveling. I always like having one with me when I travel, it’s very handy for when you need something quickly.

Travel insurance isn't something to pack but it is something not to forget!

I can't tell you the times our B&B guests had lost luggage that never arrived, had flights cancelled or delayed, or had documents/wallets pickpocketed. Double check what your credit card covers - chances are you are not covered for what you need when these things happen!

I've got lots more suggestions for what to bring when you visit Rome.

As well as the specific information here about packing for Rome in December, see my page about What to Pack for Rome where you can download a handy packing list, and visit my Amazon page for all my shopping recommendations!

What to wear in Rome in December

So how should you dress when you visit Rome in December?

My top tip for any time of year is to wear comfy shoes, as you'll most likely be doing a lot of walking - more than you might think!

Rule 1: Be Comfortable!

My number one rule for sightseeing in Rome, all year round: be comfortable.

This is most important for your feet. It is crucial to wear good walking shoes with good quality socks that keep your feet warm when you're out all day.

Bringing shoes you have already broken in is essential, and don’t worry about looking like a tourist - that’s exactly what you are!

When packing for Rome in December, I would recommend bringing some sturdy walking shoes or good quality sneakers that give your feet enough support, and that you can wear good socks with comfortably.

Rule 2: Dress in Layers

The next rule is: dress in layers.

While the weather in Rome in December is pretty cold, especially at the end of the month, the days can feel surprisingly warm if the sun is out. It's best to wear layers that you can remove/put on easily according to whether you're out in the midday sun or eating dinner at night.

As part of your packing for Rome in December, I would also recommend bringing a light backpack to wear as you walk around Rome, so you can have a place to put your layers if you take them off, along with your scarf, winter hat and gloves when you don't need them.

Bottom line, to sightsee comfortably in Rome in December:

  • Wear extremely comfortable shoes and warm socks
  • Dress in heavy cotton pants or jeans
  • Wear long sleeved cotton tops under warm pullovers or cardigans
  • Bring a fleece if it is going to be especially cold
  • Wear a waterproof heavy jacket
  • Bring a travel umbrella that fits in your day bag
  • Don't forget to pack a scarf for both men and women!

Unless you are planning on attending a special event, there is no need to bring dressy clothes to Rome.

When packing for Rome in December, it is fine to wear more casual clothes to eat out at many restaurants in Rome so you do not need to pack much, if any, evening-wear.

Find more information on what to expect when traveling to Rome in December here.

Visit our dedicated pages about what to pack for Rome for every month:

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